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God loved Solomon.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a king? A good king has to lead all the people and show them what to do. He has to tell them when to go to war and when to be peaceful. He has to protect them and make sure they have food. He has to make decisions when people come to him with problems and hard questions. But most of all, the king has to set an example that all the people follow. If the king disobeys God, the people will probably disobey too. But if the king loves God and takes care of His House, the people will probably want to obey also.
Now when Solomon knew he needed to be king, he didn’t think, “I can do this all by myself.” But he also didn’t panic and say, “Ohhh, being a king sounds really hard. I don’t want to do it!” Instead, he gave God lots of gifts and talked with Him.
One night, while Solomon was asleep, God talked to Solomon in a dream.
God said, “Solomon, tell me what you want to have as a gift, and I will give it to you. You can ask for anything you want.”
Wow, anything he wanted!? What do you think you would ask for if you could have any gift you wanted?
Solomon could have asked for money and toys and yummy food. He could have asked for many years to live with no sickness. He could have asked God to take away all his enemies. Those would all be nice gifts, huh?
But what would be the best gift to ask for? Hmmm…
Solomon said to God, “God, You were very kind to my dad, David. He loved You and did what You wanted. Thanks for loving him by letting his son be king too. God, You are the one who made me king. I want to serve You too, like my dad did, but I’m very young. I haven’t done very many things, and I don’t understand very many things. I don’t know how to take care of Your People and lead them. And there are so many of them! Please, God, give me a mind that understands, and a heart that listens to You, so that I can know what makes You sad, and what makes You happy. Please give me wisdom. That would be the best gift. Then, I could take good care of Your People.”
When Solomon asked for that gift, God was very happy. He said, “Yes, Solomon! I’m so glad you asked for that. I will give you a wise heart and mind — more wisdom than anyone else has ever had! And because you didn’t ask for stuff, or a long life, or for Me to take away your enemies, I am also going to give you the gifts you didn’t ask for. I’m going to give you lots of stuff, and take away your enemies. And if you keep obeying Me, I’ll let you live a long time.”
Then Solomon woke up from his dream.
Of course, everything God said would happen… happened.
Solomon had asked God for wisdom, and God gave it to him. God allowed Solomon to solve difficult problems and judge the people wisely and justly.
God also taught Solomon all about all kinds of wonders and workings of the world. He knew and talked about plant life — from the greatest of trees to the little plants that grew out of the walls. He also talked about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Solomon knew all about them.
Kings from all over the world sent people to listen to Solomon’s wisdom. People from many nations and cultures came to hear Solomon’s wisdom and knowledge. Some of the things we know today about animals and plants and life, probably came from the very things God taught Solomon. Cool, huh?
Solomon was known in far away lands for the splendor and awesomeness and wisdom of his rule and kingdom. During his rule, Solomon’s wisdom was as endless as the sand on the seashore, and God’s Family was as numerous as the sand on the seashore.
The people of God’s Nation were happy. They lived in safety, and everyone lived under their own vine and their own fig tree. Ahhh… Peace and Comfort and Joy… at last.