Solomon’s Blank Check

What would you do if God offered you anything in the world that you wanted? In “The Blank Check” we looked at a man named Lot, and what he did with his “Blank Check”, and how it did not turn out very well for him. Then in “Another Blank Check” we looked at a Prophet by the name of Balaam, and what he did with his Blank Check, and how it ultimately cost him his life. Now I would like to look at a man named Solomon who was offered Yet Another Blank Check.

First of all let’s take a look at who Solomon was, and why he was King over Israel. Solomon succeeded David as King of Israel; however he was not David’s firstborn son. Therefore the question becomes: Why was Solomon named King over Israel? In order to answer this question we must first take a look at when and where David’s sons were born.

Let’s look at 1 Chronicles 3:1-9. Here we see a list of David’s sons: Amnon, Daniel (Chileab), Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, Ithream, Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet. Now according to 1 Chronicles 3:4 the first six were born to David in Hebron where he reigned over Judah for 3 years, and 6 months. The other 13 sons were born in Jerusalem. The first four mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:5 are born to Bathsheba. Now Solomon is listed as the last son in this list; however we know from 2 Samuel 12:24 that Solomon was David and Bathsheba’s first born living son, not the fourth.

Therefore Solomon was the firstborn son in Jerusalem after David was anointed King over all of Israel. David reigned as King in Jerusalem for 33 years. According to eastern tradition, the oldest son born after his father’s accession to the sovereign authority would be the proper heir to the throne. Therefore Solomon is the proper heir. This why other than Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5-9, 2:13-25) he didn’t receive any resistance once David named him as his successor.

This is how Solomon came to be King over Israel. As King, Solomon worshipped the Lord, and according to 1 Kings 3:3-9 he went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices to the Lord. This is when the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and offered him his Blank Check. We see the offer made in 1 Kings 3:5. The Lord asks Solomon what he desires, and the implication is that whatever Solomon would ask for it would be his.

Now you would think that if you were offered a Blank Check from the Lord God himself that you wouldn’t have to worry about it going bad for you. But let’s take a look at Solomon’s Blank Check and see what it was, and how it turned out for him.

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First of all let’s see what Solomon asks for. I mean he could have asked for Riches, Health, Peace, Honor, a long life, a healthy family: The list could go on forever. Just imagine being offered limitless opportunities, resources, or desires from the creator himself. What would you ask for?

This Blank Check was worth so much more that Lot’s or Balaam’s checks were worth. So how did Solomon answer the Lord? Let’s look at 1 Kings 3:6-10 to see. Solomon fought back the likely temptation of asking for something in a selfish way. He instead asked God to give him the wisdom that would be necessary to rule the kingdom. Now this sounds like Solomon had it together, and there is no way that this could come back and bite him as did Lot’s and Balaam’s checks.

We see in 1 Kings 3:11-14, and again in 1 Kings 4:29-31 that the Lord honored Solomon’s request. So Solomon was offered a Blank Check, and he too cashed it in. At this point it looks like Solomon did right by his Blank Check. He wasn’t selfish, or covetous, but rather was giving, and selfless with his request. He understood the great demands that would be placed on him as King, and used his Blank Check to be the best king that he could be.

In 1 Kings 3:16-28 we even have an example of Solomon using the wisdom that God gave him. Basically two women came to him disputing as to who was the true mother of a certain baby. You see they both gave birth to sons at around the same time. These women lived together in the same house, and one evening the son of one of them died. So while the other was still asleep she switched the babies. The next morning the other woman woke up to a dead baby, but realized that it wasn’t hers. They then came to Solomon to straighten out whose baby was still alive. They didn’t have DNA tests back then, so Solomon simply asked for a sword, and said that he would divide the baby in half so they both could have the baby. Of course the real mother protested, and said to just give the baby to the other woman; therefore Solomon knew who the true mother was. (The other woman didn’t protest his decision. In fact she applauded it) Solomon then rewarded the true mother by giving her son back to her, and in so doing demonstrated his great wisdom, and ability to judge.

Finally, we have a Blank Check offered, and cashed in with the right motives. Then we find ourselves in 1 Kings 11:1-8 where we find that Solomon; in direct defiance of Deuteronomy 17:17 had 700 wives plus another 300 concubines. As if it wouldn’t be bad enough to have that many wives, we see in 1 Kings 11:1 that he married women from other lands; namely daughters of Pharaoh, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites.

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These women came from lands where they worshipped other gods, and when Solomon was old these wives convinced him to go after these other gods. Once Solomon started worshipping these gods, and had his heart turned away for the Lord he was commanded twice by the Lord to turn away from these gods, and back to the Lord God of Israel, but Solomon ignored these warnings.

Solomon was offered a Blank Check, he cashed it in, and at first it looks like we finally have someone doing right with his check. Solomon asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3:9), Solomon receives wisdom (1 Kings 4:29-30), but Solomon doesn’t use that wisdom (1 Kings 11:5, Nehemiah 13:23-26).

So how did Solomon’s Blank Check work out for him? Well if he would have used it properly it could have turned out well, but as Romans 3:23 reminds us: we are all sinners, and Solomon was no exception; Therefore in 1 Kings 11:11-13 God promises to divided the kingdom at the conclusion of Solomon’s reign.

The Bible teaches in Luke 12:48 that where much is given, much is required. Solomon was given much in the wisdom that he received, but he chose not to use it. We need to take a lesson from Solomon in this area. As believers we should act upon the knowledge, and wisdom that is given to us by God. In James 4:17 we are told that if God has shown us what the right thing to do is, and we choose not to do it, than we have sinned against him.

We all make mistakes, and fall into temptation, and sin. The issue at hand is what we do when God brings our sin to light. Do we ignore his voice as Solomon did in 1Kings 11:10? Or do we repent of that sin as his father David did in 2 Samuel 12:13?

According to 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, Jesus will forgive us, and restore us to a right relationship with him.

Do you have any un-confessed sin in your life today? If you do, confess those sins to the Lord, and repent (turn away). Once you do, then according to 1 John 1:3-4, you may once again have fellowship with Jesus.

May your joy be full in the Lord Jesus Christ today.

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by Paul Mahler