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"The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon's subjects all his life." NIV translation
This was a time of prosperity as the kingdom was at the height of its glory. There was plenty in the land and other nations paid tribute to Israel. The reference to the people being numerous as the sand refers to the fact that, as far as the writer was concerned, the promise that God had made to Abraham about the number of his descendants had been fulfilled (see Genesis 22).
"Solomon's daily provisions were thirty cors of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. During Solomon's lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, each man under his own vine and fig tree. Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses. The district officers, each in his own month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king's table. That saw to it that nothing was lacking. They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses." NIV translation
We see the depth of this prosperity in that it went down to all of the people as "each man under his own vine and fig tree".
That is a long way from where we are today as more and more people are depending on charities or government handouts. We might ask ourselves why this is so and the answer is simple.
We have been handed down a legacy that is quite different than that given to Solomon and many, today, are passing on a legacy of dependence to their children.
"God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite - wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations." NIV translation
Here we see a picture of "being the light of Christ" as everyone knew that Solomon's wisdom was from God. His fame spread to the nations around Israel and brought glory to God.
It should be the same for us as Christians in that our lives should be so bright that people can clearly see that we are His disciples. Then, the things that He does through us will give God the glory.
"He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom." NIV translation
As his fame spread, Solomon continued to share his wisdom with the rest of the world. That is a reminder to us that, no matter what our gifts are, they are to be used for the kingdom.