Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
(Read 1 Kings 1-11 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)
When King David was old, he made his son, Solomon, the next king. Solomon loved God and did what was right. One night while Solomon was sleeping, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “Solomon, I want you to ask Me for something, and whatever you ask for, I will give it you.”
If you were the king or queen of the country and God told you He would give you one thing, what would you ask for?
Solomon answered, “Lord, You were always very kind to my father, David, and now You have been kind to me by making me king. But, God, being king is a big job. If I can ask You for one thing, I want to ask You to give me wisdom.”
What is wisdom? (Wisdom is being smart enough to make the right decisions and to do the right things that God wants us to do.)
God was very happy with Solomon because he asked for wisdom. God said, “Solomon, you could have been selfish asked Me to make you rich or to help you live a long time or to help you defeat your enemies, but instead, you did the right thing and asked for wisdom. Now, as a reward, I’m going to give you wisdom and gold and a long life and I’m going to help you defeat your enemies.”
So Solomon became the wisest, richest king there was. He always made the right decisions and kings and queens from other countries would even come to learn from Solomon.
Solomon built a Temple to God. His father, King David, had wanted to build a Temple, but God said that Solomon was going to be the one to do it. It was a great Temple for God where everyone could go and worship God and where the priests could live. There was a curtain in the Temple and behind that curtain, it was called the Holy of Holies. That’s where they put the ark of the covenant with the stone tablets that God had written the Ten Commandments on, and a piece of the manna that God had used to feed the Israelites when they were walking through the desert after they crossed the Red Sea and left Egypt with Moses.
When the Temple was finished, Solomon prayed and God’s Presence came down from Heaven like a cloud and went into the Temple. God’s Presence lived behind the curtain in the Holy of Holies and no one was allowed to go behind the curtain and see God except for the high priest once a year.
So Solomon was very wise and very rich and he did a great job building the Temple for God. But then Solomon made a very big mistake. Can anyone guess what bad thing Solomon did?
Solomon married very many women. That wasn’t the wrong thing because God said that men could have a lot of wives back then. Now, men are not allowed to have more than one wife, but back then, they could. Solomon had very many wives. In fact, he had one thousand wives. That’s a lot, right?
And some of Solomon’s wives were from other countries where the people didn’t believe in and worship the real God. They believed in and worshipped fake gods. These wives told Solomon that they wanted him to believe in and worship their fake gods too, and not just believe in and worship the real God.
Do you think Solomon should listen to his wives and believe in and worship fake gods and not just the real God? (No.)
What would you do if someone wanted you to believe in fake gods and not just the real God?
God’s number one rule is that we believe in and worship only Him because He’s the only real God that there is. But Solomon started to believe in and worship the fake gods too, and that made God very angry. It made God so angry that He decided to make someone else king instead of Solomon’s son when Solomon died.
But we’ll learn about that next time. For now, let’s see if we can remember some things from our story today. What was the good thing that Solomon asked God to give him? (Wisdom.)
And what is wisdom? (Being smart enough to to make the right decisions and to do the right things that God wants us to do.)
But then Solomon started listening to his wives instead of to God. What was the bad thing that Solomon’s wives told him to do? (To believe in and worship fake gods and not just the real God.)
Prayer: Let’s pray about our story today. God, we pray that You will give us wisdom too, so that we can know the right things that You want us to do, and we pray that You will always help us to listen to and believe in only You as our God. Amen.
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