December 17th. Solomon. Read in 1 Kings. This son of David is revered in part because in his youth when God asked him what he desired most he chose wisdom. An example of this was his judgement in the case of two mothers and two babies. The babies had become mixed up and one had died. The women were arguing over whose baby was alive. To test them Solomon said, “cut the baby in half.” Then they could see the true mother who loved the baby and didn’t want it harmed because she said, “no, rather let the other woman have the baby.”

Solomon was a good king at first, built the temple for God and also a palace for the king. He gradually became obsessed with power and wealth and had many wives and hundreds of concubines as was common practice in those days among other nations. Because eventually he valued his earthly possessions over his relationship with God he was told by God that his line of descendants would gradually be destroyed over the next generations.

The Lord said,’ if you walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness doing all that I have commanded you, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel for ever.” 1 Kings 10: 4 “The Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord. 1 Kings 11:9. For reflection and discussion. Solomon began as a wise and righteous man. Why does wealth and power go to people’s heads? How is it possible to remain a person of integrity? Is it true that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely?