Poetry & Wisdom
The Gospel Project for Kids continues to follow the life of Solomon today but gives another story of sin and its result. Solomon, with his God-granted wisdom, still made many mistakes. Solomon had married many foreign women and was led away from worship of the one true God to follow the gods of his foreign wives. God told Solomon that for the rest of his life he would be king of Israel, but once he died, Solomon’s son would have all but one tribe ripped out of his hands.
Jeroboam, one of Solomon’s servants, turned against Solomon. Once Solomon died and his son, Rehoboam, took the throne, Jeroboam led most of the nation of Israel to follow him north, where he set up his kingdom in Samaria. Rehoboam didn’t like being king of only one tribe and decided to attack the northern kingdom. God stopped his plans and the nation was divided.
Jeroboam formed two golden calves and told the people of the northern tribes that they could worship the golden calves instead of having to go to Jerusalem to worship God at the temple. From that point forward, the northern tribe of Israel started a steeply declining spiral into sin that they would never recover from.
King Solomon’s sin led to the division of Israel. Every king failed to lead God’s people perfectly. God’s people needed a better king, a perfect king! Through David’s family, God would send His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be King over God’s people forever. Jesus would lead the people perfectly back to God.
Poetry and Wisdom
Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes
King David loved God, and he wrote many psalms or songs about his love for God. The Israelites collected the songs David and other people wrote and put them in the Bible in the Book of Psalms.
David wrote psalms when he was happy and thankful to God. David sang, “Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!” God had done great and powerful things, and God deserved to be praised.
David also sang praises to God when he was sad or afraid.
Sometimes David wrote songs to God when he was hiding from his enemies, like King Saul. David sang, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.”
David also wrote songs to God when he was sorry for his sin. David wrote, “I sinned only against You. Give me a clean heart, God, and forgive me.” David understood that God didn’t just want sacrifices. God wanted David’s heart to change so he would not sin against God anymore. God forgave David, and David praised God.
David also wrote songs to show how important it is to read and learn God’s Word. David thought about God’s Word all the time. He taught his son Solomon to love and follow God’s Word, too.
When Solomon became king, he asked God for help to lead the Israelites. Solomon could have asked for riches or a long life, but he asked for wisdom. God was pleased, and He gave Solomon so much wisdom that everyone knew that God had blessed Solomon.
Solomon wrote thousands of wise sayings called proverbs. He also wrote more than a thousand songs. In the Book of Proverbs, Solomon said to love and worship God. He told people how to make wise decisions. If people listened to God’s words and did what God told them to do, God would bless them and protect them. They would get along well with their friends and neighbors. They would have happy marriages and families. They would be healthy and live long lives. If they did not listen
to God’s words and obey them, they would make bad decisions and face consequences for their sins. They would not be happy, healthy, or get along well with others!
“Trust in God with all your heart,” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:5.
“Watch how hard an ant works. Work hard too; this is the wise thing to do.” (See Proverbs 6:6.)
But people do not always listen to God’s words. In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon said that God made the world so that people would worship God and see how good God is. But all people do not obey and love God like they should. The most important thing, Solomon said, was to love and obey God.
Solomon even wrote a poem. He taught that there is a time for everything: “a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:2-4).
Christ Connection: Wisdom in the Bible is not just words about how to live. God gives us wisdom because He wants us to be like Jesus—in how we live, how we speak, and how we think. We become wise by knowing and loving Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us. (1 Corinthians 1:30)