We are going to switch stories now. I want to focus on a particular person who’s wisdom matched no one else’s at his time, even through modern times. His wealth of wisdom is worth noting, remembering, and referring back to often. Solomon’s story is so rich with details, we are gong to focus on him for a little while. Now, most of these posts will be in First Kings. Who was he? What did he do? Why is he so important? Where did he come from? How can learning about him benefit us? Let’s dive in.
Who was Solomon? Solomon was the son of King David and Bathsheba, and the third king of Israel. (First it was Saul, then David.) He is often referred to as the wisest man who ever lived. Now, this does not mean he did not sin, stumble, make bad decisions; it simply means that he walked so close to God that he was blessed with divine wisdom. Solomon also authored Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, most of Proverbs, and a few Psalms. He is also known for the temple he built. So how does he become King? Well, it’s a pretty intense family fight. We have all had a good argument in our families, but this one was really messy.
When King David was very old, about ready to pass away, one of his sons named Adonijah basically appoints himself king without the blessing. He assumes that David will pick him as the eldest son to become king because this how it is normally done. However, he must have forgot, or didn’t know, that David had promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be king one day. When Nathan the prophet and Bathsheba hear about Adonijah’s plan they go to the king to remind him of his promise, and to have David make the official public announcement. David then ratifies the promise he made with Bathsheba, and calls for the necessary people to anoint Solomon as king: Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Cherethites, and Pelethites (the last two are a family grouping). He instructs them to take Solomon to Gihon, a small area outside the city walls.
With this band of people, and on the king’s mule, Solomon is taken out to Gihon to be anointed and proclaimed king of Israel. There was music, rejoicing, and shouts of “Long Live King Solomon!” This joyful parade was so loud Adonijah could hear it over his own little party, not to mention the Bible says the “earth seemed to split open” (1 Kings 1:40). That had to be one loud party! I am not sure even most modern concerts get that loud.
Then someone named Jonathan goes to Adonijah to tell him about Solomon’s anointing as king. That would be one giant blast to the ego! Here Adonijah thought he was king for sure, and now it’s been announced, in front of all his friends, that he is not worthy. Ouch! In fear, Adonijah grabs hold of the horns of the alter, and begs for his life. Solomon says that so long as Adonijah is worthy then nothing bad will happen; however, if he is found to wicked, he will die (1 Kings 1:52). So Adonijah is brought in before Solomon, and sent home.
So far, Solomon is being a good son following his father’s wishes (sounds like someone else that will be born later in the Bible). Nothing too horrible has happened. And we are presented with a new king for Israel. For the next post please read 1 Kings 2.