Journey Through The Scriptures
Lesson 5: Solomon’s Worldwide Fame
(Scripture to Read: 1 Kings 8:1–66)
Many people are tempted to rest on their laurels after a great achievement. Building and dedicating the Temple of God was the high point of Solomon’s reign, but he filled his second twenty years (9:10) on the throne with many other activities. It is important to note that “the LORD appeared to [Solomon] a second time” (9:2) after the Temple was completed. God made Solomon a great promise, but also warned him about the consequences of disobedience. Solomon’s actions as the king of Israel would have far-reaching implications, as the later history of Israel demonstrated.
Indeed, the “avalanche” that was set in motion by Solomon’s failure to follow the Lord at the end of his life ultimately engulfed Israel and led to the Babylonian captivity. But the prospect that Israel might one day meet disaster seemed far away as Solomon engaged in building projects and other public works that displayed the magnificence of his kingdom. The visit by the Queen of Sheba demonstrated the reach of his fame, as she traveled from the southern part of Arabia to see if the fabulous stories she had heard about Israel’s king were true. The description of Solomon’s wealth and kingdom proved that the reports were true beyond her greatest imagination.
- What is the significance of God’s promise that His “eyes” and “heart” would always be in the Temple (9:3)?
- Solomon’s Egyptian wife, whom he married at the beginning of his reign (3:1), is mentioned in 1 Kings 9:24. What clue does this marriage give us about Solomon’s later problems?
- How did the Queen of Sheba testify to God’s blessing upon Solomon?
- What attribute of Solomon was still being displayed even after he had been king of Israel for many years?
Something to Think About
The last half of Solomon’s reign should have been the “golden years” of his life—and they were, to a large degree. But evidently a desire was slowly developing during those years that would culminate in Solomon’s spiritual downfall. Let us heed this reminder to guard our hearts!