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The wisdom of Solomon

King Solomon, two mothers and a baby.
Contributed by Moody Publishers
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Hindi
For forty years King David had ruled the people of Israel. When the time came for him to die, he called his son Solomon to his bedside, and he gave the rule of the kingdom into his hands. – Slide 1
It was a heavy task for the young prince, for Israel was a great nation, but his father reminded him that the Lord would give him wisdom and understanding. – Slide 2
David said, ‘There is much work for you to do, my son, but above all don’t forget to walk in God’s ways and obey His commandments.’ – Slide 3
It was a happy day for the people of Israel when Solomon was made king. Trumpets blew and the people shouted. Solomon was a good king, and, remembering his father’s words, he asked God to guide him. – Slide 4
One night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said, ‘Ask what I shall give you.’ Solomon was filled with wonder, but he didn’t hesitate. – Slide 5
He told the Lord he wanted to be a good, upright king like his father David, but he didn’t know how to rule a great nation, so he asked God to give him wisdom to do what was right. – Slide 6
God was pleased when Solomon asked for wisdom rather than riches, and promised him great wisdom and an understanding heart. God also promised to bless Solomon with honour and wealth if he obeyed His commandments. – Slide 7
Solomon realised that truly the Lord had spoken to him, and he praised God. ‘Happy is the man that finds wisdom and understanding,’ he said.  Soon Solomon’s new wisdom was put to the test. – Slide 8
One day two women were ushered into the court and stood before the king.  They were crying and quarrelling. One was holding a baby in her arms. – Slide 9
The other woman pointed to her. ‘This woman has taken my child!’ she said. ‘She rolled on her own son in the night and smothered him. Then she took my child and put the dead one beside me.’ – Slide 10
‘That’s not true!’ the second woman said. ‘This child is mine and the dead one is hers.’ – Slide 11
‘No! The child is mine!’ the first woman said to the king. – Slide 12
King Solomon looked at them – and they stopped arguing. – Slide 13
Everybody in the court was quiet, waiting to hear what Solomon would say. – Slide 14
‘Bring me a sword!’ he demanded. The women and all the people looked at him in surprise. Quickly a soldier sprang forward, his sword bared. – Slide 15
Then the king said, ‘Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other’ Then he watched the two mothers closely. – Slide 16
The first woman shrugged. ‘That’s fair enough... then the child will be neither mine nor hers.’ – Slide 17
But the other woman threw herself at the king’s feet. ‘O my lord king, do not kill the child! I’d rather you gave him to the other woman than kill him.’ Then Solomon knew the answer. – Slide 18
He said, ‘Give her the child!’ For the king knew that she was the real mother. – Slide 19
King Solomon was talked about in all the land, because he was kind and just, wiser than any king before him and all his people were happy. – Slide 20
Solomon built a magnificent temple for the praise and worship of God.  He also built courts and palaces in Jerusalem. His fame spread far and wide. – Slide 21
In the distant court of Sheba, in southern Arabia, merchants told their queen of the wealth and wisdom of Solomon, but she could hardly believe their stories.  She wanted to see for herself ... – Slide 22
... so she travelled a thousand miles across the harsh desert, followed by camels bearing gifts for the king – gold, spices and jewels. – Slide 23
At last she stood in Solomon’s magnificent court! There were many things she wanted to see and many questions she wanted to ask this wise man. Solomon showed her the temple where his people worshipped God and took her to see his palace. – Slide 24
As the Queen of Sheba sat at Solomon’s table and listened to him, she realised that his people loved and served him because he was a wise and good king. – Slide 25
She said, ‘Happy are your men. Happy are your servants that hear your wisdom!’ – Slide 26
But Solomon knew that his wealth and earthly possessions would not last forever, for he said, ‘Riches make themselves wings.’ – Slide 27
Solomon knew that the magnificent temple, which had taken thousands of men seven years to build ... and his palace … – Slide 28
... of carved stone, the jewelled courts, the ivory throne, all the riches of his great kingdom... would pass away some day. The glory of Solomon has long since departed. – Slide 29
But the wisdom God gave him survived the passing years, and has been strengthened with each test of time. – Slide 30
And today, we can find blessing in the wisdom of God, as spoken by His servant Solomon, wisdom recorded in the Book of Proverbs: – Slide 31
He ‘that has friends must show himself friendly.’ – Slide 32
‘A wise son hears his father’s instructions.’ – Slide 33
‘A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.’ – Slide 34
Solomon’s greatest treasure was the wisdom that God had given him. The Bible tells us that we can find true wisdom too by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and following Him. For we read that in Him are hidden ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ (Colossians 2:3) – Slide 35
Slide 36