April 16, 2021
Daily Reading: I Kings 10-11
I Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
How fast it unravels. Solomon was blessed with wisdom from above. Proven by these two verses, I Kings 10:23-24: So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. This is recorded in the chapter just before the one that contains today's verse. Like a novel written by a skilled communicator Solomon's story takes an unexpected twist. The reader is taken from Solomon's peace and prosperity, popularity and polish to dishonor followed by death. All in one chapter!
Chapter 11 of I Kings commences with the ominous word "but". This small conjunction changes the course of events from Israel's pinnacle of wealth and influence to civil war, ultimately leading to its complete overthrow and Babylonian captivity. From this word on, the word "but" in 11:1, Israel's downfall begins. It all starts with Solomon's heart being turned away from God. Unlike his father, there is no evidence that he repented of his wrongdoings. David did, read Psalm 51, the great penitential Psalm.
Chapter 11 is a transitional chapter in the story of Israel. It bursts on the scene in an unexpected fashion and moves us from Solomon's downfall to his death. The nation would soon be split, divided, suffering the harshness of civil war. While this begins a sad chapter in its life know this; the story of Israel does not end here. One day the greater Solomon (if you will), the Lord God of Heaven will regather Israel, and once again it will take prominence. When Jesus was born many rejected Him because they expected He would then re-establish Israel to its former glory. But the Lord did not come as Christ to restore Israel, He came to give Himself a sacrifice for sins. He did not come in the spirit of David, the conquering King, but rather of Joseph, the suffering Savior.
But (to use a word) but, between Christ's first advent and His second there is an indeterminate period of time known as the "church age", which age is upon us now and has not ended yet. No matter what the experts say. Until Jesus returns the second time, the church age of grace continues. When the Lord does return, Israel will take front and center again.
Solomon's life is a storybook warning to all who will heed it. From it remember two truths. One, If Solomon can fall any and all have the same potential. To be foretold is to be forewarned. Two, from now unto the end of the Old Testament remember this word "but". Everything that happens hereafter is in response to the events of this chapter.
Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.