Walking with the Lord

1 Kings 9-11

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. He also violated a command of God by accumulating 700 wives and 300 concubines (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 idols. This had been expressly forbidden in the Law (18:9-12). There is no indication that Solomon 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 power, prestige, and wealth eventually 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. We are to be content with such things as you have (Hebrews 13:5).

How solemn is the warning: For 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).

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