God blessed Solomon with more than just wisdom. One of the things he blessed him with was wealth. And it was because of his choice for wisdom.
We get a peek into the wealth God blessed Solomon with and the first that comes to my mind is a comparison between what he received on an annual basis and what the queen of Sheba brought with her. The only part we can conclusively compare is the gold. She brought him 120 talents of gold. He regularly received 666 talents each year.
We are not told where his yearly sum came from. Is it possible that it came from the people of Israel themselves? If so, they were truly prosperous indeed to support such a large burden year after year. I don’t believe Solomon taxed his people into poverty. Upon his death the people asked for the taxes to be lowered but they were not destitute when they made this request. Otherwise his son would have had nothing to actually threaten them with.
Solomon didn’t acquire his wealth out of thin air. He received tribute from other kings in exchange for helping them with the wisdom God gave him. His trade practices and business acumen were directly tied to the wisdom from God too. So by wisdom he gained wealth.
Solomon had amassed so much gold that what he could buy with it no longer mattered to him. It became a simple tool that he used artistically to display to all who visited him his status. He covered his throne in gold. He had statues of pure gold cast just to sit alongside the steps leading up to his throne. NO other king had such a display of opulence.
Influence is another blessing God gave Solomon. David fought his enemies and conquered them with the sword. Solomon used wisdom to subdue his adversaries. They willingly submitted to his rule, INCLUDING their long standing enemy the Philistines. Solomon ruled ALL the kings of the nations around him. I have no doubt that Solomon’s rule over them improved their kingdom’s standing too.
I have to throw in a possible qualifier here. We are not told how Solomon treated those nations under him but we see that he made slaves of the foreigners who lived in the land of Israel. Is it possible that the nations he ruled were also subjected to such fates? I would think that if they were they would band together and rebel against him. I would say it is possible that what they received outweighed what was required. It takes a shrewd man to make even a gilded cage seem favorable.
As many times and ways as king Hiram helped Solomon there must have been some kind of deep relationship between these two. It could be strictly money but if it was, Hiram might have been better off sending his own men in Solomon’s men’s place. Hiram was the one to provide the sailing talent and ships. Solomon would not have had that source of income without Hiram’s help. I wonder if they split the proceeds 50/50 or if Hiram’s men were merely hired hands. Since this operation appears to have continued for quite some time, it MUST have been beneficial to both kings.
Solomon’s wisest decision ever was his decision in what to ask of the Lord. The decision to ask humbly for God’s wisdom above all else set him in a place to receive every other earthly thing. He used the wisdom he received from God to gain the rest of the promises God made to him that night. “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like” (2 Chronicles 1:11-12).
God blessed Solomon’s actions because he used the gift God gave him in a worthy manner. If Solomon had used his gift of wisdom to cheat others I don’t believe God would have blessed him. Not everything Solomon did was wise or godly. The making of high places for his wives other gods was certainly NOT wise OR godly. The taking of so many wives probably falls in that same category. But I will leave judgment on these fronts to God. Solomon was human, just like me and you and he had faults too.
Father God, thank You for all the blessings You have brought into my life and into my family’s. It is interesting how You presented me just now with a personal experience that relates. My son Don is in a position where he needs wisdom. He has exercised all he has gained from the world and it has benefitted him greatly. Right now he needs Your wisdom imparted to others to help heal his pet. And he needs Your favor with his company’s new owner. Favor that they will see his worth and that they bring him into their new operation in a position that he has earned, BECAUSE You blessed him there. Even if he doesn’t see Your hand in this, I DO. I pray that You will open his eyes to this truth. He has been slowly softening to You for some time. I pray this brings him to the place where You can truly speak into his heart. Give me YOUR wisdom in how to approach him in this pivotal time.