When looking at men whom God has blessed throughout the Bible, Solomon can’t be ignored. He was the most-blessed figure in the Old Testament – so much so that God said that there was never anyone blessed like Solomon before, nor will there be after him for all of his days. (1st Chronicles 2:12, 1st Kings 3:13)
Often times, we look at Solomon and wonder why God doesn’t bless us in the same manner. After all, we are kings and priests in Christ. (1st Peter 2:9) However this question is based on a faulty premise: that God has indeed not blessed us to an equal and even greater measure than He has blessed Solomon. That’s why in this study today, we will be looking at the blessings God gave Solomon, and also how today in Christ Jesus, we have such a greater measure, that if Solomon was here, he would be asking us for a loan!
So let’s begin our study today by reading the more detailed account of Solomon from 1st Kings 3:11-14:
“And God said to him, Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life; neither have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies; but have asked for yourself understanding to discern judgment;
Behold, I have done according to your words: see, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like to you.
And I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like to you all your days.
And if you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days.”
Now some people read this and think “Hmm, I really want the riches and honor, so I will ask God for wisdom, and He’ll give me the riches and honor.” But this too, presupposes something incorrect about God; that God doesn’t really want you to have riches or honor, so you feel as though you need to trick Him into giving it to you. This is a wrong idea and belief about God.
The truth of the matter (as we see in verse 13) is that God gave Solomon riches and honor even though he did not ask for them. Solomon asked only for wisdom and understanding and God gave him riches and honor to go along with it, because God knew something that Solomon later wrote about… that prosperity destroys fools. You see, God is not against prosperity, wealth or riches, not at all. If wealth was evil, then God would be the most evil being in existence, because all wealth is His. (1st Chronicles 29:12, Haggai 2:8) Solomon wrote in Proverbs 1:32 that the fool allows prosperity to destroy him, and of course God already knew this, so when Solomon asked for and received wisdom, God was also able and generous to give him riches and honor along with it. You see, God is not against prosperity. And prosperity destroys fools. Many believers think that God is keeping them poor to keep them humble, or they fear that wealth would destroy them; well if you think that prosperity will destroy you child of God, then… perhaps you should ask God for wisdom.
Notice something in-particular in verse 14… there was a stipulation to one aspect of the blessing. God says If you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days.
Now there are several interesting things in this statement. First the condition for lengthening of days. The other blessings, wisdom, understanding, riches and honor, were all absolute and without conditions. But length of days had a condition to it. The condition was that Solomon had to walk in God’s ways, to keep His statues and commandments as Solomon’s father David did walk. Now, question: was David a perfect man? David did not keep God’s statutes or commandments perfectly. We know that he committed adultery and murder, among other things. So what was it about David that made him a man after God’s own heart and worthy of Solomon’s emulation? The name David in Hebrew means “beloved”, and throughout his life, David was always sure of one single thing: that God loved him. So much so that when presented with a choice of punishment, between being placed in the hands of men, or in the hands of God, David chose the hands of God, because he knew that God would always deal with him from a position of love and not from anger. (2nd Samuel 24:14) It was David who wrote that the lovingkindness of the LORD is better than life in Psalms 63:3 – and most importantly, whenever David did sin, he always repented and offered sacrifices to the LORD. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. (Hebrews 9:22) Today, we have the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ. This fact is key as we move forward in our study.
Solomon on the other hand, did not do this. In-fact we read in 1st Kings 11, how Solomon’s wives turned his heart to other gods in Idolatry, and he sacrificed to those gods instead of to the LORD.
So, now we move on to the question which everyone wants answered. Since Solomon was obviously not a perfect man, and God blessed him with so much, how is it then that in Christ we have even better blessings, and how can we see those blessings in our life? Well, my friend, it all comes from believing and receiving the truth of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:32)
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:13-16 about wisdom and all of her benefits, and we find some important details as we read it:
“Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding.
For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things you can desire are not to be compared to her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor.”
