Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Starting Well But Finishing Badly

by Sue Dare

11 November 2014

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If you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprighteousness … and do all that I command … I will establish your throne over Israel forever … but if you or your sons turn away from me … and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this Temple.
1 Kings 9:4-5, & 6-7, NIV

In the book of Kings we read about the life and rule of King Solomon, David’s successor. In the beginning he wholeheartedly followed God and obeyed all of His commandments. We read that under his kingship, the people of Israel lived in peace on all sides, ate, drank and were happy. The nations around Israel brought tribute to King Solomon, while each of his own people, the Israelites, lived in safety under his own vine and fig tree (1 Kings 4:25). It was a glorious time for Israel. They weren’t bothered by their enemies. The Temple was constructed and dedicated, and prosperity abounded. Solomon was the wisest and most discerning king that ever reigned at the time, and the nations came to listen to him speak (1 Kings 4:34).

In addition to this, Solomon understood the character of God, and we can see this in his prayer of dedication for the Temple in Chapter 8. He knew that God was a ‘promise keeper’; too awesome to be contained in the confines of the Temple he’d just completed, and that God had the nations on His heart. Solomon asked God to not only hear the prayers of the foreigners, but also answer them, so that His glory would be known amongst the nations (1 Kings 8:43). He also knew that God was merciful, forgiving and restorative, and proclaimed this in the hearing of all those present (1 Kings 8:46). Perhaps Solomon learned this from his father David, who sinned greatly, but was also forgiven and restored by his God.

Unfortunately, even though Solomon started his reign in wholehearted devotion to God, the latter part of his life was marked by compromise and disobedience (1 Kings 11:6-11). We read that he allowed himself to be lead astray by his foreign wives, who turned his heart after their gods and away from the Living God (1 Kings 11:4)! The Lord had already warned him what would happen if he did this, but, despite all his wisdom, he failed to heed. King Solomon started well, but ended badly. How that must have broken the heart of God, who wanted His people to continue living in a place of safety, security and abundance.

There is so much we can learn from studying King Solomon’s life (2 Timothy 3:16). I wonder what God is speaking to you right now. May King Solomon’s life be an example to you of how to, and how not to, live your life.

Prayer: Father God, help me to obey You wholeheartedly every day for the rest of my life. Thank You that I don’t have to do it in my own strength, for You’re with me and will empower me to do so. I ask You to lead me onwards and upwards. I want to finish well, and not defame the name of my God, as King Solomon did. Amen.

Sue Dare works with the the CEED team based at Ellel Hungary, having previously been part of the Ellel Grange team. Her desire is to see people healed, restored & discipled, so they can go on to fulfil their God given potential.

 

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