Royalty and Ruin


Solomon’s Spectacular Beginning

In the reign of David and Solomon, Israel had many opportunities to exert a mighty influence for truth and right. Jehovah’s name was exalted and held in honor. People from heathen lands seeking truth did not go away unsatisfied. Conversions took place, and the church of God on earth prospered. RR 11.1

Solomon became king in the closing years of his father David. His early life was bright with promise, and God intended that he would grow more and more like the character of God. In this way he would inspire the people to fulfill their sacred trust as God-appointed witnesses of divine truth. David knew that for Solomon to fulfill the trust with which God honored him, the youthful ruler must be not merely a warrior and statesman but a good man, a teacher of righteousness, an example of loyal obedience. David earnestly appealed to Solomon to be noble, to show mercy to his subjects, and in all his dealings with the nations to honor the name of God and to reveal in his life the beauty of holiness. “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Samuel 23:3. RR 11.2

In his youth Solomon made David’s choice his own, and for many years he lived in strict obedience to God’s commands. Early in his reign he went to Gibeon, where the tabernacle built in the wilderness still was, and with his chosen advisers and “every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses,” joined in offering sacrifices to God and consecrating themselves fully to the Lord’s service. 2 Chronicles 1:2. Solomon knew that those carrying heavy responsibilities must seek the Source of wisdom for guidance. This led him to encourage his counselors to unite with him in making sure that God accepted them. RR 11.3