What You’ve Missed…
* Psalms NOT written by King David.
* Psalms NOT about melting people like wax, or butter, or my heart after watching Life is Beautiful. (Why must you make me laugh and THEN cry Roberto Benigni?)
* David’s son Solomon becomes king. A rich king. A VERY rich king.
Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 8-9, 1 Kings 10
This past week, each daily Bible reading has been about King Solomon establishing himself and ruling as the king of Israel. There have been some interesting moments here and there, but as I’ve read, one singular and definitive theme has arisen from the pages of this sacred and holy book. And that theme is this…
Solomon’s life was ridiculous.
Allow me to elaborate. Solomon’s reign begins like this,
“So Solomon took the throne of the LORD in place of his father, David, and he succeeded in everything, and all Israel obeyed him.” (1 Chronicles 29:23)
That’s a pretty solid start. Succeeding at everything and having everyone obey you right out of the gate? The guy’s clearly destined for a charmed life. But stay with me dear reader, because we’re about to leave a charmed life in the dust.
Later Solomon marries the Pharaoh of Egypt’s daughter, a princess basically (who was probably crazy hot, especially with all that alluring, heavy Egyptian eyeliner they had goin’ on.) Then he starts work on building a temple for God. I’ll give you the short version. The place is basically constructed out of gold and the finest materials in the world, which are offered to him in exchange for food. Food! That’s a ridiculous business transaction!
Then Solomon builds a palace for himself that is basically twice as big as the temple he built for God, and takes three times longer to construct. Oh, and it’s also practically made out of gold. The dude was rolling in so much gold, no one even cared about much else.
“All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the palace. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day.” (1 Kings 10:21)
How rich are you when silver is considered worthless? Crazy rich Ridiculously rich. Richie Rich rich.
But it gets better. Solomon also had a fleet of ships that would return every three years loaded with gold and other valuable stuff. And by “other valuable stuff” I mean monkeys. Those ships returned with not just boatloads (literally) of cash, but with boatloads of monkeys too. (He pretty much had his own little army of monkeys, which is kind of most guys’ dream really. Especially if they’re dressed up in tiny hats. The monkeys. Not the guys.)
We’re not done yet. As if being the most ridiculously rich man in the world wasn’t enough, God comes to Solomon and says He’ll give Solomon whatever he asks for. Now I don’t know about you, but I’d probably blow that wish on like, a cool, robot-best-friend, or a talking dog or a girlfriend who loves video games or something. But not Solomon. The dude wants to be a good king, and so he asks God for wisdom. And God is pleased with this answer, and so He gives Solomon wisdom, declaring him the wisest man to ever live. Period. For all time. (Oh, and God’s so pleased with this answer, He throws in wealth and fame as freebies.)
So, now we have this incredibly rich guy, who’s also the smartest man to ever walk the face of the earth. Rarely in life does anyone ever get to claim either one of these titles, and Solomon is simply GIVEN both of them. He didn’t earn either one. Are you kidding me!?
The years pass. Solomon gets richer (and by richer, I mean he received 25 tons of gold a year. 25 tons! Every year! C’mon! Does that much gold even exist? I don’t even think Scrooge McDuck had that much gold. Or the Mobile, Alabama Leprechaun.) As time goes by Solomon becomes crazy famous and one day the Queen of Sheba comes to see if all the rumors and legends of his vast wealth and knowledge are true. She discovers not only the rumors are true, but that they don’t even come close to describing how fantastic he actually is.
“She exclaimed to the king, ‘Everything I heard in my country about your achievements and wisdom are true! … In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told. … Praise the LORD your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel.’ … Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels.” (1 Kings 10:6-10)
Did you catch that? People are just giving this guy stuff for being so awesome. They’re all like, “Oh, you’ve got tons of awesome stuff, and you’re totally awesome? Well, here, I’d like to give you tons more awesome stuff. For free. No, no I don’t need it. You have tons. You have more than everyone. You should have this stuff too.”
It’s ridiculous. Not even George Clooney lives this good.