The Magnificent Kingdom

Lesson 11

After Solomon was established as the new king of Israel, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Ask what I shall give thee." 1 Kings 3:5. The young king could have requested money, fame, or long life, but he didn't. Instead, he asked for wisdom to justly govern God's people. In answer to that humble and heartfelt prayer, the Lord gave Solomon tremendous wisdom and perception surpassing every other human. On top of that, God

also blessed him with fame, riches, and long life. During Solomon's reign, Israel enjoyed unparalleled peace and prosperity. Precious metals were so abundant in Jerusalem during his time that silver was considered as common as stones (1 Kings 10:27). In addition to the magnificent temple of marble and gold that Solomon built for God, he also constructed a lavish palace and courtyard plus entire cities to house his chariots and horsemen. Splendid flowering gardens with rare trees graced every town. Monarchs, nobles, and royalty came from around the world to visit and bring gifts. They longed to hear the profound wisdom that God had put in Solomon's heart (1 Kings 10:24).

Among the many regal visitors was a rich and beautiful queen from the far-away land of Sheba. She wanted to see firsthand if the reports about Israel's king were true. The Queen of Sheba tested Solomon with many hard questions and was stunned by his brilliant answers. Everywhere she looked, her senses were dazzled. But even Israel at its zenith was as nothing compared to the glorious kingdom God has prepared for you!