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From the series: David PREVIOUS PAGE

Solomon (1 Kings 1 - 3)

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Lesson1

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Main Point: God gives wisdom to those who ask for it.

Key Verse: If any of you need wisdom, ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone. He doesn't find fault. - James 1:5

Props: Two clear empty glasses, a clear pitcher full of water, and a large plastic bin

Background/Review

Say: David was the King that ruled over God’s people, the Israelites. He was not perfect; he made many heart-breaking decisions during his reign. But David loved and trusted God. He was a man after God’s own heart. David’s first wife was Saul’s daughter Michal. David and Michal did not have any children together. David married several other women, as most kings did at that time. (This was never God’s plan. God has designed marriage for one man and one woman forever.) His last wife was named Bathsheba. David loved her very much. Their youngest son was named Solomon. In all, David had over 20 sons and one daughter.

Adonijah Tries To Become King (1 Kings 1:1-27)

Usually, the oldest son would become King after his father either died or stepped down from the throne. But in this case, David promised Bathsheba that their son, Solomon, would be the next King of Israel. When David had become an old man, unable to do much of anything, his oldest living son, Adonijah, decided he would take the throne. Adonijah was handsome and spoiled. Here is one of the heart-breaking mistakes that David made. He did not discipline his sons. The Bible says, “His father had never tried to stop him from doing what he wanted to. His father had never asked him, ‘Why are you acting the way you do?’” (1 Kings 1:6) So when Adonijah knew that his father was old and weak, he announced, “I’m going to be king.” (1 Kings 1:5) He even gathered lots of people together and started to throw a party in his own honor. He sacrificed animals and invited all the royal officials and all of his brothers - except Solomon.

Some the people closest to David did not go to Adonijah’s party. The prophet Nathan went to Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, and told her what Adonijah was up to. Nathan told her that she must go tell David what was going on. Nathan knew that Adonijah would kill Bathsheba and Solomon once he was king, because he didn’t want his little brother to ever challenge him.

So Bathsheba went to David and bowed before him. She reminded him that he had promised that Solomon would be the next king. She told David that Adonijah was already saying that he was the King.

“And now, my lord the King, all Israel is waiting for you to announce who will become King after you. If you do not act, my son Solomon and I will be treated as criminals as soon as my lord the King has died.” - 1 Kings 1:20-21

Right away, the prophet Nathan entered and told David that Bathsheba was telling the truth.

Solomon Becomes King (1 Kings 1:28-53)

Say: King David responded, “Call Bathsheba!” So she came back in and stood before the King. And the King repeated his vow: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has rescued me from every danger, your son Solomon will be the next King and will sit on my throne this very day, just as I vowed to you before the Lord, the God of Israel.” - 1 Kings 1:28-30

David commanded his bodyguards, Nathan the prophet, and one of the priests to take Solomon to a special place and anoint him as the new King over Israel. After the priest anointed Solomon with oil, they blew a loud horn and shouted, “Long live King Solomon!”

And all the people followed Solomon into Jerusalem, playing flutes and shouting for joy. The celebration was so joyous and noisy that the earth shook with the sound. Adonijah and his guests heard the celebrating and shouting just as they were finishing their banquet. When Joab heard the sound of the ram’s horn, he asked, “What’s going on? Why is the city in such an uproar?” - 1 Kings 1:40-41

The entire city celebrated the new King. A messenger went to Adonijah’s feast and told him that Solomon was the new King. Ask: How do you think he took this news? Listen for answers. Say: He was gripped with fear. He was afraid that Solomon would have him killed. Adonijah went from being cocky and full of himself to being scared to death in a matter of seconds! All of his guests were also panic-stricken. They took off to their homes. They didn’t want to be known as the people who were enemies of the new King!

Adonijah ran to the tabernacle and pleaded for the Lord to spare his life. When Solomon heard about his brother cowering in fear, he sent a message to him.

