—OCT. 11.—1 KINGS 3:5-15.—
IT is important to observe that the text of this lesson is the record of a dream. (Vss. 5,15.) The dream was from the Lord. In it the Lord suggested the question to Solomon, and also a proper answer to the question. Then he expressed his pleasure at the suggested answer, and told how he would reward the spirit which it manifested. "And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream." Yet in all the subsequent years of his reign Solomon realized the blessings mentioned in that dream just as surely as if the suggested prayer had been actually his, and, indeed, we may assume that upon awaking Solomon endorsed the wise prayer of his dream, although his subsequent course as a king does not indicate that those noble sentiments always actuated him. God was using Solomon as a type, and his reign was in some sense to prefigure the glorious reign of Christ, "the Prince of peace."
Starting with unusually bright prospects—with a future all aglow with the promises of God, if he would faithfully walk uprightly before him, with the counsel, instruction and assistance of his father David and of the prophet Nathan, early placed upon the throne of Israel and in favor with all the people, amply provided with abundant treasure for the great work of building the temple and commissioned of God to do it, we see him neglecting the instruction of the Lord suggested in the prayer of his dream; and, overcome by the temptations of power, he is seen perverting the blessings of God to selfish ends. Instead of wisely and justly considering the best interests of the nation and humbly remembering that he was elevated to the kingly office for the purpose of serving his brethren, Solomon became the oppressor of his people, while he indulged himself in more than heart could wish.
But while his wealth and magnificence attracted the attention of the world, his policy toward the nation finally led to the disruption of the kingdom under his son and successor, Rehoboam; for though "the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones," they were not in possession of the masses of the people, who felt oppressed, but were displayed in the follies of royalty,—in magnificent palaces for himself and his heathen wives, and in gardens and raiment and chariots and soldiers, etc.—See 1 Kings 12:4.
His career ended in the glory of an unhealthy temporal prosperity. Yet it served well the purpose of God in foreshadowing the higher and real glory of Christ's Kingdom. It was the glory of Christ's Kingdom to which special reference was undoubtedly made in Solomon's inspired dream. In so far as that dream was fulfilled in Solomon and his reign it prefigured the glorious and peaceful reign of David's greater Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The prayer suggested in the vision was indeed the attitude of his heart. He truly sought the wisdom of Jehovah for the blessing of his dominion; and to this end he cheerfully submitted himself to the divine will in all things. It was this disposition of heart in our Lord Jesus, that pleased the Father, who therefore gave to him the wise and understanding heart, and has added also riches and honor of which the riches and honors of Solomon were typical. And as there was none like him before him, so there shall be none after him. "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom." He truly shall be the "Prince of peace;" and in the beginning of his reign the glorious spiritual temple of God, the Church (which Solomon's magnificent temple foreshadowed), shall be completed, and filled with the glory of the Lord.