The Life Project: 1 and 2 Kings
Matt and Candice Roberts
King Solomon was one of the central characters in the Books of Kings. He had every opportunity to be the hero that God had called, the hero that he started out to be. In the third chapter of 1st Kings, we find Solomon asking God for wisdom and a discerning spirit to better administrate justice. The Lord tells Solomon, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” God was for Solomon, because Solomon was for God. He was dedicated to the things of God and to glorifying God.
But for all Solomon’s wisdom (he did after all write most of the book of Proverbs), and all Solomon’s good intentions, he was a man who did not finish well. 1st Kings 11:9-11 The word of God says this. “The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command. 11 So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.
Solomon had gone from worshiping Yahweh to worshipping other gods, chiefly the god of self. Solomon was amassing women, wealth and fame and slowly losing regard for the things of God. He was promoting self, when he should have been promoting the Almighty. And God won’t tolerate this kind of behavior for long. When Solomon was glorifying God, God showed him favor. And when Solomon began to glorify Solomon, God tore the kingdom from his hands.
What lessons can we learn from this king? After all most of us are probably not in the office of a king, or a president. Most of us probably aren’t even the boss at work. But all of us have been given a position of influence. God has called each of us to make a difference in our world. With what attitude are we treating the calling of God on our lives? Do we feel like we have earned the position we have? Do we feel like we deserve the blessing of God? 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” We must be careful to remember that we are jars of clay. Whatever good we do for the Kingdom, is because God has purposed us to do it, and has given us gifts and mostly His Spirit to enable us to do it. If we start taking credit for what God is doing, WATCH OUT!! The keys to His kingdom will be ripped from our hands!!
The second lesson we can learn from King Solomon is to guard our hearts. Not only was Solomon led astray by his own pride, he was also seduced by the things of this world. Seduction is a slow process. There is an Eskimo legend that gives us a good visual of the power of seduction. The Eskimos needed to keep the wolves away from their camps at night. So they would place knives, blade up, in a circle around their camp and coat the blades with blood from seals. During the night, the wolves would smell the blood and begin licking the knives, hungrily, excitedly. Once they taste the blood, their licking would become more feverish until the wolves would cut their own tongues without realizing it. They continue licking, now their own, fresh blood. After the frenzy of licking the wolves have lost so much of their own blood that they are too weak to attack the camp. Instead they lay down to die. Seduced by blood, once they started licking, the wolves could not stop.
And we are the same way. We allow ourselves a little of this world, not too much, just a little. We allow
ourselves a little sin, not too much, just a little. And before we know it, we are licking our own blood,
slowly bleeding to death. Proverbs 4: 23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring
of life.” Interestingly, Solomon penned these words. But he was unable to follow his own advice. He
was unable to resist the women, the riches, the glory. He was unable to resist the taste of his own
Selected Reading For 3/12 - 3/17 In 1 and 2 Kings
Monday, 3/12 - 1 Kings 1-7
Tuesday, 3/13 - 1 Kings 8-15
Wednesday, 3/14 - 1 Kings 16 - 22
Thursday, 3/15 - 2 Kings 1- 2 Kings 8
Friday, 3/16 - 2 Kings 9- 2 Kings 17
Saturday, 3/17 - 2 Kings 18 - 25