Read I Kings 9 -- 11
The Lord gave Solomon special privileges far exceeding those of other kings. But the Lords continued blessings are conditional, as He said to Solomon: If you will walk before Me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you . . . Then I will establish the throne of your kingdom upon Israel for ever. . . . But if you shall at all turn from following Me . . . and will not keep My commandments . . . but . . . serve other gods. . . . Then I will cut off Israel . . . out of My sight (I Kings 9:4-7).
Did Solomon assume that building the most sacred Temple in history, praying the longest prayer, and offering the most sacrifices meant that God would overlook his sins? In flagrant disregard for the Word of God, Solomon amassed thousands of horses, chariots, and horsemen, and lived in an atmosphere of unparalleled luxury. Another violation of the command of God was his demand for more women, a total of 700 official wives and 300 concubines (Deuteronomy 17:16-17). Did Solomon think that, because he was king, he could ignore the Word of God in his personal life? It should be no surprise that not one prophet of God was prominent during Solomon's ambitious reign.
Solomon not only chose daughters of foreign kings for his wives, rather than the godly daughter of a priest of God, but he even encouraged his heathen wives to worship their idols. This had been expressly forbidden in the Law (18:9-12). There is no indication that Solomon made any effort to encourage any of his wives to worship the One True God. To do this would have interferred with his political agenda. His foreign wives were daughters of kings who would insure peace with their countries. His power, prestige, and wealth eventually became his undoing. We are shocked to read that Solomon himself eventually went after (worshiped) Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. . . . Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab . . . and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. . . . And the Lord was angry with Solomon (I Kings 11:5,7,9).
What happened to Solomon will happen to all who allow an abundance of "good things" to crowd out one's loyalty to the Lord. Once the love of money, possessions, or popularity grips our hearts, it becomes a god which demands more and more of our lives. What the world needs is not more moral training, stricter laws, better health care, or less poverty. What it needs is God's solution to all of life's problems, a spiritual new birth with the accompanying dwelling power of the Holy Spirit. This inevitably makes one loyal to Christ, His Word, and His church.
How solemn is the warning: The love of money (and all that it can buy) is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (I Timothy 6:10).
Christ Portrayed: By David who walked before the Lord in integrity of heart (I Kings 9:4). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).
Word Studies: 9:15 levy means forced labor; 9:24 Millo means a mound of earth raised as a fortress; 10:5 there was no more spirit in her means overwhelmed, amazed; 11:1 strange means foreign; 11:5 abomination means detestable.
Government Official: Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ) · BPM Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Pray for The Bible League · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · Country: Eritrea (4 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: English and Tigrinya · Religious freedom · 51% Muslim; 40% Eritrean Orthodox; 4% Catholic; 1.5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Rise early in the morning to lift up your prayers to God and hope in His Word (Psalms 119:147).
Optional Reading: Acts 26
Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14