Solomon replied, “If he proves himself to be loyal, not a hair on his head will be touched. But if he makes trouble, he will die.” So King Solomon summoned Adonijah, and they brought him down from the altar. He came and bowed respectfully before King Solomon, who dismissed him, saying, “Go on home.” - 1 Kings 1:52-53

David’s Charge To Solomon (1 Kings 2)

Say: Some of David’s last words were spoken as advice to his son, King Solomon.

"I'm about to die, just as everyone else on earth does. So be strong. Show how brave you are. Do everything the Lord your God requires. Live the way he wants you to. Obey his orders and commands. Keep his laws and rules. Do everything that is written in the Law of Moses. Then you will have success in everything you do. You will succeed everywhere you go.

"The Lord will keep the promise He made to me. He said, 'Your sons must be careful about how they live. They must be faithful to Me with all their heart and soul. Then you will always have a man sitting on the throne of Israel.' - 1 Kings 2:2-4

Application: Wow. That is wonderful advice. You know, our life is made up of decisions. Some decisions seem so small that you hardly even notice them. These are decisions like what to eat for breakfast, when to go outside and play, and who to sit next to at lunch. Some decisions are big and you may think about them for a long time. These might be things like whether or not you’ll run for class president. As you get older you’ll face more of these decisions. You’ll have to decide where to go to college and what job you’ll want to do. But here’s the thing: every decision you make should be based on what God wants you to do. This is true of the big and the small decisions. You may think that is going overboard, but what could be better than God’s best for you? Go to the Lord in every decision, lean on Him for every step you take (Proverbs 3:5). Then you will always be right where He wants you to be. This is truly abiding in Him.

Ask: Where did David tell Solomon to find God’s rules? In the Law of Moses. Say: Did you know that those of us who believe in Jesus have something even better than the Law of Moses? We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. The very Spirit of God is inside of you and He will guide your every step if you’ll simply listen to Him. As we continue, take notice of the decisions Solomon made.

Say: Next, David warned Solomon about his enemies, and reminded him who had been loyal friends of His. Then David died, after ruling over Israel for 40 years. After David died, Solomon did all the things his father had instructed. He destroyed his enemies and rewarded those who were trustworthy.

Solomon Asks God For Wisdom (1 Kings 3:1-15)

Say: Here we come to a very important moment in Solomon’s life. But first, I have a question for you. Ask: If I could grant any wish for you, what would it be? Call on several students to answer. Say: Those are great wishes, but unfortunately, I can’t grant those wishes. Well, one night, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Wow! That was some offer! And it came from the only One who could really grant it. Of all the things in the whole world he could have asked for, let’s see what Solomon said:

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“Now, O Lord my God, You have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of Your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern Your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of Yours?”

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing My people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies - I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for - riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow Me and obey My decrees and My commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.” - 1 Kings 3:7-14 NLT

Solomon woke up, went to Jerusalem and offered sacrifices to the Lord. Then he threw a big banquet for his officials.

Solomon chose very well by asking for wisdom. Wisdom is knowing what is true and right, and having good judgment when making decisions.

God’s plan for Solomon was to rule over God’s people. Solomon knew that he could not rule well without God’s wisdom. Riches and earthly things would not make him better able to rule. Only God’s wisdom would make him able to live out God’s plan. Not only did God give great wisdom to Solomon, but He also added every other blessing that he did not ask for. God gives abundantly to those who have a heart that trusts in Him! (Genesis 24:35)

Teacher: Hold up your empty glass, making sure the large plastic bin is directly beneath it. Say: Solomon knew that he lacked wisdom. He asked God to fill him with wisdom. Hold up your pitcher of water and begin slowly pouring into the cup as you speak. (Do not stop pouring. Let it overflow and spill down into the bin below.) Say: God was very pleased with Solomon’s request. Generously, God began to pour wisdom into the young King. He poured and poured and poured. God gave not just a little wisdom, but a LOT of wisdom. Then He added wealth and fame. Hold up the overflowing cup. Was Solomon wise now? Yes! God said there would never be another king like him. Now he had what he needed to accomplish God’s plan. (Of course God’s pitcher of wisdom will never dry up! In actuality, this pitcher would be more like a fire hose drawing water from the ocean!)

