Time ~ 5. Kingdom of David
Span ~ 120 years
Books ~ 2Samuel, 1Kings, 1Chronicles, Poetry
Figures ~ Saul, David, Solomon
Begins with ~ The people of Israel seek a king
In this lesson we come to the point where the kingdom of Israel, in its earthly form, reaches its peak of glory. Solomon takes the throne of David whose time on earth has drawn to its close. Under Solomon's reign the kingdom is united, and very extensive —reaching "from Dan to Beersheba".
You will recall that God's promise to Abraham contained two elements: the SEED PROMISE and the LAND PROMISE. Solomon, the son of David, was not the one to fulfill the SEED PROMISE. That would be the right of another son of David who would be born many years later —namely Jesus Christ. However Solomon was the one who fulfilled the LAND PROMISE (or rather, God fulfilled it in Solomon).
Some teach that the land promise was never fulfilled. It is true that Israel's sin delayed the fulfilling of the promise. It is also true that after the land was gained at last, it was lost again because of sin. However, 1Kings 4:20-25 and 1Kings 8:56 show that the LAND PROMISE was completely fulfilled in Solomon's day.
Behind this story is the extent to which God was willing to bless Solomon. Jesus spoke of "Solomon in all his glory" (Mtt 6:28-30). Solomon was blessed beyond what he asked.(1Kg 3:1-15).
We, too, are blessed "exceeding abundantly" (Eph 1:3-5 Eph 3:14-21). Solomon's glory may be properly regarded as symbolic of the glory of Christ in the church, and of the spiritual blessings enjoyed in Christ by the church, which is the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, the spiritual Israel.
It's a headache trying to remember whether it was Jeroboam or Rehoboam who was Solomon's son and the next king in Jerusalem. Everyone has a favourite mnemonic for getting it right. The one I'll give you is this... The letters R and S go next to each other in the alphabet. So Rehoboam goes with Solomon.