The next lesson in the series of Israel’s kings introduces students to Solomon. As Solomon begins his reign of all the things he could have asked for he asks God for wisdom. Students will learn that God’s wisdom is available to all who ask and by living a life using Godly wisdom they will experience great blessing. This lesson was prepared for older elementary students and can be adapted to your ministry needs. Following the lesson are additional resources. Click here to see the lesson index.
Bible Story: Solomon Begins His Reign with Wisdom
Scripture: 1 Kings 3:3-28; 2 Chronicles 1:2-13
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, construction paper, scissors, markers, tape or glue sticks (if making crowns for Memory verse activity),
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God’s wisdom is available to all who ask for it and if they live a life using Godly wisdom they will experience great blessing.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate their comprehension of the lesson by answering review questions and participating in the discussion as the Scripture passage is taught. Students who participate in the take-home survey will be able to identify areas of their lives where they need to ask God for wisdom so their activities help others to see Jesus.
Learning Activity #1: Have a sword drill using different passages of Scripture that deal with Godly wisdom. (Job 28:28, Psalm 37:30, Proverbs 3:13, Ecclesiastes 2:26, Proverbs 9:12, James 1:5, Daniel 2:21, Luke 2:40, 1 Corinthians 1:25, Ephesians 1:17and 2 Timothy 3:15 etc.) Have students hold their Bibles with the binding in the palm of their hand. When you say ‘Swords up’ they hold their Bible in their hand above their head. (If your students are unfamiliar with why we are calling the Bible a sword read Ephesians 6:17 and explain that knowing God’s word helps us to fight the battles we face in this life.) When all the students have their Bibles in the air you say the reference but they are not to start looking until you say “Charge”. For visual students after you say the reference it helps to write the reference on a dry erase board or have the Scripture on construction paper. After you have said the reference and written it then say “Charge!” The students begin looking for the passage and the first one to find it stands to his/her feet. Since the main reason I use this game is to help students to become familiar with their own Bibles and to be able to find passages of Scripture, I take note of who stood first and when the rest of the students have located the passage the one who stood first can read the verse. (For students who are struggling to find the passage those near can offer to help.) After the verse is read have students sit back down and say, “Swords Up!” and say a new reference.
Learning Activity #2: Take-home activity or use at the end of the lesson. Read devotion story from Keys for Kids
The devotion from Keys for Kids will help students to relate how the activities they are involved in can be used by God to help others to know Jesus. The survey can be on a slip of paper for the students to do independently in class (allowing some time for them to be quiet and respond to the questions) or can be as a take-home assignment.
- What do you love to do?
- In what ways do you use this activity to help others know Jesus?
- How can God use this activity to help others know Jesus?
- How can praying for God’s wisdom help you to use this activity to help others know Jesus?
- What results do you see in your life as you pray for God’s wisdom to do the different activities you have?
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
From the craft idea students can write the memory verse on their crown.
Bible Lesson: Solomon Begins Reign with Wisdom
What is wisdom? There are two kinds of wisdom, man’s wisdom and God’s wisdom. Men would think that wisdom is being smart and getting a good education and having a successful life. God’s wisdom is knowing God and what His Word tells us how to live a life that pleases Him. Having God’s wisdom brings true peace and satisfaction.
King David knew that his son Solomon would be Israel’s next king. Before he died David instructed Solomon what he should do as he reigned as king. 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.”
Let’s turn in our Bibles to 1 Kings 3. After King David died his son Solomon became king over Israel. “Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statues of his father David…” (1Kings 3:3a)
It is a gift to have family members who teach us to love and obey God. Just as Solomon heard what his father taught him, more importantly he showed his love for God by obeying what his Dad taught him about God. John 14:21
Let’s read 1 Kings 3:4 to find out how many burnt offerings Solomon offered to God. (1000) That night while Solomon was sleeping, God spoke to him in a dream. Read 1 Kings 3:5 to see what God said.
Choose volunteers to read 1 Kings 3:6-9. Solomon recognized that the job to be king over God’s people would require God’s wisdom.
Solomon’s response to the question pleased God (1Kings 3:10). Why do you think this request pleased God? (Solomon’s focus was on being the kind of king that could lead God’s people and not focused on being famous or important. His focus was God-centered and not self-centered.) What would Solomon’s answer have been if he was focused on himself? (Allow responses. To be a powerful king conquering all the lands, lots of money etc.)
Can you give an example of a God-centered prayer for a kid your age? Allow students to respond. If they are quiet you can share an example to give them an idea. (Lord, help me to love the student in our class who is always mean. Help me to show kindness to him/her even though I don’t feel like it.) What is an example of a self-centered prayer? (Lord, would you cause the mean student’s family to move away so we don’t have to see him/her again.)
God was pleased because Solomon knew that in order to be the kind of king that could lead God’s people he could only do it with God’s wisdom.
You and I will most likely never be a king as Solomon was. However, as a believer the work Jesus has called us to do is just as important. We need wisdom to live a life that pleases God so we can lead others to Jesus. Jesus says that believers can only do God’s work with His power. (John 15:5) Picture what Jesus is saying as we think about a tree. The source of life for the branches of a tree is the sap that runs through the tree. A branch is only able to live if it is connected to the tree. When the branch is connected to the tree, leaves sprout and later fruit will grow from the branches. This is a picture of what a believer needs to do in order for God’s power to work in and through our lives. We have to stay close to Jesus because He is our life source. We need to pray daily and stay in His Word so we can hear His voice and obey His instructions. Can a branch continue to live if it is broken off from the tree? (No) A believer who tries to live the Christian life in his/her own power is like a branch that breaks off a tree and tries to produce leaves and fruit. This happens when believers try to live their lives without praying and obeying God’s voice. The result is that he/she won’t see God’s power and won’t see others coming to Jesus to be saved.
God not only gave Solomon what he asked for but let’s find out what else God gave him. Read 1 Kings 3:13-14. Solomon asked God for wisdom and he received it and other blessings as well.
1 Kings 3:16-28 In the next verses we get to see an example that shows us how God answered Solomon’s prayer to have wisdom.
Two women came to Solomon with a very big problem. They both lived in the same house and both had infant sons. In the night one of the women rolled over on her baby while she slept and the baby died. She got out of bed and carried her son into the room of the other woman with a baby son. As the other woman slept, the woman with the dead son took the living son and replaced him with her dead son. When the woman woke up and looked at the dead baby she knew this was not her son. The other woman would not give her son back and said it was her baby.
As Solomon looked at the two women he needed wisdom to solve this problem. Let’s read how he decided to fix their problem in 1 Kings 3:24-25. Solomon knew the love that mother’s have for their children and a normal mother would do anything they could to protect their child.
Read verse 26 to see how the mothers respond to this very strange command about this living baby. Solomon knew that the mother who wanted to spare her son’s life was the true mother and commanded that the child be returned to her.
1 Kings 3:28 “When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.”
The same wisdom that God gave Solomon is available to anyone who asks. (Memory Verse) If we ask God for wisdom and we look for His answers in the Bible we can make wise decisions and help others to see Jesus in our lives.
Close in prayer.
- How did Solomon show that he loved God? (Obeyed His commands)
- Who spoke to Solomon in a dream? (God)
- What did God ask Solomon? (Ask for whatever you want me to give you)
- How did Solomon respond to God’s request? (He asked for wisdom to lead God’s people)
- What extra things did God give Solomon along with wisdom? (Riches/honor)
- How did Solomon solve the problem with the two women? (He said he would cut the baby in two knowing the true mother would want to protect her son)
- True or False The people of Israel were amazed by Solomon’s natural intelligence? (False they saw that he had wisdom from God)