Application: It is the same for each of us. How can we know what’s true and right, and be able to make good decisions without wisdom from God? Left to our own thoughts, we would hardly ever do the right thing. The Bible says that if we rely on our own thoughts and feelings, we are FOOLISH (Proverbs 26:12). But God is HAPPY to fill us with His wisdom. James 1:5 says:

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If any of you need wisdom, ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone. He doesn't find fault.

Now what kind of person do you want to be? Hold up the empty cup. A person that lacks what they need to accomplish God’s plan, or, (hold up the full cup) a person overflowing with wisdom and blessings simply because you asked God for it?

Solomon Acts Wisely (1 Kings 3:16-28)

Say: Some time later, Solomon had an opportunity to put his wisdom into practice. Two women came to him to have him settle a big argument between them. The two women lived in the same house. They had each had a baby. The first woman told Solomon that the other woman’s baby had died in the night, so she came and took the first woman’s baby and laid the baby that had died beside her. But the other woman argued that it was the other way around. She said it was the first woman’s baby who had died. The two women argued back and forth about the babies.

Then the King said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. All right, bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought to the King.

Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!”

Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child - please do not kill him!”

But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!”

Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!”

When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice. - 1 Kings 3:23-27 NLT

Say: Solomon was indeed very wise. He never intended to kill the innocent baby! He knew that the real mother would never allow her own child to be killed. The other mother was probably so terribly sad that her baby had died that she was not thinking clearly and said to go ahead and kill the living baby. Solomon’s wisdom became known throughout the land. This is just a glimpse of the fame that God had promised!

Ask: Who can name some of the smartest and creative people who ever lived - scientists, inventors, composers, or artists? Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci. Say: Solomon was pretty much like all those people rolled into one! He wrote thousands of songs and proverbs, he wrote books and textbooks to teach other people. People came from all the nations to hear him teach because of his wisdom (1 Kings 4:29-34).

But remember, Solomon’s wisdom did not come from Solomon. Where did his wisdom come from? From God! Say: God promised to give Solomon wisdom, and God ALWAYS keeps His promises. God makes this same promise to us! Let’s read James 1:5 together:

PPT CUE: Key Verse

Key Verse: If any of you need wisdom, ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone. He doesn't find fault. - James 1:5

PPT CUE: Main Point

Main Point: God gives wisdom to those who ask for it.

Note to Teacher: Of course, Solomon’s reign did not end as well as it started. Solomon was given every single advantage that a man could be given. He overflowed with God’s wisdom, and he even had the privilege of being used by God to build His Temple (1 Kings 5:5).

In 1 Kings 9:6-9, God once again made a personal plea to Solomon not to turn away from the Lord and worship other gods. He warned Solomon that if he or his sons turned from worshipping the One true God, ruin was sure to follow. Sadly, 1 Kings 11 details Solomon’s unfaithful heart toward the Lord. Solomon loved many foreign women from nations that God had warned His people about (see Deuteronomy 17:17). In all, Solomon married 700 wives, and had 300 concubines. “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” (1 Kings 11:4) Foolishly, he built altars to the gods of all of his many wives, and even joined them in worshipping there. And because of this, the rule of the kingdom did not remain in the hands of Solomon’s sons.

Let this be a sobering warning to us. Though we may be right where God wants us today, there is no guarantee that we will remain there. We must abide in the Lord - remain in Him day by day, minute by minute. We must lean on His understanding for each decision that we make. Then we, like Paul can say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

As for the people of Israel, they demanded a king to lead them into peace and prosperity (1 Samuel 8:20), but no human king could deliver. No human king could reign in righteousness and truth. Only one Man could fulfill the promises that God had made about the Messiah who would come through the line of David: “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Jesus was the fulfillment of all God’s promises. “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with Child and give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.’” (Luke 1:30-33) Let us put our trust only in Jesus, the King of kings!


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Related Topics: Wisdom, Children's Curriculum