1 Kings 10:23-25 (NIV) 23 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24 The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 25 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift–articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
On verses 14-28: Previously Solomon had prayed for a wise and discerning heart. God was so pleased with Solomon’s request that He decided to grant Solomon not only a wise and discerning heart but riches and honor as well, such that in terms of wisdom there would never be anyone like Solomon and in terms of riches Solomon would have no equal in his lifetime (1 Kings 3:12-13).
Here in these verses we see the fulfillment of God’s promises. King Solomon becomes “greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.” (1 Kings 10:23) In terms of wisdom, the surrounding nations regularly sought an audience with Solomon to hear what he had to say (v24). In terms of riches, Solomon had an abundance of gold and other wealth and resources.
Unfortunately all this splendor and even Solomon’s wisdom would be short-lived. That is because Solomon’s heart would eventually turn away from the Lord.
In contrast, Jesus never lived in a palace, sat on a throne (let alone a gold-plated ivory one) or rode in a chariot (let alone 1,400 hundred of them) during his lifetime on earth. The only gold Jesus saw in his lifetime was probably the gold that was presented to him at his birth. While Solomon rode on horses imported from Egypt, Jesus rode a donkey locally bred in Israel. Silver, which was considered of little value during Solomon’s reign, was the price the religious leaders paid for Jesus’ handing over. In all material respects Jesus’ splendour was nothing compared to Solomon’s. Yet which son of David now sits on the throne, reigning supreme, and has all authority in heaven and earth given to him? Not Solomon, but Jesus.
It goes to show that you can live like Solomon — be hot for God for a short season, only to get distracted by the world’s pleasures. Or you can live like Jesus, seeking to be faithful to God’s call on your life till the very end.
Choose Solomon’s way and you may get some earthly recognition and esteem, but neither your wisdom nor your splendor will last. Choose Jesus’ way and you may be a “nobody” in most people’s eyes, but your wisdom and riches will last forever and in the end will far exceed Solomon of this world.
Heavenly Father, thank You that the kingdom, the riches and the wisdom You are calling me to chase are not temporary but eternal. No matter how much splendor or wisdom You give me in this lifetime, may my heart always set on simply obeying You and trusting You. Let YOUR kingdom come and expand YOUR territory in my life. Thank You that far greater riches are waiting for me in heaven. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!