One of the most impressive kings from the Bible is Solomon. If you read the Bible from cover to cover, you can’t escape the amazing feats of Solomon’s understanding: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore” (1 Kgs 4:29).
Wisdom gave Solomon the ability to accumulate an Everest of wealth: “The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, besides that from the traveling merchants, from the income of traders, from all the kings of Arabia, and from the governors of the country” (1 Kgs 10:14-15).
This wealth came not just by trading (1 Kgs 10:28-29), but also from people who sought to listen to him (1 Kgs 10:23-25). In comparison to today’s global speakers, people from all over the world not only heard about Solomon, but wanted to see and hear him. The king even commanded a set rate year by year from those who heard him!
As you continue to read, one of those notable points in the narration of Solomon’s life was the appearance of the word “BUT”:
But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites– from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. (1 Kgs 11:1-4)
It might surprise the reader, how could someone to whom God appeared twice then turn away from God and start to worship idols? It just does not make any sense.
The heart-breaking fact was that God loved Solomon even at his birth (2 Sam 12:24-25). The pain is further increased when we take note that Solomon was a believer and he too loved God (1 Kgs 3:3).
So, Solomon was not just a person who believed in God’s existence. He did not just go to the temple, but he knew how to pray to God. He even knew himself very well and his ability or lack of it in doing his duty to look after God’s people. He had the awareness that only wisdom from God could equip him to do all things right. He witnessed God gave him that wisdom and brought the greatest fruition, more than anyone could imagine. How was it that his relationship with God was so easily displaced?
If we retrace Solomon’s story, it must have been that he gradually lost sight of what God told him in all seriousness, especially at God’s second appearance to him:
Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever… But if you or your sons at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight… (1 Kgs 9:4-7)
We can see Solomon’s mind was slowly clouded by his love for the foreign women whom he clung to. There was no more care to love God and keep His commandments. The seductive voice of the world pleased his heart and turned his heart towards the love of the women he loved—the foolishness of idolatry.
Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord 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 had commanded. (1 Kgs 11:7-10)
Now we, in the end-time, need to take spiritual lessons from Solomon’s life to heart lest we too lose all. Compared with Solomon, we can see points which relate to us and why we should take heed.
- We have been made spiritual kings like Solomon was a king (Rev 1:4-6, 5:10).
- The Lord Jesus is greater than Solomon and, having all wisdom, manifests His wisdom through the church (Mt 12:42; Col 2:2-4; Eph 3:10).
- As God gave Solomon wisdom, we are receiving spiritual wisdom on a regular basis through teachings based upon His word, His law (Isa 2:2-3; 1 Jn 2:27; 2 Cor 3:2-3).
- As God loved Solomon and Solomon loved God, we also love God because He first loved us (1 Jn 4:19).
Now that we can see how what happened to Solomon can also happen to ourselves, what shall we do to prevent it?
- Watch and pray, with inner reflection through the Spirit’s guidance, to see if our attitude is changing towards God and how we may be inclining ourselves to the world.
- In the long-term, be careful who we fellowship with, for this directly affects our faith.
- When taking on tasks or duties, which the church provides as opportunities for us to repay God’s grace, let that not become the indicator of how loving or faithful we are towards God.
Brethren, it is high time for us to take seriously God’s love for our soul by directing our lives to love the One who has everlasting love for us and loves our souls with His great love:
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame. many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised. (Song 8:6-7)
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (2 Thess 3:5)
Brethren, let nothing or anyone come between us and God. Amen.
Reflection for Action
- Have you reached a turning point where your mind is fully oriented to acknowledge God’s love for you and to set Him first in your life?
- Plotting the highs and lows of your relationship with God, where is it right now? Is there such a thing as “in the middle”?
- How do you go about cherishing your relationship with God through the spiritual blessings He bestows upon us?