“Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.” 2 Ch. 1:1
Solomon achieved greatness by virtue of his birth, not through his own effort at all. The kingdom was established by his father, with the sacrifices of many people’s lives. It was the Lord who “was with him and made him exceedingly great.”
The king could have been easily blinded by his own greatness and lost sight of the fact that he was actually born with a silver spoon in his month. What absolute power and great wealth do to a person is beyond comprehension, and we may do the unimaginable of we are endowed with both. To be richly endowed is to be greatly empowered to do both good and evil.
Even as powerful and wise as King Solomon was, he was merely a pawn in God’s hand, used by the Almighty to fulfill his eternal purposes.
O how easy it is for us to become envious of the ones who are endowed with greatness, whatever it is, and mourn about the fact that we are outdistanced so much by comparison. How many millions of peasants and artisans were there during Solomon’s time that had to labor day and night merely to earn a simply living? Their breath and names vanished in the air after they died and left absolutely no trace. Isn’t it an injustice of the highest measure?
Indeed, the man was esteemed as the wisest man in human history and historians have written about him throughout the ages, yet this had absolutely no bearing on how he was measured by God and how he will be judged at the end. “For to whom much is given, much will be required of him.” To whom much is given much, much is required, and compared to what he was endowed with, what he gave might have been rather meager. Of course, “it is before his own master that he will stand or fall,” and who am I to make any sort of judgment concerning the man?
The life on which I need to spend time pondering is my own, not somebody else’s, not even the supposed wisest king in human history, for his greatness, or lack therefore, has nothing to do with me as a person, and he will never be used as a barometer to make a measurement of my earthly life. I will be found guilty or not guilty by what I have been endowed with and how I have been utilizing what I have been given. I will ultimately be judged by what I have, not by what I don’t have.
Therefore, what we should learn from this man isn’t really what we should do with our resources, since we fall far short compared to him in that aspect; we instead need to learn what not to do by looking at the king’s chronicle, and avoid making the same errors that he committed.