3 Lessons We Can Learn from the Richest Man on Earth

King Solomon has been described as the wealthiest king as well as the wisest man in the history of the world.  Royalty from all over the world would seek an audience with him.  As a result of this profound wisdom, Solomon ended up being blessed with tremendous wealth which will never be duplicated.  Kings and queens would bring tribute of $400 million of gold just to come into his presence.  But how did King Solomon become so wealthy and wise?

Humble Beginnings

In 2 Chronicles chapter 1, we read that God appeared to Solomon after a day filled with worship and sacrifice and essentially granted him one wish.  Rather than wish for fame or fortune or even health and longevity, Solomon humbled himself before God and recognized the fact that he was incapable of leading God’s chosen people in his own power.

So, Solomon asked God for wisdom.  As a result, God chose not only to grant him the requisite wisdom, but also to bless him with great wealth and honor and obviously fame that has stood the test of time.

Now Solomon was an illegitimate child, the offspring of King David and Bathsheba.  Remember that Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah whom David had transferred to the front lines and had the other soldiers withdraw so that Uriah was sure to get killed in the fighting.  In this way, David sinned against God and was not allowed to build God’s temple.

Yet despite this, Solomon found favor with God and became Israel’s greatest king and author of such timeless financial advice as found in Proverbs 10:4 which says, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.”

Lessons from Solomon

Since we can see that Solomon was incredibly wise and wealthy, what can we learn from him?

  • First, we should begin with praise and worship, humbling ourselves before God.  Solomon spent a day in the temple sacrificing before the altar.  It was only after such a day of praise that God appeared to Solomon to grant him whatever he might wish.  After all, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1). I often fail offer the appropriate amount of praise that is due the Lord but instead focus upon my problems and requests in a disproportionate amount.  It becomes too easy to turn to prayer only when needing something or things are going my way, especially when it comes to finances.  But clearly, that is wrong.
  • Second, we should realize that we don’t have all the answers.  Solomon knew that he needed help to govern the people of Israel and couldn’t possibly undertake such a gargantuan task in his own power and knowledge. I can’t tell you how many poor financial decisions that I have made during my lifetime because I failed to seek God and His wisdom prior to acting.  If I had anything to do over in life, that is probably the one thing that I would change.  I would seek God’s direction over my finances all along the way.
  • Finally, it is only when we prioritize in this fashion that the Lord is able to bless us.  As a result of Solomon’s choices, God decided to bless him in an immeasurable fashion.  Each year, Solomon’s wealth was growing by almost $2 billion in gold alone.  And that is in our inflated economy.  The purchasing power in those days would have been astronomical.

I must confess that I am preaching to myself more than anyone else.  I am sure that many of you reading this have already learned these lessons.  But, I know that I have missed out on some good opportunities due to debt that I have incurred and still have to manage.

However, I can take comfort in the fact that it is not too late and, regardless of the past, Solomon’s wisdom is timeless, and God’s love is eternal.  Today can be the first day of the rest of my and your financial life.  I am encouraged and looking forward to this journey.

Readers, what financial mistakes have you made?  Do you turn to prayer only in a tough spot?  Do you have any encouraging words or lessons to share?

This guest post is part of the CPF Writer Auditions. Jim is Christian father of six who has been married for over 20 years.  He enjoys golf, softball, and spending time with his family when not working hard.  He also writes at CashFlowMantra.com in his spare time (usually while everyone is sleeping).

Photo by tao_zhyn

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12 Comments
  1. Bryce

    I enjoyed the post and I hope I can incorporate humility and wisdom in my own life more fully, both in financial matters and other aspects of life.

    Couple minor points-
    I thought Solomon came after David married Bathsheba and that their illegitimate child passed away immediately after birth or something like that.

