And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.” vs. 71 Kings 3:5-8
Reading in scripture about the accession of Solomon to the throne of David is like reading an excerpt from a mafioso godfather’s diary. It was a bloody affair, to say the least. Solomon was not David’s eldest son, but Bathsheba, his mother, was the consummate palace politician. By the time Solomon was enthroned, all his brothers and rivals had been put to death by the sword. And once he had assumed control, a story emerged giving the Lord credit for all that had taken place. Here Solomon, who had just arranged his brother Adonijah’s death, implies that he is but a child, with no sense of how a king should govern. It’s an interesting story and it reminds us that the road to power can often involve intrigue and political maneuvering, and those who ultimately rise to the top aren’t necessarily the best or most deserving. That’s just the way it is with the dominating powers of our world–their leaders often are motivated by self-interest and a desire for control, and their pious sounding words can seldom be trusted. Solomon proved to be a horrible king for Israel, using his position to accumulate immense wealth via taxation and conquest. How much better it is for us to seek first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness! It’s here that we find the true riches!
Thought for the Day: What’s the popular conception of Solomon?