Our first study from 1 Kings 4 on King Solomon left us thinking about how wonderful it would be to get a wish from God. Solomon’s wish was to have great discerning wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong and be able to help others with his wisdom. Because God was pleased with his wish, God granted his desire, but also gave Solomon much more than he bargained for. God decided to give him the greatest fame, fortune, and love as well. As we read further, it would appear that these additional “blessings” became more of a test and a lesson for Solomon and the future readers of this book. We see God’s warning to Solomon several times to remain faithful to His Word. Would he listen to the warnings or fail the test?
- “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ “But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. ” 1 Kings 9:4-7
Almost immediately after God granted Solomon’s wish, we see his life do a complete 180. His wisdom increased beyond any human on the face of the earth for all eternity. He wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1,000 songs (1 Kings 4:32) and had been downloaded with a super knowledge on God’s creation. His fame spread so far that people came from all the neighboring countries just to hear and see his wisdom, including the Queen of Sheba who came to test him with difficult questions. She, also, became enamored with his wisdom and wealth.
- “…You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the reports which I had heard…” 1 Kings 10:7 [Queen of Sheba]
Not only did Solomon have such great wisdom, but his wealth was beyond worth, for example, he had 40,000 horse stalls for his horses, 12,000 riders, and the gold that was brought in to him from the people was equivalent to $11.3 million dollars each year (1 Kings 10:14). Solomon was charged with carrying out the building design of the temple of God, given to him by his father, King David. Solomon had 30,000 forced laborers, 70,000 transporters of materials, 80,000 miners, 3,300 chief project supervisors, and much more. The temple was completed in seven years. With some of the extra money, Solomon decided to spend another 13 years building for himself and, a separate home for his Egyptian wife, extravagant places to live, some of which even mirrored the design of God’s temple.
At some point during the building of his fame and fortune, Solomon started falling from the Lord. The lure of power and wealth steered him astray and his heart drifted further and further from God and more and more towards the world and its lures. The wisdom brought fame and wealth and the wealth brought the lure of lust and love.
- “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women…He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines, and his wives turned his heart away…his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God…Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done.” 1 Kings 11:1,3,4,6
Solomon turned his face from God and went in the opposite direction, drawn by fame, fortune, the lust of women, and false gods promising more. He went so far as to build an idol to one of the false gods.
- “The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods,Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. ” 1 Kings 11:9-11
We see many people who go down this same destructive path of Solomon today. Some start out “good” but the lures of this world seem to change their hearts and they abandon their beginning faith. Will you stay the course?
What or who in your life could easily pull you away from God and down the wrong path if you are not careful?
It’s not how we start our journey, but how we finish.
- “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
Casting Crown’s “Slow Fade:”