Even though a few of David's sons had aspired and even conspired to sit upon their father's throne, it was Solomon, one of the younger sons, who had been chosen as successor. He was the "son of the promise"; a promise made by King David to his wife Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. Before his death, David spoke with his son, exhorting him to be faithful to God by following all of his ways and decrees as put forth in the law of Moses, thus insuring that he and his people would succeed in all of their undertakings. But David also passed on to him another promise, the very promise that God had made to him; "if your sons are careful how they behave, and walk loyally before me with all their heart and soul, you will never want for a man on the throne of Israel." (1 Kings 2:4) David knew that the only way his dynasty would endure is if his 'children's children' were to walk faithfully before their God, so before his death, he made sure that Solomon understood that his inheritance was not only a natural, but a supernatural reality as well.
David's hope was that this understanding between he and God would continue through every succeeding generation until a son would come, the very King of the Promise, the King of Kings, and that this Son would take up his throne and rule as the ultimate heir of the promise.
So we see Solomon starting out very well, having been strengthened in purpose and dignity by his father's words and legacy. The scriptures say that Solomon loved Yahweh and that he followed the precepts of his father David. (1 Kings 3:3)
In 1 Kings 3: 5-15, it is written that when Solomon went to Gibeon at the beginning of his rule, he had a dream, a dream that would impact the whole of his ministry as king of the chosen people:
At Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream during the night. God said, 'Ask what you would like me to give you.' Solomon replied, 'You showed most faithful love to your servant David, my father, when he lived his life before you in faithfulness and uprightness and integrity of heart; you have continued this most faithful love to him by allowing a son of his to sit on his throne today.
Now, Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. And here is your servant, surrounded with your people whom you have chosen, a people so numerous that its number cannot be counted or reckoned.
So give your servant a heart to understand how to govern your people, how to discern between good and evil, for how could one otherwise govern such a great people as yours?
It pleased Yahweh that Solomon should have asked for this. 'Since you have asked for this,' God said, 'and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as no one has had before and no one will have after you. What you have not asked I shall give you too: such riches and glory as no other king can match. And I shall give you a long life, if you follow my ways, keeping my laws and commandments, as your father David followed them.'
Then Solomon woke up; it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh; he presented burnt offerings and communion sacrifices and held a banquet for all those in his service.
There is not much interpretation skill needed to decipher this dream: God appears, He tells Solomon that he can ask whatever he wishes for and Solomon gives his answer. This is a straight-forward dream. However, it's everything else about the dream that is so amazing.
God - the Holy One of Israel - the creator of the entire universe - actually appears to Solomon in a dream. And not only that, but they actually have a conversation! What does this mean? It means that when we go to bed at night, our bodies may fall asleep but not our spirits. The scriptures say that......This means that in his sleep, Solomon was communicating spirit to spirit with his God. He and God had a man-on-man conversation about his rulership and how he would conduct himself as king.
What is even more amazing is that God asks Solomon what he wants. It is at this point in their conversation that Solomon makes one of the most important decisions of his political career. He asks for divine wisdom in order to serve his people better. In that moment, Solomon didn't think of himself, but of the nation under his care. And he did all this in a dream!
God granted him what he wanted and even more besides! He granted him riches, honour and glory above any other king on earth. In a real sense, God made a covenant with Solomon on that night and this interaction between them changed the course of Israel's history.
But more than that, it also had an impact on other nations too. Later on, we read that Solomon had influence not only in his own country but in other lands as well. He was sought out by foreign powers for his amazing wisdom in the governance of his country; recall the visit of the Queen of Sheba. It says that she was "left breathless" upon seeing what he had accomplished.
Solomon and Israel became a witness to the fact that when a nation has leaders who seek God and His wisdom, its people prosper and the nation has influence (political, religious, etc) on the course of history in other nations. Imagine what our own nation - Canada- could become if it had godly and wise rulers who would pray and seek God's wisdom for the good of its people! How different our land would be today. These leaders would be sought out by foreign leaders....
This account of Solomon's dream in the Holy Scriptures is not incidental. It's a powerful testimony to this man's heart
They spoke. Solomon made the most important decision of his career in his sleep.
God gave him what he asked and made a kind of covenant with him.
This interaction between God and Solomon changed the course of history.
Solomon had influence not only in his country but over other countries. He was sought out by foreign powers for his wisdom in the governance of his nation. His nation became a witness to the fact that when a people have leaders who seek God, the nation prospers domestically and has influence on the course of history in other nations.