What would you do if God offered you something in the world that you wanted? In “The Blank Check” we look at a man named Lot, and what he did with his “Blank Check”, and how it didn’t turn out very well for him. Then in “Another Blank Check” we saw a prophet named Balaam, and what he did with his blank check, and how it ultimately cost him his life. Now I’d like to look at a man named Solomon who was offered another blank check.
First, let’s take a look at who Solomon was and why he was King of Israel. Solomon succeeded David as king of Israel; however, he was not David’s firstborn. Therefore, the question is: Why was Solomon appointed King over Israel? To answer this question, we must first take a look at when and where David’s children were born.
Let’s look at 1 Chronicles 3: 1-9. Here we see a list of David’s sons: Amnon, Daniel (Chileab), Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, Ithream, Sammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia Elisama, Eliada, and Eliphelet. Now, according to 1 Chronicles 3: 4, the first six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned over Judah for 3 years and 6 months. The other 13 children were born in Jerusalem. The first four mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3: 5 are born to Bathsheba. Now Solomon appears as the last son on this list; however, we know from 2 Samuel 12:24 that Solomon was the firstborn of David and Bathsheba, not the fourth.
Therefore, Solomon was the firstborn in Jerusalem after David was anointed king over all Israel. David reigned as king in Jerusalem for 33 years. According to Eastern tradition, the eldest son born after his father’s accession to sovereign authority would be the proper heir to the throne. Therefore, Solomon is the proper heir. That is why, apart from Adonijah (1 Kings 1: 5-9, 2: 13-25), he received no resistance once David named him as his successor.
This is how Solomon became king of Israel. As king, Solomon worshiped the Lord and, according to 1 Kings 3: 3-9, went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices to the Lord. It was then that the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and offered him his Blank Check. We see the offer made in 1 Kings 3: 5. The Lord asks Solomon what he wants, and the implication is that whatever Solomon asked for would be his.
Now you would think that if the Lord God Himself offered you a blank check, you wouldn’t have to worry about it going wrong. But let’s take a look at Solomon’s Blank Check and see what it was and how it turned out for him.
First, let’s see what Solomon asks for. I mean I could have asked for riches, health, peace, honor, a long life, a healthy family – the list could go on forever. Imagine that the creator himself offers you unlimited opportunities, resources, or desires. What would you order?
This blank check was worth so much more than Lot’s or Balaam’s checks. So how did Solomon respond to the Lord? Let’s look at 1 Kings 3: 6-10 to see. Solomon fought the likely temptation to ask for something selfishly. Instead, he asked God to give him the wisdom necessary to rule the kingdom. Now this sounds like Solomon had it all together, and there’s no way this could go back and bite him like Lot’s and Balaam’s checks did.
We see in 1 Kings 3: 11-14, and again in 1 Kings 4: 29-31 that the Lord honored Solomon’s request. So Solomon was offered a blank check and he cashed it too. At this point, it appears that Solomon did the right thing with his blank check. He was not selfish or greedy, but rather generous and selfless with her request. He understood the great demands that would be placed on him as King and used his Blank Check to be the best king he could be.
In 1 Kings 3: 16-28 we even have an example of Solomon using the wisdom God gave him. Basically, two women came to him arguing about who was the real mother of a certain baby. As you can see, they both gave birth to children around the same time. These women lived together in the same house, and one night the son of one of them died. So, while the other one was still asleep, she changed the babies. The next morning, the other woman woke up with a dead baby, but realized that it was not hers. Then they came to Solomon to clarify which baby was still alive. They had no DNA testing back then, so Solomon simply asked for a sword and said that he would split the baby in half so they could both have the baby. Of course, the real mother protested and said to only give the baby to the other woman; therefore, Solomon knew who the real mother was. (The other woman did not protest her decision. In fact, she applauded.) Then, Solomon rewarded the real mother by giving her son back to her and, in doing so, demonstrated his great wisdom and ability to judge.
Finally, we have a blank check offered and cashed with the correct reasons. Then we find ourselves in 1 Kings 11: 1-8 where we find that Solomon; in direct defiance of Deuteronomy 17:17 he had 700 wives plus another 300 concubines. As if having so many wives weren’t bad enough, we see in 1 Kings 11: 1 that he married women from other lands; namely, daughters of Pharaoh, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites.
These women came from lands where they worshiped other gods, and when Solomon was older, these wives convinced him to go after these other gods. Once Solomon began to worship these gods, and his heart turned to the Lord, the Lord twice commanded him to turn away from these gods and return to the Lord God of Israel, but Solomon ignored these warnings.
Solomon was offered a blank check, cashed it, and at first it seems like we finally have someone doing the right thing with their check. Solomon asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3: 9), Solomon receives wisdom (1 Kings 4: 29-30), but Solomon does not use that wisdom (1 Kings 11: 5, Nehemiah 13: 23-26).
So how did Solomon’s Blank Check work for you? Well, if I had used it correctly, it could have turned out fine, but as Romans 3:23 reminds us: we are all sinners, and Solomon was no exception; Therefore, in 1 Kings 11: 11-13, God promises to divide the kingdom at the end of Solomon’s reign.
The Bible teaches in Luke 12:48 that where a lot is given, a lot is required. Solomon was given much in the wisdom he received, but he chose not to use it. We need to learn a lesson from Solomon in this area. As believers, we must act on the basis of the knowledge and wisdom that God has given us. In James 4:17 we are told that if God has shown us what is right and we choose not to, then we have sinned against him.
We all make mistakes and fall into temptation and sin. The question before us is what we do when God brings our sin to light. Do we ignore his voice as Solomon did in 1 Kings 11:10? Or do we repent of that sin as his father David did in 2 Samuel 12:13?
According to 1 John 1: 9: If we confess our sins, Jesus will forgive us and restore us to a right relationship with him.
Do you have any unconfessed sin in your life today? If you do, confess those sins to the Lord and repent (turn away). Once you do, according to 1 John 1: 3-4, you can have fellowship with Jesus again.
May your joy be full today in the Lord Jesus Christ.