SOLOMON’S WISDOM (I Kings 3:3-28, 4:29-34, 5:1-12, 8:1-53) When Solomon became king, he offered 1000 burnt offerings to God. He feared God and followed the steps of his father David.
God asked him to make a request. Solomon asked for wisdom to rule the people of Israel aright. This pleased God and God added riches, honour and long life as well to the wisdom Solomon requested. This made him the wisest king Israel ever had.
As the king of Israel, Solomon made wise decisions, like in the judgment of a dispute between two harlots over a baby. That elevated king Solomon over all the kings of the surrounding nations and almost all of them came to hear his wisdom and see his wealth.
King Solomon gave three thousand proverbs and sang over one thousand songs. He built the first Temple of God in Jerusalem. Silver was as nothing Solomon’s time because Gold was abundant. 1King 10:21.
UNWISE DECISIONS OF SOLOMON (I Kings 9:15-23, 11:1-13, 12:1-12)
King Solomon engaged in expensive projects that consumed a lot of mineral resources. This made him to introduce forced labour on the people and they were unhappy.
He became a womanizer. He married 700 wives and had 300 concubines. He built temples for his wives to worship their gods. He even joined in worshipping those gods, thereby sinning against God. Some of his wives came from nations God warned Israelites not to marry from.
After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam, his son became king. The elders of Israel warned him not to rule like his father. The elders were led by Jeroboam. Rehoboam consulted with his friends and replied them saying: ‘my father chastised you with whips but I will chastise you with scorpions’. The people were annoyed and that led to the division of Israel into Northern (Israel) and Southern (Judah) Kingdoms.
Rehoboam, Solomon’s son remained king of Judah while Jeroboam became king of Israel.