Story Two: The Wise King who was Foolish

By Barry McWilliams
Lesson Two: God gave us His word to be Obeyed
Bible Text: 2 Kings 10 & 11

Teaching method: Pictures in Sequence

The Following Pictures are needed:
  1. Young Solomon being crowned
  2. Solomon asks for wisdom
  3. Solomon ruling wisely
  4. Solomon's wealth and prosperity
  5. The Temple
  6. Open scroll with warning signs
  7. Closed scroll with disobedience
  8. Foreign wives and idols'
  9. Solomon's riches
  10. Solomon's chariots and fortresses
  11. Solomon's enslaved people
  12. Sad king looking over divided kingdom
  13. Bible with Warning signs

Story Outline:

  1. Solomon on becoming King seeks wisdom (1,2)

  2. Solomon's Kingdom prospers (3-5) wisdom - riches - God's temple

  3. The Bible's warnings disregarded (6,7)

  4. Solomon's foolish disobedience (7-11) Wives - riches - warhorses - slaves

  5. The Kingdom divided - application (12,13)

Showing the Pictures-In-Sequence

Show young King Solomon being crowned (picture 1) Talk about Solomon becoming King as a young man. All the responsibility he now has - and his dreams for a good and strong kingdom.

Show young Solomon kneeling in prayer with open scroll before him. (picture 2) Tell of God's offer to him of help. He asked God for wisdom. Tell how this was the best thing to ask for.

(leave picture 2 up as you show and talk about pictures 3 & 4)

Solomon on his throne ruling wisely. (picture 3) His wisdom came from God. He was visited by other kings and queens. Solomon's wisdom made his kingdom wealthy and strong. (picture 4) God had Solomon build the Temple (Picture 5) where God would be properly worshiped.

(Replace picture 2 with Open Scroll with Warning signs picture 6) : Read Deuteronomy 17:14-20 slowly from Bible. Talk about the warnings the Bible gives.

But Solomon began to stop reading God's Word. He thought he was "wise" enough and made some very "unwise" decisions. Closed Scroll with disobedient actions (picture 7)

(leave 7 up while showing pictures 8,9,10 and 11)

Solomon married many foreign wives who worshiped idols (picture 8). Explain about Solomon's "wise" treaties with foreign kings, and how the wives guaranteed the treaties would be kept. But they brought idols with them and begged Solomon to let them worship their own gods.

Fortress, horses and chariots (picture 9). Explain how Solomon thought it was "wise" to build up his army. But he was trusting in his military force rather than in God.

Solomon's riches (picture 10) - Tell how he misused them for his own pleasures.

People building as slaves (picture 11) Explain why Solomon thought he was doing the right thing, but how it turned his people against him.

Sad king looking over rebellious, idol-ridden kingdom. (picture 12) It was Solomon's foolish decisions, made in disobedience to God's word that had brought idolatry and division to the kingdom.

Bible with warning signs (picture 13). If we pay attention to God's Word, we will have wisdom. But neglecting it is foolishness.

There one was a very wise King. He was the son of David and one of the greatest Kings in the Bible. Solomon was his name, and he was known far and wide as being very wise.

The reason he was so wise was that when he was a young man and had just been made king, God offered to give him anything he wanted. He could have asked for a powerful army or for riches or for a long life as king. But he knew that being king was an important job. He needed to be wise if he was to do the best for his people, so he asked God for wisdom instead.

God was very pleased with his choice, and so God gave him power and riches along with much wisdom. His kingdom was glorious and peaceful and He built God's Temple as well as a magnificent palace for himself. Kings and rulers came from far away to meet him.

But with all his wisdom, Solomon did a very foolish thing. He neglected to obey all of God's Word. For in Deuteronomy 17: 14ff, God made some specific commandments concerning what the king of His people should and shouldn't do. The king of God's people was not to have a mighty Army of horses, nor have lots of foreign wives, nor accumulate much gold and silver.

God had good reasons for making these commandments. The king and his people were to trust God to protect them. God knew that foreign wives would worship idols. And the riches, God provides are for helping the poor, not for making the king rich.

Solomon had something else important to do. He was to read the scroll of the Law (The Bible) everyday and love God and keep carefully God's commandments. He must obey every one of God's Laws just the same as all the people must.

But Solomon did some very foolish things. If he had read and obeyed God's Word, he would not have bought many horses for his army from Eygpt. He would not have married the princesses of foreign kings, when he made treaties with them. He would not have used his wealth to make himself comfortable while using his own people as slaves to build his palace.

Because Solomon was foolish and failed to obey God, when he died his kingdom was divided. Most of the people rebelled and began worshiping the idols brought from foreign lands. Only a small part of his great kingdom remained for his son to rule. God had known this would happen and in the Bible had warned him. But Solomon was foolish and had not obeyed.

It is not enough to be wise and powerful and rich. God has told us what is best for us, but we must listen and obey His Word. If we fail to read and obey God's words in the Bible, we will be just as foolish as Solomon was.

© 1991 Barry McWilliams and Mission Church Fellowship, Hypertext Version © 1996 Barry McWilliams
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