My upcoming sermon series will start in July and it will focus on the age of the kings during the Old Testament. The first sermon is about the life of King Solomon – so I have been thinking a lot about him lately. To me he is one of the most tragic characters in the Old Testament. If you know his story, then you know he starts out in greatness. He asks God for wisdom and he is given more than any other man in history. He knows right and wrong spiritually, personally and logically. As a result he grows in wealth and power beyond any other individual in all of history. That part of his story you may know. He is the writer of the Biblical books of Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs and much of the Proverbs. His name is synonymous with wisdom and wealth.
The rest of Solomon’s story is a sad tale that many people do not know. In an effort to bring peace with other nations Solomon married many women from all over the world. Over time they being to sway his heart. His marriages violated the will of God and in an effort to keep his wives happy he brings idolatry into Israel. It is not that he rejects the God of the Bible but it is that he tries to add other gods beside him. While trying to serve God he compromises his integrity by also serving idols just to make other people happy. His life ends with one compromise after another and God decides to take the kingdom away from his children. The final result is that the glory and blessing Solomon experience will not be felt by his children, grandchildren and generations after them.
To me this is one of the saddest Bible stories and it is also the most applicable to us. There is always the temptation to try to add something to the worship of God. Maybe it is the worship of stuff, the idolization of our children, the lure of sin or a dozen other possible compromises. To compromise our faith in God is always a greater temptation than the rejection of God. While it affect us, the most tragic side effects are not felt in our life, but they ripple out into the future generations.
King David, Solomon’s father, prayed in the Psalms (86:11) for God to give him an undivided heart. That would have been a wise prayer for Solomon to pray. As I look around the Church I think it would be a good prayer for everyone. When I look into my own heart I realize it is good for me too.