From this, we can see that that the man who finds wisdom and understanding is made “happy”. Now that word “happy” in verse 13, is the Hebrew word eser, which actually denotes the happiness that comes from being blessed. We see in verses 14 and 15, that wisdom is more valuable than silver and gold, as well as more precious than rubies and anything else that you can possibly desire.
Consider, now, knowing that wisdom is more valuable than all of these things, you can see how all of the other things will be included therefore under the umbrella of wisdom. Think of it like this. If gold is more valuable than rocks, I will have no trouble acquiring rocks if I have gold. The blessing of gold is greater than the blessing of rocks. The lesser blessing is always included in the greater blessing. This is why Romans 8:32 holds true for us – Jesus Christ, being the absolute greatest blessing of all, naturally has every other blessing included with Him, because every other blessing is lesser than Himself.
Notice something interesting from verse 16, Wisdom here personified as a woman, has two hands. Length of days is in her right hand; and riches and honor are in her left hand. Solomon only received the left hand, because the stipulation of him obeying God’s commandments and statutes prevented him from receiving the right hand – because Solomon’s wives turned him towards idols and away from the LORD.
However, in Christ, we have blessings far beyond what even Solomon had. Just in-case you weren’t sure, Matthew 12:42 states that Jesus is greater than Solomon. We have the greater One – we have the One with greater wisdom; we have the One with greater understanding; we have the One with greater riches and greater honor; and we have the One whose obedience is always perfect and whose heart can never be turned away. We stand complete, perfect in Him, and our blessedness and assurance is everlasting. We are secured by His righteousness.
I want to close the study today with a visual picture of how much greater your blessing is in Christ Jesus. Turn with me now to Isaiah 41:10-13:
“Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
Behold, all they that were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with you shall perish.
You shall seek them, and shall not find them, even them that contended with you: they that war against you shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nothing.
For I the LORD your God will hold your right hand, saying to you, Fear not; I will help you.”
Verse 10 starts by stating three of the most beautiful words which God could ever speak: fear you not. And then He proceeds to tell you the best possible reason why you don’t have to be afraid: for I am with you. And what is the reason why you can be free of dismay (filled with anxiety, disheartened)? Because I am your God: I will strengthen you. Then He continues to affirm and re-affirm His help, saying Yes I will help you; yes I will uphold you with the right hand of My Righteousness. That my friend, is none other than Jesus Christ. (Mark 16:19, Acts 2:33)
In verses 11 and 12, God then proceeds to describe in detail how all of your enemies will be dealt with, not by you – but by Him. All of them that were angry with you, they will end up being ashamed, and humiliated. They will end up being nothing. Anyone who strives and works against you, well He says those people will just flat-out perish.
I love what He says in verse 12 – You will seek them, and shall not find them. He says you’ll actually go out looking for them! Wondering where all your enemies went, but you won’t find any! Then He double-emphasizes the fact, that they shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nothing. In other words, they will be reduced to even less than a pile of rubble. They will be ashes blown away by the wind.
Why are all these promises true? Verse 13: For I the Lord your God will hold your right hand, saying to you: Fear not; I will help you.
Take special notice of this: See the intimacy here, see the love. I the Lord your God. This is not a distant formal God up in the sky. This is a personal relation. He is not just “the God”, He is “your God”. And what is He doing? He is holding your hand, and saying personally to you: Fear not, I will help you. Do you see the tenderness and care which He has for you? Do you see the picture of love being displayed here?
Now there is one more detail for us to see from these verses. In verse 10 God says that He is upholding you with the right hand of His righteousness, and in verse 14, He says that He is holding your right hand. So what is being demonstrated here? My friend, in Christ Jesus today we have both hands – the right and the left!
This is the awesome, amazing and wonderful reality for us in Christ Jesus today. We have even more than Solomon could ever dream about! We have the amazing love of God poured-out upon us. Indeed we are totally safe and secure in His hands, Every blessing is yours today, and it is all a gift in Christ because of His great love for you.