Saturday, February 23, 2013

Teens in the Bible - Solomon

Chapter 6 Solomon as a teen

Solomon was just hitting his teen years when his father, King David, swore to his mother, Bathsheba, that Solomon would be king after him. Imagine having such a large kingdom thrust upon his pre-pubescent shoulders. Yet the boy was amazing. As soon as he was on the throne he had to deal with Adonijah, his half-brother. Adonijah had just put himself forward as king when it looked like King David was about to die. In fact, he was having a huge feast to celebrate when news came that his father had made Solomon his successor. The guests rose in alarm and dispersed. Adonijah, now afraid of Solomon, sent a messenger to him and asked that King Solomon would not kill him. Our young teen king replied, “If Adonijah is worthy, not a hair on his head will be harmed, but if evil is found in him, he will die.” Wow, that’s a pretty strong statement to come from young lips. We see Solomon’s maturity, strength, resolve, and power early on.
Before King David died he gave Solomon a charge: “Be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in his ways, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.” If only every father would give his son such perfect advice.

Teen Solomon was soon put to the test as his half-brother Adonijah made another bid for the throne by asking for the beautiful Abishag to be his wife.  (Abishag was the last woman to lie with David though the Bible tells us they did not have relations. Thus, taking her as his wife would give him some leverage in reclaiming the throne.) Solomon rightly surmised Adonijah’s plan and had him put to death. Again, I am amazed at how Solomon showed his wisdom.

Solomon also showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the statutes of his father David, as he was advised, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. So the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered, “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties … give me a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” The Lord was very pleased with this request. I think most teens would ask for wealth and power and long life. God honored his request for wisdom and Solomon has long been known as the wisest person to have ever lived. Oh, and God gave him wealth and power and long life as a bonus.

(Next Saturday teen Esau and Jacob)

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