as told by Ash the owl
Solomon was a wise old bird; some of us are, you know.
So it's only right that another wise old bird should tell you his story.
Solomon's father was King David, and, after David died, the country needed a new king. David had wanted his son, Solomon, to be that king, so he was - although some people didn't like it.
Anyway, before he was crowned as king, Solomon had a dream. In this dream, God appeared to him and said that he would give Solomon whatever he wanted. Wow! I wish I had those kind of dreams.
Solomon could have asked for anything at all.
I wonder what you would have asked for.
What one thing would you like to have most, in all the world? I don't know if Solomon was tempted to ask for money, or lots of nice things; he might have got those things anyway, as he was king.
So he decided that the most important thing for him was to be a good king, do the job God wanted him to do, and look after the people God had given him to look after. So he asked God for wisdom; he wanted to do it right, and to make good, and right, decisions. It seemed to me that this was already a very wise decision - to ask God to make him a better person, rather than giving him lots of things. Things don't last, you know, but people do.
Anyway, God heard this wish of his and made him a very wise man. In fact, God was so pleased with Solomon for thinking of other people and not being selfish, that he let him have all that other stuff too. It didn't just magically appear; people heard how wise and good Solomon was so they came to visit him, and when they did, they brought presents for him.
Solomon was soon very rich. He built himself a huge, new palace to live in, and then decided that God should have a home to live in too. So he built another huge place, called a temple, and put lots of gold and silver furniture in it. He didn't do all this himself, he asked for people to help him, and God gave these people the special skills they needed to build the temple. When it was finished, they had a special service to dedicate it, with lots of people playing musical instruments and singing, and then they had a big party.
But even though Solomon had wanted to build this special place for God, he was wise enough to realise that God wouldn't say inside a place like that. In fact, he said, "Will God really live on earth? Even the highest heavens cannot contain him; how much less, then, can this temple?"
God is everywhere, and even the biggest building in the world cannot keep him trapped inside. And Solomon's own dad, David, had said that there is nowhere in the whole world that we can go to escape from God. Even if we go into space, near the moon, or dive right down to the bottom of the deepest sea; God is there.*
Many years later, Jesus also taught us that God is everywhere. And one of Jesus' friends, a man called Paul, even said that God can live right inside us, if we want him to.
Anyway, Solomon wrote some of the books in the Bible, which give us instructions on being wise. The most important way to do this, he says, is to make sure that we put God first and honour him.
Sadly, it seems, Solomon didn't always take this advice himself. The Bible says that he married lots of women, had lots of wives - all at the same time - and started to listen to them instead of God.
God didn't give up on Solomon, but it seems that Solomon may have stopped listening to God. That wasn't a very wise thing to do.
I wonder if you have ever listened to God?
If you do listen to him, I wonder if there are times that you have stopped listening and tried to do things in your own way?
Solomon's story can be found in the Bible in 1 Kings chapters 2-11.
* This can be found in Psalm 139 verse 8