The book ends with the handover from David to Solomon. Solomon asks for wisdom, in terms that acknowledge that God has made a great nation, remembering his love for David. This pleases God. He grants Solomon wisdom and he also promises great wealth.
They go to the tabernacle and offer sacrifices. I got mixed up earlier, there are two tents. This one Moses made in the wilderness, and another in Jerusalem that David made for the ark of the covenant.
The book concludes with a description of how wealthy and powerful Israel became during Solomon’s reign.
It’s a sweet fulfillment of God’s promises.
It’s such a brief period, is like the flowering of the American prosperity theology. God blesses them with wealth.
Indeed, he doesn’t only use poverty or suffering. I’ve mentioned before the English band the Housemartins who famously said they would be Christians only when they had nothing in their bank accounts, but that is not the only way.
Here is a period when gold and silver were as common as stone. However God also doesn’t only use wealth and success.
It’s tempting to think that this is where it was done right, where God is in control and his will is being done fully as he intended. But it isn’t.
He told them back in Samuel that even having kings in the first place was second best, plan B.
The bad Kings that would come, and the split, decline and fall of Israel, result in the soaring visions of the prophets, the wisdom literature, global redemption, the God who lives in hearts, not buildings.
It’s one of the few books about the Jewish nation’s history with a happy ending, until you read that the only reason it ends here is that the scrolls it was written on weren’t long enough to hold the whole story. It ends here for technological, not literary, reasons.
So I’ll enjoy the good things without guilt, and pray that I can accept the bad. Neither condition demonstrates or questions God’s existence, his favour, or his will.