Read 1 Kings 2:26-46

Highlights:

Joab put to death; Shimei slain; Solomon's marriage to Pharaoh's daughter; Solomon's dream.

And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter . . . And Solomon loved the Lord . . . only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places (I Kin. 3:1-3).

At the beginning of his reign, Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father (3:3). But it soon became evident that Solomon did not take seriously his sacred responsibility to keep the charge of the Lord (2:3). His affinity with Pharaoh was the first association between Israel and Egypt since the time of the exodus 480 years earlier (6:1) when Israel had been in the house of bondage as slaves (Ex. 13:3).

Moses, the great deliverer, brought Israel out of Egypt (representing worldliness) to worship Jehovah, but by bringing the Egyptian princess into the City of God, Solomon opened the way for idol worship in Israel.

Solomon's marriage to Pharaoh's daughter may have been politically advantageous to prevent future wars with Egypt and to increase his prestige among the surrounding nations (I Kin. 9:16). But this association paved the way for other alliances that eventually destroyed Solomon's relationship with God.

Solomon had begun his reign by sacrificing a thousand burnt offerings. He loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father (3:3), but his foreign wives caused him to turn away his heart after other gods (11:4). Instead of loving the Lord with all his heart (Deut. 6:5), he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. The thousand Burnt Offerings (I Kin. 3:4) could not compensate for his compromises.

Compromise is a tiny foothold of sin that eventually becomes a monster destroying all spiritual usefulness in one's life. Solomon let Satan in the door by what must have seemed to him incidental compromises of diplomacy of little consequence. He needed to read the words of Samuel the prophet to Saul when he said: Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice (I Sam. 15:22).

Worldly associations, compromise, and powerlessness are inseparably linked. Christians must recognize that friendship of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). Spiritual effectiveness is not dependent upon one's abilities but upon uncompromising loyalty to our Lord.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers (II Cor. 6:14).

Thought for Today:

It is impossible to obtain the Lord's best while trying to gain the best of both worlds.

Christ Portrayed:

Through the wisdom which God gave Solomon (I Kin. 3:12). That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (I Cor. 1:29-31).

Word Studies:

2:44 is privy to, knowingly did; 3:1 made affinity, made an alliance by marriage; 3:19 overlaid it, laid on him; 3:26 her bowels yearned, she had motherly compassion; 4:6 tribute, forced labor; 4:28 dromedaries, young camels, swift steeds; charge, responsibility.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. Jim R. Langevin (RI) • Country: Botswana (1.5 million) in southern Africa • Major languages: English and Setswana • Limited religious freedom because of local chiefs • 58% Christian; 40% Indigenous; .8% Baha'i; .2% Muslim; .2% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Be grateful for your inheritance as a child of the King (I Pet. 1:3-4).

Optional Reading: Acts 23

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:33