Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Living Lesson from Dead Kings: Lesson 02 “How to Ruin a Wise King” 1 Kings 10-11

Lesson 2

The primary focus of these questions is to measure how Solomon measured up to the instructions from Deuteronomy in Lesson One.  They will also help to set a trajectory for the lesson about Rehoboam.
My main focus here is to think about the influences and tendencies that work against us finishing well.  Solomon seemed to be off to a great start in 2 Chronicles 1:8-9 only to flounder dangerously at the end of his life.
These two articles are mainly for fun to speculate about just how filthy rich Solomon was.

Lesson 02   “How to Ruin a Wise King”  1 Kings 10-11
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context:  Review Deuteronomy 17.14-12 and read 1 Kings 10-11.  If you have time, you may want to read 1 Kings 3.1-14 and 9.54-61 to get a sense of his heart earlier in his life. 
1.    CR:  (1 Kings 3:1-14 and 9:54-61)  What were some of Solomon’s positive traits earlier in his life?
2.    ID:  (10:14-24)  What impressed you most about Solomon’s riches?
3.    ID:  (10:26-29)  What were Solomon’s two interests in horses?
4.    ID:  (11.1-8)  Why does the text make a point of listing the countries his wives came from?  When did they turn his heart?  Is that significant?
5.    WS:  (11:5)  The word used to describe how Solomon’s heart was different from David is translated perfect (KJV), loyal (NKJV), faithful (NLT), devoted (NASB, NIV84), and wholly true (ESV).  Do a word study on shalem.  How do the English translations relate to the Hebrew in this context? 
6.    ID:  (11:9-13)  What made God angry with Solomon?  What aggravating circumstances are described?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.    How does this passage make you marvel about Christ (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31)?
2.    What effect do you think Solomon’s extensive possessions and interests had on him?  Can you relate to that?
3.    Have your personal relationships ever influenced your devotion to God?
4.    Have there been changes in your devotion to God over the years?  Why?
5.    David and Solomon both left legacies for their children.  What kind of legacy are you leaving for your children and grandchildren?

King Solomon’s Wealth More Than Mr. Gates?
Everyone knows King Solomon’s wealth surpassed anything the ancient world had seen but was he richer than the world’s current richest man, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates? Right now, Gates net worth is estimated at around $40 billion. To his credit, he’s signed a pledge to give half of it away and is at the forefront of a worldwide effort to eradicate AIDS and distribute computers to Third World countries. That aside, let’s take a hypothetical look at the numbers between the two men.
The New International Version of the Bible mentions King Solomon’s yearly salary at 666 talents of gold per year. One talent of gold equals 34.5 kg, which converts to 1109 troy ounces. A ballpark current value of gold is $960 per ounce. Multiply that out and the King’s salary was about $760 million per year. Not bad. Not bad at all. Multiply that by the 40 years he was in power and you end up with a figure of slightly over $30 billion. That’s just salary!
But King Solomon’s wealth would not be complete without accounting for the other property and assets he owned. Horses, land, etc. Plus, we’re figuring that if he was investing by Biblical principles and had God’s voice in his ear, his return on investment would have been a healthy one. Just taking a wild guess, it seems like the King could have been the owner of a net worth that could easily have translated into $100 billion today.
While we’re pretty sure he got no royalties for having authored parts of the Bible, and he did have 700 wives under his care, which surely must have been a serious drain on his budget, but the guy was doing alright, even by today’s standards.


The current price of gold is $38,922 per kg. or per 2.2 pounds.
Solomon seems to have gotten 240 + 400 = 640 talents of gold in gifts, or 48000 pounds of gold, that today would be worth $849,207,202.  He also receives 666 talents of gold in income every year (40 years of being king = $35, 348, 252, 727).
Of course, he wouldn't be able to sell all that gold at once or else he would crash the market.
Rockefeller made 1 billion dollars, which would now be worth 318 billion dollars.  Carnegie made 400 million which today would be worth about 186 billion dollars.  Bill Gates is worth a measly 56 billion, which fluctuates with the stock market.
It is really hard to compare wealth across large time periods though; calculating Solomon's wealth today almost makes no sense, most of us have a higher life expectancy and many have a higher standard of living than Solomon did, but can you put a price on being king? Can you put a price on power? Let's just say any of these men could have anything that money could buy.

No comments:

Post a Comment