More Wealth Than Kylie Jenner?

Written by Mark A. Kellner

A young woman named Kylie Jenner, part of the reality TV-famous Kardashian clan, has become one of the wealthiest people in America. She’s also just 20 years old, and, The Washington Post reports, her fame on Instagram has catapulted her cosmetics line to a $900 million business.

Not bad for someone who recently left her teenage years.

The newspaper noted, “Kylie Cosmetics debuted two years ago with $29 ‘lip kits’ and, according to Forbes, has ballooned into a beauty industry icon valued at nearly $800 million. Forbes wrote that the company has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup, including roughly $330 million in 2017 alone.”

One beauty industry analyst, Mintel’s Alison Gaither, said Jenner—who has 111 million followers on Instagram—has demonstrated the power of celebrity: “She can show that anyone with the right following, you can take your beauty brand to the next level and be right on par with your L’Oreals and your Estée Lauders.”

It may even be satirical, but one fan has started a crowdfunding effort aimed at getting the final $100 million donated to Kylie Jenner so she can be one of the youngest billionaires in the world, if not the youngest. Let’s just say that donations aren’t flooding in. Then again, they don’t really have to.

Kylie’s success is notable for her age and entrepreneurship. And while things can change—what’s in style today may not be in style tomorrow or next year—she certainly seems well positioned for material success.

But did you know there was another young adult who amassed even more wealth than Kylie Jenner has? Or that his legacy has endured for thousands of years?

His name was Solomon, the second son of Israel’s King David and Bathsheba, with whom he had an adulterous affair. The first child, whose pregnancy moved David to arrange the death of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, died shortly after birth.

But after David repented, God gave the couple another son. And it was Solomon who became the heir to David’s throne.

There’s no record of Solomon’s age at the time he succeeded his father as king, but the best estimates place him between 12 and 20 years of age when he took the throne. Shortly after the young man took over, God appeared to Solomon at a town called Gibeon.

In 1 Kings chapter 3 and verse 5, we read, “God said, 'Ask! What shall I give you?' ”

That open-ended offer from God could have been taken in any direction. Young Solomon could have asked for money, for more power, for wives and concubines, for just about anything. After all, the offer came from the Lord of all creation!

But Solomon, as we read in verses 7–9, knew what he really needed, and it was something no amount of money could purchase. Solomon asked God for wisdom: “I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

You know the rest of the story: God was so pleased, he gave Solomon the “smarts” for which the young man asked—and even more.

God said, beginning in verse 12, “I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.”

His wealth was such that other monarchs, including the Queen of Sheba, came to him to pay tribute and to learn his secrets. He was able to fund construction of the temple in Jerusalem. His reputation lives on long after his death.

Solomon’s contributions to the Bible include the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, as well as the romantic Song of Solomon, making him one of the most prolific writers in the Hebrew Scriptures. In recent years, best-selling books have been written about on Solomon’s life, wisdom, and teachings. (Here's one from Amazing Facts.)

Pastor Doug has an inspiring and informative series of messages about the king’s unique life and accomplishments. If you want to learn more about the wisdom of Solomon—which also helped him to become more wealthy than any other king in his day—click here!

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