Read 1 Kings 9
Queen of Sheba's visit; Solomon's riches and fame; God rebukes Solomon; Solomon's death.
And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father (I Kin. 11:6).
Solomon inherited a kingdom which had been established in righteousness. God gave him special privileges that far exceeded those of all the other kings. Although the Lord appeared to Solomon three times (3:5; 9:2; 11:9-11), He did not appear to David even once. God allowed Solomon to build the Temple, but denied David that privilege. He gave Solomon great wisdom that brought him recognition throughout the world.
But as Solomon advanced in wealth and popularity, the simplicity of his trust in God gradually disappeared. The king who built the world-famous Temple to the Living God also built many idol-worship temples to please his ungodly wives (11:7-8).
Solomon had the best of everything the world had to offer. Nations all over the world were impressed and delighted with his gigantic enterprises. But the corrupting influences of his wealth, worldly politics, and his many wives left a curse upon his reign. Consequently, not one prophet of God was prominent in Solomon's life.
The man who had everything his heart desired finally confessed, I hated life . . . for all is vanity and vexation of spirit (Eccl. 2:17). There is no way worldly pleasures can bring true happiness. That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15).
As Solomon forsook the Commandments of God, his splendor began to decline and God raised up adversaries against him. First, Hadad the Edomite organized resistance to Solomon; then, Rezon of Syria became a troublemaker. But Solomon's greatest threat was the discontentment of the Ephraimites. Jeroboam, who at one time was highly honored in Solomon's administration, became a spokesman for the tribe of Ephraim and instigated the division of Solomon's kingdom soon after his death (I Kin. 11:26).
There was no repentance from Solomon — no tears like those his father David shed after each failure — and Solomon's kingdom crumbled because of his sin.
What happened to Solomon can happen to anyone who allows pleasure, riches, or lust to crowd out devotion to God.
Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of trangressors is hard (Prov. 13:15).
Thought for Today:
The rewards for both good and evil are everlasting.
By David who lived to please the Lord in integrity of heart (I Kin. 9:4). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52).
9:13 Cabul, displeasing, as worthless; 9:15 levy, tax in the form of forced labor; 9:22 bondmen, slaves, forced laborers; 9:24 Millo, a mound of earth raised as a fortress just north of Mount Zion and outside the original city of David; 10:2 train, royal attendants; 10:5 there was no more spirit in her, she was breathless, overwhelmed, amazed; 10:19 stays, armrests; 10:26 bestowed, stationed; 11:1 strange, foreign; 11:5 abomination, horrible, detestable idol; 11:31 rend, tear.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Calley Hayes • Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson • Government Official: Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ) • Country: Bulgaria (8.2 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Bulgarian and ethnic languages • Newly opened to evangelism • 85% Eastern Orthodox; 12% Muslim Sunni; 1% Shi'a Muslim; .6% Catholic; .27% Protestant; .1% Armenian Gregorian; .03% Jewish; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Wives, pray for a quiet, loving spirit to win your husband to Christ (I Pet. 3:1-2).
Optional Reading: Acts 26
Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:33