King Solomon is a very interesting and sober study. Solomon was the son of great King David, Just as David was not the oldest son when the prophet came to anoint a king from Jesse’s house, neither was Solomon and probably not the heir apparent in the eye of many. God, however, had a plan for David and he had a plan for Solomon to rule His people.
The book of I Kings makes it clear that King David had in his heart to build a beautiful temple for God. David’s life reflected love, honor and respect for the God that had given purpose and direction in his life. David had the plans, made preparation for the temple and the deepest passion to complete the task. However, I Kings 8:18-19, “But the Lord said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.” It is in this same book that we see Solomon complete the building and dedication of the temple.
The aged King David, told his son Solomon there is one thing you must do to be successful in life and leadership—“keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statues, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, .... ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’”(I Kings 2:3-5). The Lord repeatedly promised Solomon that if you will obey me, keep my commandments like your dad, not only will you have the wisdom you requested, but the greatest success with your kingdom with your heirs will always be on the throne and long life on top of that so you get to see it. WOW!
King Solomon had a great start. He asked God for the right things and was granted wisdom. He fulfilled his fathers plans for taking care of business and building the beautiful temple, he prayed an inspiring prayer at the dedication and God was pleased and His glory filled the temple. However, it was soon apparent that while David was a man after God’s heart, Solomon was a man after his own desires. While Solomon was able to complete a beautiful structure, he failed to serve and obey the Lord that was to dwell therein.
So, lets look at Solomon report card:
Violated all the commands given to kings in Deuteronomy 17:16- 17—F
Made political alliances with the enemy rather than dependence on the Lord to defeat the enemy— F
Married heathen women outside of the covenant of God—F Descent into idolatry for wives and himself—F
Even though Solomon had named a cabinet at the beginning of his administration, they did not or were not allowed to speak in his life as King David had allowed for guidance and correction—F He gave away parcels of the promised land his ancestors had fought for, for the building of his empire—F
Pursued pleasure and passion with his 700 wives and 300 concubines rather than intimacy with God—F
Ecclesiastes written by Solomon in the last chapter says the bottom line for a pleasing life is to Fear God and keep his
commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. —F
Solomon, the king that God granted wisdom, made lifetime choices to build his earthly empire rather than God’s kingdom that is eternal. Solomon’s report card showed failing marks in so many areas. However, at the end of his life now with eyes wide open Solomon implores us to start young and all our life fear, love and KEEP God’s commandments. We can do what the wisest person missed. It is our choice.
Pastor Ruth Kaunley