There were too many stories I learned as a child that seemed to end with "and they lived happily ever after." Some were fairy tales. Others were Bible stories. Folks never told me that there was more to the stories. And when there is more, I think it is so very important to learn the rest of the story.
This week's Bible reading from 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14 is about Solomon’s request for wisdom. But there is so much more to the story. Solomon didn’t do everything right from that time forward.
Solomon asked for wisdom when God offered him anything he wanted. In Sunday school the teachers would sum things up with a phrase like, "Solomon asked for wisdom and God gave him wisdom. If you ask for wisdom God will give it to you.”
It wasn’t until later that I dug deeper to learn more of the story. I still feel as if I was cheated out of the truth. I thought that my teachers didn't think that I would believe in God if I knew that the people I learned about in Sunday school were far from perfect.
Solomon was far from perfect. He made many mistakes. He didn't always show wisdom. Solomon let the temple become a place poisoned with power and corruption. He built temples to many other gods and made poor decisions when it came to taxes and even raising his children. He was a great example of how people are capable of messing up in huge ways.
And God still got to be the one who was able to get things done.
Why couldn't we remember as Solomon as the king who messed up royally and that God still loved him? Solomon made mistake after mistake and God still got things done.
I wish I'd learned that when I was a child.