Bible Readings for December 2nd
As we studied 1 Chronicles, we noticed all the ways that the Chronicler put David front and center in the story of Israel. We might think, then, that we will find a similar expansion of Solomon’s role, since he is the immediate son of David; however, in 2 Chronicles, we find that the Chronicler actually avoids giving us as many details about the life of Solomon as we read in the accounts from 1 Kings.
Here in 2 Chronicles 1, for example, Solomon’s stories are significantly truncated. In 1 Kings 1–2, we read about how Solomon established his kingdom against Adonijah by executing vengeance upon the enemies of his father, David, but we read nothing of that here in 2 Chronicles 1. Then, while we do have the story from 1 Kings 3 about how Solomon asked Yahweh for wisdom when Yahweh offered him anything that his heart desired, we do not find the story of how Solomon wisely identifies the rightful mother of the baby of two prostitutes that we read in 1 Kings 3:16–28. Furthermore, in 1 Kings 4:1–19, we read a list of all of Solomon’s officials—a list similar in kind to the lists of David’s officials that we saw back in 1 Chronicles 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, and 23–27. But, where the Chronicler extensively details all the various officials in the various departments of David’s administration, we find no such list of Solomon’s officials anywhere in 2 Chronicles. Finally, we do read a description of Solomon’s wealth in 2 Chronicles 1:14–17, but it is not nearly as long as the one given in 1 Kings 4:20–34.
Why would the Chronicler go to such lengths to document detailed descriptions of David’s kingdom but comparatively pass over large swaths of details regarding Solomon’s kingdom? In fact, the writing of these narratives prevents us from thinking that Solomon is the greater Son of David whom we have been anticipating—the ultimate Davidic king. The shrinking footprint of Solomon in the books of Chronicles keeps us longing for Someone greater than Solomon (Matt. 12:42).
There is a warning here not to allow anyone or anything in our lives to displace the Lord Jesus in our hearts. It is all too easy for us to look to good things—families, relationships, careers, hobbies, or even political candidates—as the solution to our problems, so that we tie up our hearts in them and expect to find some kind of salvation there. But if even King Solomon himself was not the great Son of David who would reign forever on the throne of Israel, why should we believe that our own stand-ins for Jesus will suffice? In the words of the Apostle John, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.