    Solomon did build God’s temple, but later he did a number of wicked things that probably left the welfare of his soul in jeopardy. I expect that is because, being wise, he leaned too much on his own ability and not enough on the Lord. I draw from it that wisdom is admirable, but must be tempered by humility and obedience to the Lord. You addressed this point, I just thought it is reinforced by showing that the failure of this once-great man to do so was his downfall.

    Thanks again for writing this piece.

  2. Jason Cabler

    I’ve found that relying on God first, and praying and praising proactively (before I’m having a problem) is hard to do at first, but works wonders. We’ve all done dumb financial things and need the grace to recover and to build our wisdom through our mistakes as well as the mistakes of others. God will give us that grace and wisdom, but we must pursue it first.

  3. Tom

    Great article. One little item. Solomon was not the illegitimate son of David and Bathsheba, conceived before David had Uriah killed. That child died (II Samuel 12:14-19). Solomon was the later child of David and Bathsheba.

  4. Carol J. Alexander

    Wow, Jim, great points. And these things can apply to all areas of our lives, not just finances. Your story made me think of something I’ve done when times were tough. I started a “thankfulness list.” Every time God would bless our family in some material way (or not) I would add it to the list and pray thanks over it rather than the “please bless us or provide for us” kind of prayers.

  5. Man O' Clay

    I do forget to seek God, which seems crazy because I KNOW He is the one person I need beyond all else. I’m endeavoring to fully believe that He is all in all. Financial mistakes…well, we bought a new car a few years ago. I don’t think we’ll ever buy a new car again. We bought it quickly – and it was a good deal – but it was still too much, and if given the chance to do it all over again, I know we would do things more slowly (and especially with more prayer).

  6. Felicia

    This is such a powerful post for me. It’s so easy to give thanks when things are going right, but taking the time to seek His wisdom and direction prior to taking action is extremely important. What a wake up call.

    You might have been preaching to yourself more than anyone else but I’ve got to say that this “anyone else” truly appreciates this post.

  7. Deanna

    I really enjoyed this post. It reminds us that God and living a good life should always come first and the rest will follow.

  8. Ofelia

    I enjoyed what you had to say and agree that God is our provider in all things. I have experienced his grace when I needed it and have seen his provision when I made a confession of faith. For instance I had a certain amount of food one evening family kept coming; I decided to ask God to multiply. I wasn’t surprise when after everyone ate I had left over food.
    I have seen this happen in my finances as well. Only serves to remind me to include Him in my decision making. What an awesome God we have. Blessings.

  9. Courtney

    Thanks- great post- I pray daily that I will seek GOd first in all things..including finances. So easy to forget prayer in the “little averday things”..but He cares about those things too.
    Thanks again! and God Bless you!

  10. Jason Cabler

    I have a story similar to Ofelia’s that I tell people about in the personal finance course that I developed and teach. It goes like this:

    A Story of Faith

    My friend Timothy who was raised by a single mother, remembers his family being without food for dinner on several occasions during his childhood, but one night in particular stands out more than any other. That night Timothy knew there was no food in the house and knew he’d be going to bed hungry. When it got to that time in the evening when they would normally be eating dinner, his mother Francis gathered the kids together and told them it was time to set the table for dinner. Of course, knowing that the cupboards were bare and the fridge was empty, Timothy and his sister looked at their mother with a questioning expression. But they said not a word and set the table with plates, glasses, and utensils just as their mother asked them to do. When the table was set, they all sat down and Francis led them in prayer, giving thanks to God for the meal that they were about to eat. Just within 1 or 2 minutes after they prayed, there was a knock at the door. Not one, but two women were at the door, both members of their church, both bearing the same message, which was, “God said to bring you this food.” There is nothing better that a parent can do than to set that kind of example for their kids by trusting in God during your time of need and letting Him work his way in the lives of you and your kids every single day.

    • Samirian @MoneyWisdoms

      Very nice story, that is faith in action. “God shall supply all of our needs according to His riches in Glory through Christ Jesus.” Timothy’s mom trusted that promise.

  11. libby

    this was a great post.