He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who is to build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom forever if he perseveres in keeping my commands and my ordinances as he is doing today.’(1 Chronicles 28:7 CSB)
|King Solomon’s Foreign Wives|
The occasion is King David commissioning his son Solomon to be the King and build the Temple. It is clear that God had chosen Solomon to be the King and called him to build the Temple, but there is generally a conditional aspect to all God’s promises. It is possible to be strong in the beginning but weak in the end.
At the time of his commissioning, Solomon was strong, wise, and good. He sought wisdom over personal gain, and God gave him both. He was a shining light, yet his story teaches us that it is not just how you start, but how you finish that counts. In 1 Kings 11:1-9, the Bible reveals to us how Solomon later married foreign women, and they turned his heart away from God. It has been said that there are two tragedies in life, getting what you want, and not getting what you want. One can experience success in life and then become complacent and to fill a void, pursue inappropriate things. Is this an explanation of David’s sin with Bathsheba? In 2 Samuel 11:1, it is recorded that in spring of the year when kings go to war, David stayed home. Others never quite fulfill their vision and become regretful and cynical. Both may have let their work or ministry become an end in itself, rather than a means to an end, knowing and loving God.
If a man like Solomon was susceptible to this temptation, should we not be wary of this conclusion? What is the solution? It’s simple obedience. Solomon’s problem was disobedience, 1 Kings 6, “Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, and unlike his father David, he did not remain loyal to the Lord.” No matter how wise or knowledgeable you are, without sustained obedience, you will not succeed. Keep doing at the finish what you did in the beginning. Stay strong, my friends, to the end.
Imaged used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing