Bible Readings for October 7th
Solomon’s glory as king of Israel reaches its pinnacle in 1 Kings 10. We read an initial report of Solomon’s great wisdom, wealth, and fame in 1 Kings 4, but we find a fuller inventory here in this chapter. Chiefly, these descriptions of Israel’s golden age under Solomon accomplish two things: (1) they provide a shadow of the glory of Christ’s greater kingdom, as we discussed in our meditation for 1 Kings 4–5, and (2) they provide some clues as to why nothing less than the coming of Jesus into this world could usher in that greater kingdom.
Part of the function of including the story of the queen of Sheba in 1 Kings 10 is to underscore how far short the descriptions of Solomon’s kingdom fall from actually depicting the full extent of his kingdom’s glory. The queen of Sheba’s independent findings help to allay our skepticism: “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me” (1 Kgs. 10:6–7).
In the same way, our own imaginations are too weak to fathom the riches of glory we stand to gain in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 2:9–10, Paul writes this: “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit, who searches out the depths of God, begins to reveal an inkling of the glory that is to be revealed—and on that day, when Jesus Christ returns, all we will be able to say will be, “Behold, the half was not told me.”
But if things were so good during the days of Solomon, why did Solomon himself fall away from worshiping Yahweh, as we will read about tomorrow in 1 Kings 11? What we learn from this story is that no amount of wisdom, success, wealth, and prosperity can provide us contentment outside of Christ. As Solomon grew to enjoy his vast possessions more and more, his heart fell away from enjoying the Giver of these good gifts first and foremost.
Solomon stands as a warning for us to guard our hearts from being drawn away to whatever treasures we might find in this life. For this, we need to pray for God’s Spirit not only to constrain our hearts from greed but also to teach us how much better Jesus is than the riches we can accumulate. For, in the words of Jesus, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).
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.