Sunday, October 7, 2012

God gives Solomon Wisdom

  • HOOK: I wish I may, I wish I might … 
    • Imagine one day you were walking on a beach. And you accidentally kicked something hard. You looked down, and you see an old-fashioned gold lamp! Wow!
    • What would you do with it? Maybe we should rub it and see if anything happens … 1, 2, 3 Rub! 
    • Whoosh! It’s a great big green genie! “Hello boys and girls! Thank you for setting me free from the lamp! As a reward, I’ll give you one wish! Whatever it is that you want … ask and I shall grant you your wish!”
    • Wow! A wish! Whatever you want! 
    • What would you wish for children? What’s the one thing you want the most? <get kids to give their answers> 
    • Well, in real life, there’s no such thing as a genie in a bottle. But in the Bible, there’s somebody who was asked by God about what his wish was. That somebody was King Solomon. Let’s find out more. 

  • King David’s had a son, Solomon, who would be Israel’s next king. God loved him very much. (2 Sam 12:24)
  • Before he died, David instructed Solomon what he should do as king. “And you my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)
  • After King David died, his son Solomon became king over Israel. “Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statues of his father David…” (1Kings 3:3a)
  • One night, Solomon offered 1,000 offerings to God at a place called Gibeon. As he was sleeping, God came to Solomon and spoke to him in a dream. “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 
  • Wow! Solomon could ask for ANYTHING he wanted. What would you ask for if God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
  • If you were a king, wouldn’t you wish for great wealth? Long life? Many palaces? Or territories? For all your enemies to be gone?
  • Solomon praised God for His kindness to his father, David, and to him. Then he said, “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
  • What did Solomon ask God for? He asked for wisdom! As a young king, he knew that he could not rule a great nation like Israel by himself, no matter how clever he may be. He needed God’s wisdom.
  • God was pleased because Solomon knew that in order to be the kind of king that could lead God’s people he could only do it with God’s wisdom. “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” 
  • But on top of the wisdom, God promised, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
  • Can you believe that? Not only would God make Solomon the wisest king ever, He was going to give him lots of wealth and honour too!

  • Solomon's Wise Ruling
    • Now Solomon had to deal with many cases and issues in his country.
    • One day, two women/prostitutes came to the king. They had a problem.
    • Both of them lived alone in the same house, and they each had a baby, born 3 days apart.
    • One of the women told Solomon, “During the night, this woman’s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son.” 
    • The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
    • But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
    • Oh dear. What should Solomon do? He definitely needed God’s wisdom on this problem. 
    • Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
    • Was Solomon crazy?!? But then, let’s see what happens: 
    • The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
    • But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” 
    • Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
    • When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

2. Lesson:
  • Jesus is our wisdom 
    • Solomon asked God for wisdom, and God gave it to Him. He became the wisest man that ever lived. But Solomon is dead. 
    • And a thousand years later, the Bible tells us that one greater that Solomon is here! (Luke 11:31) Who’s this King who is greater than Solomon? Who’s this King who is wiser, and richer and more honoured than Solomon? It’s Jesus!
    • You and I would most likely never be a king as Solomon was.  And we may not think we are very wise.
    • However, all of us who believe in Jesus have God’s wisdom in us already!
    • In 1 Cor 1:30, the Bible tells us that even though we may not be great or wise or of noble birth, we belong to Jesus, who is our wisdom from God.
    • Whatever situation we may be in, whatever decisions we need to make, we can depend on this wisdom that we have in us, because Jesus lives in us forever!
  • We have access to the King 
    • The two mothers who came to Solomon were prostitutes. They were not very honourable women. They had many boyfriends. Society would look down on them.
    • Yet somehow, they were able to access the King of Israel!
    • Jesus came to die for all sorts of people — good people, bad people, people with a past etc. And when we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, we have free access to Him always! (Heb 10:19)

  • How many of you know Jesus? How many of you have Jesus in your heart? If you do, know that He is your wisdom. He will help you in whatever problems you may face. You can go to Him anytime, any place, and He will help you.

  • If you do not know Jesus yet, but you want to invite Him into your heart, you can ask Him today! 
  • Let’s pray together: Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me and forgiving me of my sins. Thank you for giving me Your life and living in my heart forever. Thank you that You are my wisdom always, and I can always come to You for everything I need. In Your name, I pray, Amen!

3. Suggested Activities: 
  • Share & Pray: What is one challenge or situation when you need God’s wisdom to help you? Share and pray for one another.
  •  Act it out: 
    • Get kids to act out the scene between Solomon and the 2 mothers. 
    • You’d need: Solomon, 2 mothers, a baby (doll), 2 guards 
  • Close in prayer.

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