Lesson for May 8. Everyone know about Solomon, right? Maybe. But there’s lots one may not know about this super-wise ‘hero’ of the Old Testament. The video, in its creative, cartooning way, shows how dysfunctional David’s family was when David was on his deathbed. Oh yes, David was Solomon’s dad. And, what does David ask to be done? Here he is, King of Israel, THE king and his last directive is to kill so and so, and make sure this so and so gets off okay and the like. You can read the script in 1 Kings 2.
As a contrast, what did King Jesus say from the cross regarding his enemies and the thief on the cross? What a stark contrast in ‘kingship.’
Ask the kids what they admire about Solomon. He was well-known and regarded. His reputation and prowess are noted not only in the Old Testament but other ‘extra-biblical’ sources. He was a real guy.
Solomon was a king. Israel never had it so good. They were glory days-at first. But as Solomon’s reign wore on, things got worse. He treated his citizens as scruffy slaves. He did build a Temple all right, but on the backs of the poor and peasantry. How modern day does that sound?
The video shows a powerful prayer piece about Solomon and God. God, for some reason, tells Solomon he can ask for anything from God. Seriously?What might the youth ask for, seriously! Solomon had it all. Did the kids catch what he asked for? (Wisdom)
What does wisdom mean today? In the Bible, wisdom is far more than basic knowledge, mastery of facts and accumulation of experiences. Wisdom is to see things from God’s perspective and discern life with THAT in mind. Wisdom is also one of the gifts given in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. You might want to probe and listen to what the kids say is the wisest things they said or did this week. On the other side, what is one of the most ‘un-wise’ things they did or say in the prior week? If you’re bold and up for the challenge, share one of the most ‘un-wise’ calls you made and how God may or may not have redeemed or used that.
When we look close, we see that Solomon was flawed and sinful. Yet, God worked and was bent on bringing salvation, uniting all in Christ, through remarkable and unremarkable men and women. The real ‘hero’ is not Solomon the king. The real hero has yet to be born. And it will be in a quite unremarkable castle in the royal city of Bethlehem.
Just a note about next week’s unit. Elijah is one of the super-power prophets. Yet, he is one who wrestled mightily with depression. You can read ahead about Elijah’s greatest hits as well as the greatest low. I Kings 19 shows how God dealt with the ‘getter-done-prophet’ (as the unit calls him) when he feels he is done.