Solomon: A First Round BustMarch 26, 2014
By Joe Smith
Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people? - 1 Kings 3:9
Hockey scouts must get headaches quite often when their predictions don’t pan out the way they might have expected. First round draft picks usually have so much hype and a ridiculously impressive track record leading up to the draft. Their minor league accomplishments are mind boggling, but for whatever reason some turn out to be a disappointment.
Solomon makes a "smart" decision
King Solomon, while accomplishing a ton with regards to the nation of Israel, was one of those disappointments. Solomon started out on the right track. He was given the kingdom by his father, David and was even offered a free wish of sorts from God. He could have anything he wanted from God and Solomon made a very “smart” decision. He said to God: “Give your servant (Solomon) a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9). Solomon could have asked for money, fame, women, but he didn’t. He knew that ruling a nation was hard and he would need to have a good head on his shoulders. So, he asked for wisdom and God was pleased to grant him the request.
Solomon doesn't live up to the hype
Solomon would go on to expand the nation to a size it had never experienced before. He built cities, a temple, a palace, and much more. Israel’s prosperity was through the roof and all because God blessed Solomon with an amazing mind. What a king, right?! This guy was going to be remarkable! He had the hype and the great nation to prove it. Israel was a powerhouse. The world was laid out before him on a silver platter. But, even though Solomon had the brains, his heart was not fully devoted to following God’s commands. God required more than just wisdom from this young protégé. In 1 Kings 3:14 God tells Solomon, “And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you long life.” Despite his sharp mind, Solomon didn’t practice his wisdom in all parts of his life. He failed to live out what God had called him to do. One of his biggest blunders was taking too many wives for himself from other nations. They soon began to lead him away from the true God. He stopped “walking in obedience” to God and things went downhill fast. Israel’s eventual fall from greatness was due in part to their leader’s flawed priorities. Obedience to God was not at the top of that list. The first round superstar was quickly being labeled a bust!
Avoiding the first round flop
So how do we avoid becoming first round flops? The key is focusing on the commands and promises of God. There is no shortage of negative influences in the world, but we need to recognize the amazing potential we have. We experience God’s mercy daily and when we are obedient to Him we receive more than we could ever hope for. “But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you” (Jeremiah 7:23). Don’t reject God’s blessings by ignoring his commands and following your own path. Trust that God loves you. Believe in his promises and know that he wants the best for you. “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).