VERSES: 1 Kings 3:1-28
MEMORY VERSE: 1 Kings 3:9 "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 2 Kings. Write "2 Kings" on small slips of paper and pass out to students at the end of class.
PRAYER: May we all pray for wisdom from God that we may live justly before God.
SPECIAL SONG: The Wise Man (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: A large Activity (see below)
- Solomon loved the LORD and he followed in the steps of his father, David, by walking in the commandments of the LORD. One day, King Solomon went to the city of Gibeon and offered 1,000 sacrifices to the LORD. While he was sleeping that night, God talked to him in a dream. God asked Solomon what He should give him. Think of that! God asking Solomon what he wanted and God would give it to him! What would we want if we were asked that question? What could Solomon have asked for and received from God?(Students offer suggestions.)
- Solomon answered God in a very humble way. He said that God had been good to his father, David, and showed him great mercy for walking before God in truth, righteousness, and uprightness of heart. That meant that David had been doing what God wanted him to do. Solomon said that now God had let him him sit on David's throne. Solomon went on to say that he felt like a little child while he was reigning over the people of Israel, not knowing how to come in or go out. So, Solomon asked for an understanding heart to judge God's people. Solomon asked God who was able to judge over a multitude of people that could not be numbered.
- Solomon's speech pleased God, and God replied to Solomon, "Because you have not asked for a long life or riches or asked the life of your enemies, but asked for understanding, I am giving you a wise and understanding heart which no one has ever had before you or after you. I will also give you those things that you have NOT asked for, both riches and honor. If you keep my commandments and will follow in your father's ways, then I will also give you a long life." Solomon woke up and realized it was a dream. He then went to Jerusalem and stood in front of the ark of the covenant and offered up many offerings and made a feast for his servants.
- Soon after Solomon had dreamed his dream, there were two women who had just had babies and both came into Solomon's court for judgment. One woman said that the two women lived in the same house and each had delivered a baby. One woman had laid on her baby in the night and it had died. That woman whose baby had died, got up in the middle of the night, found that her baby was no longer living and, while the other woman slept, took her baby and replaced it with her dead baby. She had switched babies! The woman who was talking said that when she rose up in the morning and was going to feed her own baby, she discovered that the baby was dead, but that it was not her baby, but the other woman's baby! The second woman said, "No, my baby is the living baby and your baby died!" The first woman said, "No, the dead baby was yours; mine was the living baby!" Hmmmm...now how was King Solomon to know which lady was telling the truth? He did not know these two women and he certainly had never seen the babies! What would King Solomon say?
- Finally, the king said, "You say my son lives and her son died. But you say my son lives and her son died. Bring me a sword!" The soldiers brought a sword before the king. King Solomon said, "Divide the living baby and give half to one woman and half to the other woman." The woman who really was the mother of the living baby said, "Oh, my king! Give her the living child and please do not harm it!" The other woman said, "Let the baby be neither hers nor mine, but divide it." Then the king answered and said, "Give her (the real mother) the living child and do not kill it. She is the mother."
- Everyone throughout Israel heard of the king's judgment and how wise he was. They knew that God's wisdom was in Solomon to judge the people. The wisdom had come from above.
"Older Student" Tips:
- It is interesting to note that every king of Israel is rated by whether he walked in the statutes of David as we will see in the coming kings' reigns.
- Solomon realized that, because of David's goodness, God had blessed David with a son to sit on his throne. That son was Solomon and Solomon was thankful.
- Only one blessing that God promised Solomon was conditional and that was long life. Solomon had to walk in God's ways and obey His commandments before Solomon received a long life.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" green light green construction paper, 5" x 8" yellow construction paper, scraps of dark green, orange, and blue construction paper, marker or crayons, glue, scissors.
- Hand out light green paper.
- Write "Solomon Asks For Wisdom, But Receives Much More!" and "1 Kings 3" at the top of the paper.
- Hand out yellow paper.
- Cut yellow paper's edges, resembling a large cloud.
- Write "WISDOM" in the middle of the yellow paper.
- Hand out dark green scrap paper.
- Cut edges off of dark green paper, so that it resembles a medium cloud.
- Write "RICHES" in the middle of the dark green paper.
- Hand out orange scrap paper.
- Cut edges off of orange paper, so that it resembles a small cloud.
- Write "HONOR" in the middle of the orange paper.
- Hand out small scrap of blue paper.
- Cut edges off of blue paper, so that it resembles a tiny blue cloud.
- Write "LONG LIFE" in the middle of the blue paper.
- Fold top edge of yellow paper down.
- Glue yellow edge ONLY in the very middle of the light green paper.
- Lift yellow paper up.
- Fold top edge of dark green paper down.
- Glue dark green edge ONLY under the yellow paper.
- Lift dark green paper up.
- Fold top edge of orange paper down.
- Glue orange edge only under the dark green paper.
- Life orange paper up.
- Glue blue paper under orange paper.
- Press down all papers, so that only the yellow paper shows, and hides all the extra promises that God makes to King Solomon.
- When telling this story, gently lift up each 'cloud', revealing another promise!
- BONUS: Students learn "large", "medium", "small", and "tiny".