Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1 Kings 11, 12, 13 Solomon's Legacy

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with ...Image via Wikipedia
It is so sad that the man to whom God had appeared twice, led the nation of Israel into religious apostasy.  Though Israel was already familiar with worshipping pagan gods such as Molech, Ashtoreth, and Chemosh,  Israel's rulers typically turned the national spiritual focus back to God.  Solomon, on the other hand,  by building altars for these different gods that his wives worshipped, gave Israel a sense that all gods deserved to be worshipped.  Scripture states that Solomon's "heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been ... Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely as David, his father had done." 
(1 Kings 11: 4, 6)  

By turning to other gods and encouraging the worship of these pagan deities, Solomon essentially told Israel that the God of Israel was not the King of the Universe; was not the Creator of heaven and earth.  Solomon led Israel to believe that all gods were equal.

As a young man, Solomon penned, through God's inspiration, so much wisdom literature: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.  And yet, it would seem that he never took God's wisdom to heart.  As his heart turned away from God, Solomon's kingdom no longer enjoyed the peace of his earlier years.  Enemies arose from various quarters and even the prophet Ahijah prophesied against Solomon by telling Jeroboam that God would tear ten tribes away from Solomon's son and give them to him, an Ephraimite, a son of one of Solomon's officials.  However, God also told Jeroboam that Judah would remain with Solomon's son, so that David would always have a lamp in Jerusalem.

After Solomon died, his son, Rehoboam, tried to be a harsher and more demanding monarch than his father.  Immediately, tens tribes of Israel left him and declared Jeroboam to be their king.  Because Solomon turned away from glorifying the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Israel was split into two separate kingdoms.

Solomon's wisdom, in Hebrew,  חָכְמָה (chokmah), encompasses the idea of skill in administration and in war; it implies shrewdness in all dealings.  God gave him the quality he needed to be not only an effective, but also great leader.  Unfortunately, it would seem that Solomon forgot that his unusual abilities came from God.   Somehow, he came to believe that he was wise in his own right and not in need of the God of Israel.

I wonder if, by being surrounded by so much of God's bounty, Solomon was seduced by what was given rather than turning to praise the One who gave him all.  His regency underscores the consequences of worshipping any gods as though they were in fact equivalent to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, King of the Universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for chokmah (Strong's 2451)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 10 May 2011. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=H2451&t=KJV >

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

HostGator promo codes