1. “THE LORD GIVETH WISDOM”
a. When Solomon began to reign over Israel, what did God say to him in a dream, and what was Solomon’s request? 1 Kings 3:5–9.
b. What did the Lord promise Solomon after his wise petition? 1 Kings 3:11–14; Proverbs 2:6.
c. What should every worker in the Lord’s vineyard realize? James 1:5–7.
“Those who today occupy positions of trust should seek to learn the lesson taught by Solomon’s prayer. The higher the position a man occupies, the greater the responsibility that he has to bear, the wider will be the influence that he exerts and the greater his need of dependence on God. Ever should he remember that with the call to work comes the call to walk circumspectly before his fellow men. He is to stand before God in the attitude of a learner.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 30.
2. EVERY BURDEN BEARER NEEDS WISDOM
a. How does the Bible describe a true burden bearer? Matthew 24:45–47; John 21:15–17; Acts 20:28.
“When a burden bearer desires wisdom more than he desires wealth, power, or fame, he will not be disappointed. Such a one will learn from the Great Teacher not only what to do, but how to do it in a way that will meet with the divine approval.
“So long as he remains consecrated, the man whom God has endowed with discernment and ability will not manifest an eagerness for high position, neither will he seek to rule or control. Of necessity men must bear responsibilities; but instead of striving for the supremacy, he who is a true leader will pray for an understanding heart, to discern between good and evil.
“The path of men who are placed as leaders is not an easy one. But they are to see in every difficulty a call to prayer. Never are they to fail of consulting the great Source of all wisdom. Strengthened and enlightened by the Master Worker, they will be enabled to stand firm against unholy influences and to discern right from wrong, good from evil. They will approve that which God approves and will strive earnestly against the introduction of wrong principles into His cause.”—Ibid., p.31.
b. What is written about the early reign of Solomon? 1 Kings 3:28; 4:29, 34.
“For many years Solomon’s life was marked with devotion to God, with uprightness and firm principle, and with strict obedience to God’s commands. He directed in every important enterprise and managed wisely the business matters connected with the kingdom. His wealth and wisdom, the magnificent buildings and public works that he constructed during the early years of his reign, the energy, piety, justice, and magnanimity that he revealed in word and deed, won the loyalty of his subjects and the admiration and homage of the rulers of many lands.”—Ibid., p.32.
“None understood better than [Solomon] that these gifts [of power, wisdom and glory] were bestowed in order that he might give to the world a knowledge of God.”—The Review and Herald, December 7, 1905.
3. THE TEMPLE BUILT WITH HEAVENLY WISDOM
a. What was the monumental work of King Solomon? 1 Kings 6:1, 7, 38.
“Of surpassing beauty and unrivaled splendor was the palatial building which Solomon and his associates erected for God and His worship. . . . The [Mount Moriah] spot on which the temple was built had long been regarded as a consecrated place. It was here that Abraham, the father of the faithful, had revealed his willingness to sacrifice his only son in obedience to the command of Jehovah. Here God had renewed with Abraham the covenant of blessing, which included the glorious Messianic promise to the human race of deliverance through the sacrifice of the Son of the Most High. (See Genesis 22:9, 16–18.) Here it was that when David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to stay the avenging sword of the destroying angel, God had answered him by fire from heaven. (See 1 Chronicles 21.) And now once more the worshipers of Jehovah were here to meet their God and renew their vows of allegiance to Him.”—Prophets and Kings, pp. 36, 37.
b. As soon as the magnificent building was completed, what was brought into the temple? 2 Chronicles 5:1–5.
c. Describe the solemn ceremony attending the bringing of the ark of the covenant to the temple. 2 Chronicles 5:12, 13. Summarize Solomon’s dedicatory prayer. 1 Kings 8:23–53.
“Solomon . . . knelt upon the platform, and in the hearing of all the people offered the dedicatory prayer. Lifting his hands toward heaven, while the congregation were bowed with their faces to the ground, the king pleaded [in prayer to God].”—Ibid., p.40.
“As Solomon ended his prayer, ‘fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices.’ The priests could not enter the temple because ‘the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house’ (2 Chronicles 7:1, 2).”—Ibid., p.45.
4. WISDOM MISUSED
a. How did Solomon lament the misuse of his wisdom in his later years? Ecclesiastes 2:1–3, 7, 10, 15.
b. In contrast to Solomon’s wrong course, what was the path pursued by Christ? Matthew 8:20; Acts 10:38. What can we learn from the study of Christ’s methods of labor?
“Those who, in response to the call of the hour, have entered the service of the Master Worker, may well study His methods. He took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel.
“In the intervals of His journeys to and fro, Jesus dwelt at Capernaum, which came to be known as ‘His own city’ (Matthew 9:1). Situated on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour’s work. People from many lands passed through the city or tarried for rest. There Jesus met with those of all nations and all ranks, and thus His lessons were carried to other countries and into many households. By this means interest was aroused in the prophecies pointing forward to the Messiah, attention was directed to the Saviour, and His mission was brought before the world.”—Ibid., p.73.
c. What did Solomon say when he came to his senses? Ecclesiastes 2:16–18. What lesson should we learn from the failure of Solomon?
“The conflict before us calls for the exercise of a spirit of self-denial, for distrust of self and for dependence on God alone, for the wise use of every opportunity for the saving of souls. The Lord’s blessing will attend His church as they advance unitedly, revealing to a world lying in the darkness of error the beauty of holiness as manifested in a Christlike spirit of self-sacrifice, in an exaltation of the divine rather than the human, and in loving and untiring service for those so much in need of the blessings of the gospel.”—Ibid., p.74.
5. SOLOMON’S REPENTANCE
a. How did the Holy Spirit, finally, arouse the dormant conscience of Solomon? 1 Kings 11:11, 12. What effect did the Lord’s sentence have upon him? Ecclesiastes 2: 11, 13.
“[1 Kings 11:11–28 quoted.] Awakened as from a dream by this sentence of judgment pronounced against him and his house, Solomon with quickened conscience began to see his folly in its true light. Chastened in spirit, with mind and body enfeebled, he turned wearied and thirsting from earth’s broken cisterns, to drink once more at the fountain of life. . . . Long had he been harassed by the fear of utter ruin because of inability to turn from folly; but now he discerned in the message given him a ray of hope.”—Ibid., p.77.
b. In his later writings, against what danger did Solomon take much interest to warn especially the youth? Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:13, 14.
“Till the conflict is ended, there will be those who will depart from God. Satan will so shape circumstances that unless we are kept by divine power, they will almost imperceptibly weaken the fortifications of the soul. We need to inquire at every step, ‘Is this the way of the Lord?’ So long as life shall last, there will be need of guarding the affections and the passions with a firm purpose. Not one moment can we be secure except as we rely upon God, the life hidden with Christ. Watchfulness and prayer are the safeguards of purity.”—Ibid., pp.83, 84.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What lesson should every worker in the Lord’s vineyard learn from Solomon’s request?
2. How does the Bible describe a true burden bearer?
3. How did Solomon lament the misuse of his wisdom in his later years?
4. What did Solomon say when he came to his senses?
5. Against what danger did Solomon take much interest to warn especially the youth?