from Lynda Lindsey
The Queen of Sheba to Solomon: Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, He has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness. I Kings 10:9
King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. I Kings 10:23-24
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter... . They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. I Kings 11:1-2
Israel’s kings were to be God’s representative leaders, following God whole heartedly and modeling God’s justice and righteousness during their reign. Kings were to know the Law, read from it daily, and obey it passionately. God, pleased with Solomon’s initial request for wisdom instead of wealth, also blessed Solomon with incredible riches. But it takes supreme effort to resist power and fame on a grandiose scale, and Solomon didn’t resist. However and nevertheless are telling words: “King Solomon, however loved many foreign women...” and “Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.” Solomon allowed pagan influences to override God, ceased holding fast to God, and held fast to the wrong things.
Sin builds exponentially. Just a small deviation from God’s truth quickly turns into open rebellion and spiritual bankruptcy. Paul charges Timothy (I Timothy 6:17-19) to put his hope in God, not in wealth. We are to be rich in good deeds, being known for our generosity and willingness to share, thereby taking hold of the life that is truly life! We are not kings. However, as believers in the Lord Jesus, we are God’s children, and it is our privilege and duty to live to bring joy to our Father. As stewards of Creator God, we seek to maintain His justice and righteousness in the world. We are God’s representatives, His wisdom is available for the asking, and we must allow nothing to turn our hearts away from loving and following God.
We may never be rich by the world’s standards but we can be rich in good deeds. We can develop a reputation of generosity and willingness to share. We can develop a reputation as people who uphold the cause of the needy, the poor, the downtrodden, and thereby take hold of the life that is truly life! The choice is before us. We can hold fast to the wrong things, things contrary to God, or we can hold fast to the life that is truly life. What will you choose?