King Solomon’s life was filled with practical insights for spiritual growth. People came from far and wide to listen to his wisdom and insights. People looking for the meaning of life or critical in life found guidance in the King’s wisdom, from which lessons could still be learned today.
King Solomon, meaning “the peaceful one”, was the son and heir of King David, Israel’s ruler. Solomon is commonly known as the author of Ecclesiastes’s book, Proverbs, and Song of Songs. He also has several Psalms to his name.
Wisest men in history
However, opinions are divided about them. Solomon is considered one of the wisest men in history. During his reign of forty years, he learned many practical lessons of spiritual growth that are just as relevant today as they were in the past.
King Solomon was a young man with mature spiritual priorities, and after God appeared to him in a dream, he asked for a perceptive heart to rule Israel righteously. It is easy to imagine someone in this position asking for wealth, fame, or favor.
But Solomon took his new tasks very seriously and wanted to be well prepared for his kingship. When God saw his humility and spiritual maturity, God not only gave him the great wisdom he had asked for but also blessed him with riches, fame, long life, and an honorable place in history. Like Noah, Nehemiah, and Joseph, Solomon set aside his desires for the will of God and was greatly rewarded.
Reign of King Solomon
In King Solomon’s time, Israel was doing very well spiritually, but the country was thriving economically. King Solomon not only made a lot of peace through his political policies, but he was also a great merchant. In King Solomon’s time, the land was rich in spices, wood, gold, precious stones, ivory, monkeys, and even peacocks. Merchants and queens came from all sides to trade with him.
Solomon also built cities, rebuilt cities, fortified walls, and made the temple of God. He reorganized the Israeli army, had a considerable fleet, and was also a good judge.
One of his lawsuits is recorded in the Bible and is widely known. King Solomon was loved not only by the Gentiles but also by the Israelis.
Mistakes of King Solomon
But like everyone else, King Solomon also had his faults. He had no less than 700 wives, queens, and 300 concubines and was married to the Queen of Sheba.
These women turned his heart away from God and eventually seduced him into idolatry. So he went after Ashtoreth and Milcom (1 could 11:5). And he built a sacrificial height for Kamos and even for Molech. (1 king 11:7). Finally, he came to understand and prayed fervently to God, who showed him mercy, and he repented.
The book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, tells of the King’s desire to discover what really matters in life. With his God-given wisdom, he strived after insight and understanding only to discover that in the end, it was useless, because more wealth only brings sorrow. (Prov. 1:13,18)
He built large temples and monuments and worked a lot on civil projects. In the end, he saw that that too was useless because everyone passed on their achievements to others. (Prov. 2:17,24)
He went through a period of pleasure in every pleasant activity and saw that this was pointless and only a waste of time. (Prov. 2:1,3) at the end of his quest, and after he fell into idolatry. He finally found out that the best thing a person can do is to put his pride aside and love God and obey his commandments because that was ultimately the most enjoyable thing in life.
Jesus also taught his followers these lessons. In Matthew 6:25, 32, Jesus teaches his followers the following: ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat and what you will drink; nor about your body, that which you will put on. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the sky: they neither sow nor mow nor gather in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not far beyond them? Who of you can worry about adding one cubit to your height? And what are you concerned about the clothing?
Look at the lilies in the field, how they grow; they don’t work and don’t spin; I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.
If God so clothes the grass in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, you of little faith? Therefore, do not be concerned or say: What shall we eat? or: What shall we drink? Or What shall we wear? For all these things the Gentiles seek. After all, your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
For many people, these lessons no longer have any meaning in our current society, where progress seems to be speeding by at lightning speed. Financial prosperity can be at the expense of the family, grief within the relationship sphere and in the children through many divorces, Jealousy and envy for the rich or people who have more than another, selfishness through possessions through following your desires, and you name it.
Above all earthly good, the King wished wisdom and understanding to accomplish the work God had given him to do. He longed for speed and tenderness of mind and the greatness of heart. In today’s society, we can learn something from the wise lessons of this King.