Like us on Facebook | Contact Us
Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

“Return to Slavery”

I Kings 11:1-13

Surely Solomon, the son of David, will give us a better example than his father.  This would seem to be the case.  We read that “Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David” (I Kings 3:3).  In a dream God offers to give Solomon whatever he wants.  Solomon asks for “an understanding mind” so that he can faithfully guide the Lord’s people (I Kings 3:9).  In response God gives Solomon “very great wisdom, discernment, and breadth of understanding as vast as the sand on the seashore” (I Kings 4:29).  Indeed, Solomon’s fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations.  Solomon is the one who builds the temple in Jerusalem.  His prayer of dedication is one of the great prayers recorded in scripture.  Three books of the Bible are attributed to him, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.

Solomon offers a great deal, wisdom, dedication and commitment.  He is not only a person of wisdom.  He is also a man of prayer.  Under his rule Israel expands beyond anything the nation had ever known before.  God made him wealthy.  The Queen of Sheba came to see him and left stating that his wisdom was twice what she had been told.  Solomon was famous, prosperous and of course very wise.  Solomon could well then be an ideal model for us, right?

Wrong.  At the end of his life Solomon’s many wives lead him into idolatry.  This idolatry is so debased that it includes the sacrifice of children.  Solomon worshiped false gods.  What went wrong?  In a word his heart had turned away from the Lord.  How could this have happened?  God is of course angry.  Solomon’s expansive kingdom will eventually be divided in two, leading at times even to civil war.  David repented and was restored.  We do not read the same of Solomon.

What are we to make of this?  We need always to remember that we are in a spiritual war (Eph. 6:10-17).  As the names in Matthew’s genealogy make clear, there is no name that is not tainted with the darkness.  The greatest leaders fall into the most deadly sins. Yet it is through these people that God is preparing for the coming of “Jesus the Messiah.”

We can neither be deluded nor discouraged. Every day we have the choice to follow God’s way or not. We can never take our faith for granted. No purely human figure can save us. This is Advent. Jesus is coming.

Gracious and faithful God and Savior may I learn from the failings of even some of your most gifted servants.  May I rely on you more and more every day. Prepare me for the coming into the world of the only Savior, your son, Jesus Christ in whose name I pray, Amen.