Scripture: King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter―Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 1 Kings 11: 1,2 NIV
Observation: The waning years of King Solomon’s reign are chronicled.
Application: As I read today’s passages in 1 Kings I was struck by the lack of wisdom and judgment that Solomon displayed toward the end of his life. Here was the wisest man ever known. The books of Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and possibly Ecclesiates were written by him. This man was graced with wisdom that far exceeded anybody’s capacity or capability before or since. He was wise not to mention unbelievably wealthy. This guy made “The Donald” look like a “piker.” The secret to his success was that he didn’t seek it. When he became king he simply asked of God, “give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people…” 2 Chronicles 1:10a NIV God was so pleased with Solomon’s request that he blessed him with both wisdom and wealth and he did it in abundance. So why would a wise man like Solomon be so easily led astray? I don’t have the answer but I do believe that Solomon may have been more of a wise judge or cop; a guide for Israel that ensured fairness and equality, and not so much a lover of the people. In Christian terms I believe he may have been more of a legalist and not so much a “man after God’s own heart.” As king his wisdom may have served God and the nation of Israel well for a time but in the end his true nature prevailed and he became led by the lusts of his flesh. I believe that would explain the wives of many flavors and the ease with which he strayed. I think we should take note of this. If I’m correct and the wisest man ever to exist could succumb to his base desires then Satan can tempt and turn anyone. We should not be satisfied with our salvation. We should be wary and not sit idly by and never attempt to grow in our faith and understanding. We should stay focused on our Lord and what pleases him. We should study and pray; pray and study. And we should always remember that “there but for the grace of God [through Christ] go I.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, when a man like King Solomon can fail you how much easier for a weak man like me. Help me, strengthen me, and don’t allow me to fail you. Help me to always stay focused on you and put a desire in me to grow in knowledge and understanding of you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen