It is not the wealth of Solomon that we want to learn, but his wisdom.
Our relationship with money has to be based on the truth. Being blessed is not enough. Our heart has to be taught to fear God. Managing income is actually the same as managing our heart, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
1 Kings 10:14-17
"The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents, not including the revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the territories. King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each shield. He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold, with three minas of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon."
Same with us, Solomon was also doing business and working. He got income from expedition, trading, and fixed sources (from governors of the territories).
It was written that “Solomon made”, meaning that he created and made something. He did not suddenly become rich. Solomon was indeed rich because he was the son of King David, but the wealth he received from David was not much; because most of it was used to build the Holy Temple. Solomon was diligent and faithful in managing each of his wealth.
Do not be envious by comparing our income with others. Our frustration comes from our greed. Do not desire to suddenly be rich, but learn to be satisfied first.
It was said “Solomon put them in the Palace”, not only working, Solomon also saved his income. Learn to save and be patient. Prosperity does not always mean having more. Prosperity is having enough, and still having some leftover to be grateful for and to be managed well.
1 Kings 10:18-20
"Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom."
Solomon made a throne, was it allowed? God lets us upgrade something as long as we can afford it and we do it with a pure motivation, not to show off or to mock other people.
1 Kings 10:18-20
"All King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days. The king had a fleet of trading ships at sea along with the ships of Hiram. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons."
Silver was considered of little value after Solomon ruled for 20-30 years. Therefore, learn to be patient. Our heart may be rich today in God’s eyes even though we are poor financially.
1 Kings 10:23-25
"King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules."
Even though Solomon was the richest man on Earth, people came to him not because of his wealth, but because of his God-given wisdom.
Before the fall of Solomon, he was known for his virtuous life. As rich as he was, he was humble, even his enemies became his best friends. Because of his wisdom, people come to give offering. The secret of Solomon is not on his wealth, but his characters.
Both poor and rich people have the same choice to be wise, and it all depends on how their hearts respond. People can gain or lose money, but they can still be wise depending on their responds to God!
1 Kings 10:26-29
"Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue—the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans."
During the days of Samuel, he already mentioned not to have too many horses. However, Solomon had already begun to stray away. In 1 Kings 11, Solomon began to have many wives.
Before getting blessed, we have to prepare our hearts first. We have to understand the right response when receiving blessing. Let us learn from two mistakes Solomon made:
- Solomon did not put restraint
Solomon had a weak self-control. For hobbies, we could buy something we do not need. Too much is not good. Remember that the most important things are those that have eternal values. The rest of other things must have some limitations. The question is not whether we could afford it or not, but whether we fear the LORD or not.
- Solomon did not detoxify his heart
Heart’s detoxification could be done by showing love, serving, giving, and sharing. Not only money, we could also give our time and attention. Therefore, though our riches increase, do not set our heart on them.
a. Do not be ambitious about getting rich
b. Ask God for wisdom to manage our wealth
c. When we have more wealth, do not set our heart on them.
Excerpted from Ps. Philip Mantofa's Sermon, 1 Aug 2020, Youtube & Instagram Live