April 25

 

Read I Kings 9 -- 11

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Warning to Solomon; alliance with King Hiram of Tyre; Solomon's riches and wisdom

 

The Lord gave Solomon special privileges far exceeding those of other kings. But the Lord's 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 . . . all that I have commanded you . . . Then I will establish . . . your kingdom . . . for ever (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 disregard for the Word of God, Solomon amassed thousands of horses and chariots and lived in an atmosphere of unparalleled luxury at the expense of his people (see 9:15; 12:3-4). He also violated a command of God by accumulating 700 wives and 300 concubines (see Deuteronomy 17:16-17). Did Solomon deceive himself into thinking that, as king, he could ignore the Word of God in his personal life?

 

Solomon not only chose daughters of foreign kings for his wives, but he encouraged them to worship their own idols. This had been expressly forbidden in the Law (see 18:9-12). There is no indication that Solomon ever made an effort to encourage any of his wives to worship the Only True God. To do so would have interfered with his political agenda, since his foreign wives were daughters of kings who would insure peace with their countries. His prestige, wealth, and the influence of his many wives gradually became his undoing We are shocked to read that Solomon eventually went (followed) after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination (detestable idol) of the Ammonites. . . . And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice (I Kings 11:5-9).

 

What happened to Solomon can happen to all who allow an abundance of "things" to crowd out one's worship of and obedience to the Lord. The Apostle Paul cautioned that Christians are to be content with such things as you have (Hebrews 13:5).

 

How solemn is the warning: The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred (wandered) from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (I Timothy 6:10).

 

Word Studies:

 

9:8 hiss = scoff, ridicule; 9:13 Cabul = unproductive wasteland; 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 Mt 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; 10:21 nothing accounted of = not considered of value; 10:24 sought to = consulted with; 10:26 bestowed = stationed; 11:1 strange = foreign; 11:5 abomination = horrible, detestable idol; 11:31 rend = tear.

 

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).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · BP Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Government Official: Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ) · Country: Togo (5 million) in western Africa · Major languages: French and several African languages · Limited religious freedom · 41% belief in false gods and voodoo; 32% Roman Catholic; 19% Muslim; 8% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who have hurt you (Matthew 5:44).

 

Optional Reading: Acts 26

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:18