Scripture: And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. 1 Kings 11:9-10 ESV
Observation: Young King Solomon started so well. Recognizing his immaturity and need for wisdom to lead God’s people, he asked for such from Yahweh—above power and wealth. And the Lord blessed him at every turn. The kingdom expanded and thrived, and all Solomon’s neighboring rulers respected his prominence. But over time, Solomon lost sight of where his strength and security lie and drifted further and further from communion with his Creator and Sustainer. His love for foreign women (and the peace treaties they secured) competed for his affection for his Lord. Indeed, the author reports that Solomon “clung in love” to 700 wives and 300 concubines (verses 2-3)—sounds exhausting! So Solomon built shrines to their pagan gods and even worshiped these idols to keep peace with his harem (verses 6-8).
Takeaway: Take nothing for granted. Solomon rested on his laurels, relying on his worldly insights to maintain control of his kingdom. And he succumbed to his penchant for women (and the pleasures of sexual intimacy), which led him further away from God. There is an aspect of irony in Solomon’s sad demise. In his proverbial writings to his son, Solomon exhorts Rehoboam to trust in the Lord with all his heart and lean not on his understanding (Proverbs 3:5). And he warned his son that a quarreling wife is like incessant rain (Proverbs 27:15). Unfortunately, Rehoboam would pick up where his dad left off, foolishly listening to the immature counsel of his peers over the wise advice of his elders. Consequently, the kingdom Solomon desperately sought to strengthen fractured under Rehoboam’s reign.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for your Holy Spirit, who provides us with all the wisdom and insight we need to stay on course through our journey here on earth. Would you please help us take nothing for granted and utilize Scripture, prayer, and the community of believers to nurture our love and affection for you and your Son above all else? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling