Solomon was the fourth son of King David. He was anointed king just before the death of David. When David was on his deathbed, he told his son to obey God and be a good king.
Solomon was very young and he realized that he was too inexperienced to rule over a great nation, such as Israel. He had shared the love for God with his father. So, he decided to go to the holy place of Gibeon.
There, he offered sacrifices to the Lord and prayed. Finally, the Lord appeared in his dream. God said, “Solomon, say what you desire. Today I will grant you whatever you ask for.”
“Lord, you guided my father, and showed him great mercy. Now, you have chosen me to succeed my father. I only wish for You to give me Your blessing to rule over Israel with a wise heart,” Solomon said.
God said, “I am truly pleased. When you had the chance to ask for riches, victory over you enemies or long life, you asked for wisdom. I will grant you your wish. You shall also have success and riches. You shall have all of this till the time you live by the Ten Commandments.”
Solomon turned out to be a great king. People from all over the world visited his court and paid him tributes. He was not only a good king but also a good poet. He wrote many songs and the skilled writers in his court recorded thousands of his clever sayings.
One day, two women came to Solomon’s court, with a unique problem. “My Lord, we both live in the same house and each of us has a baby-boy. One night, her baby died. So, she stole my baby. As I woke up in the morning to feed the baby, I knew at once that the dead baby was not mine. And now, she denies to have stolen my baby,” the first woman explained.
“Of course, I will deny it. It is because this baby is mine. You are lying!” the second woman exclaimed. King Solomon sent for his guard and said, “Take this baby and cut him into half; give one half to each of these women.”
The first woman flung herself at Solomon’s feet. “Please don’t harm the baby. Give him to the other woman!” she wept. “Of course, My Lord. You can cut him. This way, neither of us will have a baby and it will resolve our quarrel,” the second woman said rather calmly.
King Solomon smiled. Now, he knew who the real mother was. Handing the baby over to the first woman, he said, “Don’t cry now; your problem has been solved.”
The entire Israel came to hear the story of Solomon’s wise justice. Everyone knew that King Solomon was indeed blessed by the Lord Himself.
King David had desired to build a temple for God in Jerusalem in order to keep the sacred Ark of Covenant. Over time, he had gathered a great treasure of gold, silver, brass and iron. But God forbade David from doing so because he was a ‘man of wars’.
God wanted a ‘man of peace’ to build the temple. So, He chose David’s son Solomon for the purpose. After four peaceful years of reign as king, Solomon decided to start building the temple of God.
The most skilled craftsmen built the temple with the best of every material. Thousands of people helped build it. It took seven years to complete the construction. And it was a sight to behold!
The temple was immense and ornate, beautiful and strong. It was grander than any other palace. The day the temple was dedicated to God, was a day of great celebration in Israel. Everyone was invited to the occasion.
The priests placed the Ark of the Covenant inside the temple. Solomon knelt before the altar and prayed to God to bless the Israelites with His mercy and goodness forever.