For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him. For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? – Ecclesiastes 8:6-7 (ESV)
Solomon… If ever there was a man who had it all, it was Solomon. He sought God’s wisdom, and received it in great abundance. He was blessed by God to be chosen to build the temple – an honor his father, David, had been denied.
The Lord set Solomon in a high place indeed, as king of Israel. And it is good to be king! God not only blessed Solomon with great wisdom, but great earthly wealth as well. His annual income in gold has been estimated at over $1,000,000,000 (yes, that’s billion with a “b”). He received gold by the boatload (literally). Do you remember the TV show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”? Chump change compared to Solomon.
And women… One thousand of them. 700 wives and 300 concubines. And the Bible tells us Solomon loved all his wives. (Men, go ask your wives what they think of that. Better yet, don’t.)
Solomon had it all. Right?
In the end, it all had him. All this wealth, all these women, all this earthly pleasure seems to have lulled and dulled the wisest man who ever lived into a somnambulist.
And the results were dire. Among Solomon’s wives were women from other nations who worshipped other gods. This included the daughter of Pharoah – a fact that, considering their understanding of the Exodus, should have rung loud alarm bells to Solomon that something was amiss in his life. “And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father” (1 Kings 11:3b-4, ESV).
Now, here is the part that should put a cold chill down your spine:
9 And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. 11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 12 Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.”
14 And the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon…
I’m no genius. But even I know that, when you’ve stirred up God’s wrath to the point that He rises up an enemy against you, this isn’t going to be pretty.
Indeed, Solomon’s folly led to Israel’s downfall. He led his people to destruction.
Here is my point: Today is a great day to stop a moment and take stock of your life.
None of us knows how many days we have on this earth. Don’t spend them in a fog, sleepwalking through life, so engrossed in the details and minutae of work and home and school and kids and soccer schedules and bills to pay and football and trivial stuff that God gets shuffled to the background. We are called to seek God and His will and His path for our lives first and foremost. Nothing is more important.
Nothing is more important.
One day all this world will be gone.
Don’t let the junk of this life weigh you down. Let nothing come between you and the Lord. “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9, ESV).
As Solomon wrote, after the wages of his sin had begun rolling in, “The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good” (Ecclesiastes 9:17-18, ESV).