April 26, 2021
By Editorial Team
The Judgement of Solomon (1649) by Nicolas Poussin, in Louvre
“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, From the beginning, before ever the earth was. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when he appointed the foundations of the earth, then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth; and my delights were with the sons of men” Prov 8:22-31
“But unto them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God” 1 Cor 1:24,30
“For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them“ Luke 10:24
Solomon ascended the throne after David. He was quite young, maybe late 20’s or early 30’s when he ascended the Throne. It was an immense responsibility to oversee David’s vast kingdom. So the Bible tells us that when he became King, he prayed unto God and the Lord appeared unto him, and asked him what he wanted. Solomon replies that he wants wisdom to govern, so the Lord grants him a wise and understanding heart. 1 Kings 3:3-12.
The Bible records for us a court case at Solomons throne, where two prostitutes give birth in a night and one baby dies, so they fight for the one living child. See painting above (The Judgement of Solomon 1649 by Nicolas Poussin, in Louvre).
Bible also tells us that Solomon was a very wise man, learned in poetry, arts, botany, zoology, administration, trade and such. Many Kings and Queens came from afar to listen to his knowledge and counsel. Excellence is to be the hallmark of every Christian. He wrote three books of the Bible – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of songs.
Proverbs is a book of a collection of hundreds of Proverbs. In this he employed great literary devices – Poetry, Parables, contrast etc. The theme of the book from beginning to end is Wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Prov 9:10). In Chapter 8, Solomon talks of a Person called Wisdom who was with Father God from the beginning. Both of them created the Heavens and the earth together. But this Wisdom-Person always likes to be with other human beings and lives on earth more than in Heaven. Basically the wise king was employing a parabolic form to talk about the Lord Jesus Christ. To understand Proverbs, you should understand that Solomon’s God was not very different from David’s. Their hope was in the Messiah to come; in fact since 2 Samuel 7, all the Davidic line was waiting for the birth of Christ. I urge you to read Prov 8 a few times to understand this truth and analyze scripture for yourself
Without seeing Christ Jesus as the centre of Proverbs, you get nothing. If you have been reading it as a worldly wisdom, am sorry that such a thought has no place in the Bible. We might as well have added Panchatantra or Aesop’s fables, if that were the yardstick. Whenever you see the words Righteous, Just, Wise it refers to a believer in the Messiah, read it as Born again believer for clarity’s sake. For Solomon knew the meaning of sacrifices too, for his dad spoke of the Cross (Ps 22, 69 etc) in vivid terms. The theme of Solomon’s writing was Christ, he describes the righteous life – how to behave in small things and big. He brings out some amazing truths – If I were to put the sum of a few chapters in common speak it would read like this:
Reading the Bible daily is the key to spiritual life and success. Given that your body and soul and linked, reading the Word also brings physical healing, immunity, bone strength etc. Meditating and speaking the Word, brings guidance, wisdom for office and home. Reading the Bible will provide food on the table.
By the way, don’t get too carried away by news reports – you are doing very well compared to Jeff Bezos. What you are accomplishing by reading the Bible and obeying it is impacting Eternity and Human civilization far greater than some of the richest men on the planet. Continue in your simple works. In Eternity, God will reward you. It’s worth it and it is the ONLY perspective to have about life on earth. Well done!”
But it is also a terrible tragedy that he fell into the trap of marrying a number of gentile women, for forging Peace with neighbouring countries. That was not the plan of God, he slipped into a life of ease and riches, unlike his father David who fought the enemies and was faithful to the Lord to the end. So, Solomon lost it all, and ended very poorly. It is important to live the Christian way however hard it is at times and to keep the faith to the end.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father and I, Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one. – Be Thou my Vision. (Irish Hymn 8th century)
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