Book Review: Solomon: Ritchie Character Study Series by A. J. Higgins

book coverA. J. Higgins, Solomon: Ritchie Character Study Series (Kilmarnock, Scotland: John Ritchie Ltd., 2018), 160pp.

Reviewed by Ryan Coleman

Dr. Higgins’ short study on the life of Solomon is full of expository and practical wisdom concerning the Old Testament’s wisest man. The text is engaging and the author skillfully applies useful scriptural lessons in an enjoyable to read and reference format.

Solomon is a study in wisdom. It points out the king’s development under the hand of God and the influence of those around him. It teaches the value of biblical management principles. The author wisely applies OT truth to growth, worship and leadership in the local church, embodying the exhortation, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom 15:4 ESV).

Solomon is also a study in warning, faithfully focusing on the key events that corrupted Solomon’s heart and tarnished his God-given glory. His fall resulted in further division and corruption of God’s people. Sound warnings and lessons learned are seeded throughout, teaching us to avoid the sad result of Solomon’s worldly alliances, lax handling of God’s Word and personal pride.

The book is a circumspect study, walking us through 1 Kings 1-11, yet pulling in insights from the whole Bible. References from the poetic and wisdom books enrich the work, and many NT references confirm the lasting value of Solomon’s story for the believer. Solomon poignantly closes with the contrast of Psalm 72 (A Psalm for Solomon) and the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ’s millennial reign.