• Joseph Durso

King Solomon in Word and Deed


An Earthly King is a Pawn Draped in Royal Robes

The Scriptural Analysis of Solomon's Actions

The first lesson the student of scripture must learn is to not impose upon the text his own meaning.

Therefore, when we learn that Solomon was a wise man, we also need to consider what he did with the wisdom he received from God. It is not my intent to smear Solomon's name but to painstakingly pursue without assumption what the Bible says about him. Let us consider how Peter judged Simon in the book of Acts.

"Now even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip." However, when uncovered for his deeds, he is rebuked harshly by the Apostle Peter. "You have no part or share in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore, repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart will be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of unrighteousness." (Acts 8:13, 21-23) Oh, for that kind of a discerning spirit today.

When the Bible refers to belief as applied to a person, that belief is only as good as its object. If God, it is saving faith. Please do not take the warning of the Apostle Peter lightly because, along with the other ten, they were eye-witnesses of Judas' betrayal. Afterward, they took false professions very seriously. (2 Peter 2 as an example)

As we consider Solomon's teaching from the book of Ecclesiastes, let us remember the life he pursued in light of the wisdom he received. David had eight wives, who by himself took two more than Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph combined. As king, he was quite the adulterer. Solomon, however, had 700 wives and 300 hundred concubines. Whether or not he slept with his wives, we do not know; what we know is his appetite for women dwarfed all the Old Testament men combined.


The Scriptural Analysis of Solomon's Thoughts

Concerning Solomon's wisdom, we do not need to take him at his own assessment. "I said to myself, "Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; ... I realized that this also is striving after wind. Because in much wisdom there is much grief" (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18).

He says from his opening words how he benefited from the wisdom given him by God. Does God give wisdom to grieve people? It is a sad accounting indeed. When coupled with James's teaching, Solomon's words would bring doubt to anyone's salvation.

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that person ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:5-8) Is not James's words reminiscent of Peter's warning to Simon?

Solomon must have exerted a great deal of energy to understand the workings of things on earth. Today there are two types of scientists globally; the first is the hopelessly depressed evolutionists who live life without God. The second is hope-filled believers who understand that in God's sovereignty, there is a plan for everything that takes place. Nothing is wearying about all the works of God to those with an eternal perspective.

I do not say I know Solomon's end; I am merely concerned for him like so many people I have known in my short lifetime of 67 years. If I could read some words of Solomon to give me comfort, like those of Job who probably lived long before Solomon, I would not be concerned.

"Yet as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last, He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh, I will see God." (Job 19:25, 26) But alas, I can find none.


A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS FOR THIS LESSON:

Solomon asked for wisdom, and he received wisdom and wealth.

"Then God said to Solomon, "Because this was in your heart, and you did not ask for riches, wealth, or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor did you even ask for long life, but you asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge so that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you." (2 Chronicles 1:11-12) When God speaks of Solomon's wisdom, He said wisdom had been granted to you.

When Solomon speaks of his wisdom, he says, "I said to myself, "Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me." (Ecclesiastes 1:16) His statement is proud.

When the king asked Daniel to tell him his dream, which no man outside the king could know, this is what Daniel had to say. "But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living person, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind." (Daniel 2:30) His statement is humble.

As for me, I will not be surprised to see Solomon in the kingdom one day, as I understand and accept the grace of God to be that big. However, neither would I be surprised to see him missing, as God's sovereignty is that great.

The statements of Solomon and Daniel could not have been more different.


If you want to learn a lesson from Solomon, learn this one. "Now concerning food sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes one conceited, but love edifies people. If any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows not yet as he ought to know; but if any man loves God, the same is known by him." (1 Corinthians 8:1-3) Therefore, the importance of Jesus' words, "I never knew you..."


To be continued...