[Lesson 51: More from the Psalms] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 53: The Prophet Elijah]

Lesson 52

The Prophet Solomon

1 Kings 2-10; Psalm 72

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

If God appeared to you and said to you, "Ask for whatever you want, and I will give it to you," what would you choose? A long life? Great riches? Fame? Or something else? One day God appeared to Solomon, the son of David, in a dream and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." Do you know what Solomon chose? We will hear today how he answered God.

In the past six lessons we have been looking into the story of the prophet of God, David. We have read some of the hymns he wrote in the book of Psalms. In our last lesson we saw how David prophesied that the sons of Adam would kill the Messiah by piercing His hands and His feet. David also foretold that God would raise the Messiah from the dead. Today we plan to leave the story of David and move on to the story of his son, Solomon {Suliman in Arabic}.

In the first book of Kings chapter two, the Holy Scripture says:

(1 Kings 2) 1When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. 2"I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, show yourself a man, 3and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in his ways…as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go. 10Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. 11He had reigned for forty years over Israel… 12So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.

(1 Kings 3) 3Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the statutes of his father David…the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." 6Solomon answered, "…O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties… 9So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" 10The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for, both riches and honor, so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life." 15Then Solomon awoke, and he realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord's covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.

16Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17One of them said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. 18The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us. 19"During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him. 20So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21The next morning, I got up to nurse my son, and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne." 22The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours." But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.

23[Then King Solomon] said, "This one says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, 'No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.'" 24Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. 25He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."

26The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!" 27Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother." 28When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

(1 Kings 4) 29God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31He was wiser than any other man…And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 34Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.

Next, the Scriptures record that at that time there was a queen, the queen of Sheba, who had heard of the profound wisdom and great majesty of Solomon. The queen made plans to go to Jerusalem to visit Solomon, to know whether what she had heard about him was the truth or not. This queen lived in a land very far from Jerusalem, in the land of Sheba, which lies south of Saudi Arabia. The country of Sheba is known today as Yemen. Between that country and Jerusalem is a distance of about two thousand kilometers. However, that great distance did not discourage the queen of Sheba from traveling to visit Solomon.

In chapter ten, the Scripture says:

(1 Kings 10) 1When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. 2Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan, with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones, she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

6She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 7But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. 8How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness."

This is where we must stop in our reading today. However, what the Word of God says about the queen of Sheba does not end here. Less than one thousand years after that time, the Messiah had something to say about the queen of Sheba and King Solomon. He said, "The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here." (Matt. 12:42)

Did you hear what the Messiah said? He said that the queen of Sheba's investigation of the glory of Solomon will condemn all those who refuse to investigate the glory of the Messiah. The queen of Sheba did everything in her power to discover the glory of Solomon and listen to his wisdom. She even traveled four thousand kilometers, round trip, to know whether what she had heard was the truth! There is an important lesson for us here. The Messiah, who came from heaven, far exceeds Solomon in glory, in wisdom, in knowledge and in power, yet most of the children of Adam do not recognize His glory, nor are they willing to investigate the matter to know the truth! That was why the Messiah said: "The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here!" (Matt. 12:42)

You who are listening today, do you recognize the glory of the Messiah whom God sent? Or do you put Him on the same level as the prophets? Do you remember what the title Messiah means? Yes, it means the One whom God has selected. The Messiah is the One whom God has selected as the Savior and Judge of the world. Yet, to this very day, most people ignore the Messiah. They do not know who He is, because they have never searched for Him in the Writings of the Prophets.

Our time is almost up, but before we bid you farewell, you should know that King Solomon wrote three wonderful and profound books which are a part of the Holy Scriptures. Those books are: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes {Lit. the Preacher}, and the Song of Songs. Like his father David, Solomon wrote some hymns which are part of the book of Psalms. To conclude today's program, we would like to read chapter seventy-two which the prophet Solomon wrote in the Psalms. In this hymn, Solomon predicts that the Messiah will return to earth one day to judge mankind in righteousness. Let us listen to what King Solomon wrote concerning the perfect King who surpassed him in wisdom and glory.

Concerning the Messiah, Solomon wrote:

(Psa. 72) 2He will judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. 8He will rule from the sea…to the ends of the earth. 9The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust. 10…the kings of Sheba and Seba [in Arabia] will present him gifts. 11All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him. 15Long may he live!… 17May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun! All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed. 18Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds! 19Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen.

Thus King Solomon predicted that one day all the people of the world will submit to the Messiah, the King of kings and the Judge of the world! Of course, what God wants is for each of us to submit to Him today! How about you? Are you truly submitted to God? Do you recognize the glory and authority of the Messiah whom God has sent and will send again? Or do you merely place Him on the same level as the prophets? If you will take the time to investigate the Writings of the Prophets, you will discover that the Messiah is the Savior and Judge of the world; the One to whom all the prophets bear witness. That is what the Holy Scriptures declare when they say: "All the prophets testify [of the Messiah] that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through His name!…Do you believe the prophets?" (Acts 10:43; 26:27)

Friends, thank you for listening. God willing, next time, we will study about the prophet of God, Elijah, who called down fire from heaven.…

God bless you as you carefully consider what the Messiah declared, saying,

"The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here!" (Matt. 12:42)