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“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”1 Kings 3:7-9/NIV
The Bible tells us about King Solomon asking God for wisdom to lead the Israelite nation, which He generously provided. As he sought to lead with wisdom, the nation grew and prospered, and peace fell over the land for some time. He is credited for building the grand and glorious temple and his own palace, two major feats. It appears King Solomon also developed great wealth and was very prosperous. In reading about the beginning of his reign, his honorable actions reflect the wisdom that God gave him. This wisdom influenced his speech and actions in a godly fashion leading to good and favorable outcomes.
However, King Solomon loved many foreign women from nations that God forbade the Israelites to marry. God did not want them to intermarry with them because He knew these women would influence them to worship their gods (1 Kings 11:2). Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, and they led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart to other gods, and his heart was not entirely devoted to the Lord his God. Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely (1 Kings 11:3-6).
The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel. Although He had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s commands. His lack of commitment to keeping God’s covenant and decrees led to the kingdom being torn away from his ancestry and given to other subordinates. A split occurred in the kingdom leading to the nations of Judah and Israel (1 Kings 11:9-13). Most unfortunate to read about the wisest man falling victim to his lustful desires and passions, leading to the demise of a great nation!
Though King Solomon asked for wisdom, and the Bible reflects God granted his request, passages focused on today reflect him making regretful decisions. He had access to “The Law” (Ten Commandments), which provided clear guidance not to commit adultery (more than one wife or familiar relationship), but he had hundreds. He also had hundreds of concubines. God had given strict instructions not to intermarry with people from other nations and faith beliefs. It is unfortunate King Solomon chose to do so, and the Bible reflects God’s displeasure leading to His punishment for the Israelite nation for years to come.
As we read the Bible and have knowledge of God’s law (Ten Commandments) and other teachings, we should hold ourselves accountable to this standard. Our statements and actions should reflect an understanding of biblical teaching. Much like Solomon, we, too, may be led astray by our lustful desires and passions, which could lead to our downfall. As we study and seek to live by God’s Word, wisdom should be reflected in our actions which will bring glory and honor to God.
Self-reflection consideration: As I have gained wisdom through reading the Bible, does this knowledge influence my actions in a good way that pleases God?
Many blessings to you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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