Highlights In Today's Reading:
God visits Solomon again and explains the two paths before him and their consequences (9:2-9). They are the same that He puts before us! Solomon's fame spreads, but, sadly, chapters 10 & 11 explain his shame. The rules for Israel's kings are outlined (Deut. 17:14-20). Note that Solomon ignored all of them. Although used by God in writing Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and much of Proverbs, Solomon gradually forsakes the Lord and worships idols (I Kin. 11:4-10). He is an example of: What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matt. 16:26).
When Solomon, the chosen son of King David, began his reign we had high hopes for him being a spiritual man of God, for we read: Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father (I Kin. 3:3). God gave four guidelines for every king (as well as for every Christian) to observe. (1) The king was to be a diligent student of the Word of God. He was to read it all the days of his life (Deut. 17:18-20).
Did Solomon think that he was just too busy building his empire to take time to write him a copy of this Law (17:18)? Perhaps he thought that later on he would have more time. It is not surprising that not one prophet of God was prominent during Solomon's ambitious reign. (2) The kings of Israel were not to greatly multiply to himself silver and gold (Deut. 17:17). But, the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold (I Kin. 10:14). (3) He was not to multiply horses to himself (Deut. 17:16). But, Solomon had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen (I Kin. 10:26). Solomon's massive fortifications impressed the nations of the world. But they were a violation of the Word of God. (4) The king was not to multiply wives to himself (Deut. 17:17). But, Solomon loved many strange (foreign) women (I Kin. 11:1). He chose daughters of pagan kings for his wives, but there is no record that he chose godly daughters of Israel.
It is no surprise that the Lord was angry with Solomon, because . . . he kept not that which the Lord commanded. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon . . . I will surely rend the kingdom from thee (11:9-11).
How tragic that some today are intent on following in the footsteps of Solomon. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9).
Thought for Today:
To avoid the sorrows that disobedience brings into our lives, we need to read the Word of God.
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).
9:8 hiss =coff, ridicule; 9:13 Cabul =nproductive wasteland; 9:15 levy =ax in the form of forced labor; 9:22 bondmen =laves, forced laborers; 9:24 Millo = mound of earth raised as a fortress just north of Mount Zion and outside the original city of David; 10:2 train =oyal attendants; 10:5 there was no more spirit in her =he was breathless, overwhelmed, amazed; 10:19 stays =rmrests; 10:21 nothing accounted of =ot considered of value; 10:24 sought to =onsulted with; 10:26 bestowed =tationed; 11:1 strange =oreign; 11:5 abomination =orrible, detestable idol; 11:31 rend =ear.
Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Official: Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ) • Country: Japan (126.7 million) off the eastern coast of Asia • Major language: Japanese • Religious freedom • 49% Buddhist; 45% Shintoist; 1% Christian; 5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your brothers and sisters that they might be filled with spiritual discernment and the fullness of Christ (Eph. 3:14-19).
Optional Reading: Acts 26
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:13