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  The Great Bible Story #62
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Solomon begins his reign

Jacob Ninan
Solomon loved God and followed Him as David his father did, except that he also worshipped in 'high places'. High places were usually places where heathen nations worshipped their idols, but some of them were also places where Israel worshipped God by building altars. Solomon went to worship God at Gideon where the tabernacle of Moses was, even though David had set up the ark of the covenant in Jerusalem. There God appeared to him in a dream and asked him what he wanted. Solomon's reply was that since he was young and inexperienced he would like to receive wisdom from God to rule over the people well. This was so pleasing to God that He showed Solomon His appreciation for choosing wisdom above wealth and fame. God said that He would give him wisdom above everyone else and also that He would make him rich and famous as additional blessings.

Solomon's test of wisdom came almost immediately. Two prostitutes came to him with a case. They both had babies in the same day, and in the night one of them accidentally slept over her baby and the baby died. But in the morning she claimed that the dead baby belonged to the other woman and the living baby was hers! Solomon asked someone standing by to take a sword, divide the living baby into two and give to them. At this point the woman whose baby it really was cried out and pleaded with him not to kill the baby but to give him to the other woman. Now everyone was clear whose baby it really was! Solomon's reputation for wisdom shot up immediately.

Solomon became so wealthy that he could accumulate much gold, silver and precious stone, build huge buildings, have a large stable of horses, keep a huge array of soldiers, etc. Neighbouring nations began to pay tribute to him and send in valuable things as a token of respect. The queen of Sheba came all the way from her country to see him and his wealth and to observe his wisdom. When she was going back her comment was that what she saw was far greater than what she had imagined.

Solomon also married many foreign princesses, including the daughter of Pharaoh of Egypt. He did not pay any attention to God's commandment for Israel to be separate from the nations around them and not to intermarry with them. These women began to slowly turn his mind from God to their gods.

After completing a grand palace for himself, Solomon made a magnificent temple for God in Jerusalem. He also set up the ark in the temple.


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Comfort & Counsel