Solomon’s wealth draws the attention of kings and queens, who lavish gifts on him when they come to hear his wisdom.
We walk through a description of his steps with lion statues and his golden cups.
The Queen of Sheba comes to visit and finds it literally breathtaking. She lavishes on Solomon abundant spices, and he gives her a bounty as well as anything else she asked of him.
We’re told how Solomon has numerous chariots and horsemen, and how there was a trade of horses and chariots. The chapter ends with Israeli traders exporting, selling, horses and chariots to the kings of the Hittites and the Syrians.
Solomon’s wealth was a gift from God. He did build the temple first, but then he built this house for himself. Then he filled it with gold and more extravagance. Then he filled his kingdom with extravagance, from multiplying for himself chariots and horses to importing apes and peacocks.
But where else did his wealth go? In 1 Kings 10, we read that he gave a “bounty” to the Queen of Sheba and he’s letting horses and chariots go to Israel’s enemies. Solomon was given “rest on all sides” during his reign. That means that the Lord prevented wars, but the Hittites and Syrians were certainly historical enemies. They had wars with Israel.
Solomon distributes his wealth to himself and to other royalty.
When Solomon dies, Israel quickly breaks apart. Do you remember the people’s complaint? We’ve haven’t gotten there yet in this story, but the people complain that Solomon gave them a hard workload. They ask for their load to be lightened.
Solomon used his wealth for himself and to establish his position among the nations. He didn’t pass on the wealth to his people.
He didn’t make their lives easier with the blessing God had given him. Not that the “easy life” is what God is after for us. But He wants us to rest. He wants us to prosper in that we’re to never be in want.
Solomon used his blessing for himself. He passed it onto those who gave him something in return. We’re blessed to be a blessing. We freely receive; we’re to freely give without any thought of ever getting anything in return.
Look for the least of these. Bless them with whatever God’s given you.