Solomon’s kingdom ends, and with it Israel’s Golden Age

From our daily Bible reading: 1 Kings 6-11
April 16, 2019

 

We’ve been talking about Solomon and the glory of his kingdom, how he was God’s chosen heir to David, and how he was the man chosen to build God’s temple.

We read the story of his request for wisdom, and how God answered him not through a prophet, but directly. In fact, two times God spoke directly and appeared to Solomon – something he had not done with David. God had spoken only through prophets since the days of Jacob, but here, God sets Solomon up as his chosen son, in some way a reflection of his chosen people, as he has now given them all that he promised. They are surrounded with peace, riches, and their enemies – the Canaanites who had inhabited the land – have all been relegated to the role of slaves in the kingdom of Israel. This is all the good that had been promised Israel if the nation would remain faithful to God.

However, we then see the results of success which happen so often. With riches and ease comes a desire to push beyond the boundaries and find more ways to be happy. We often are discontent with being contented.

Solomon wrote about this at length in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, but we see that later in his life, he didn’t listen to his own advice. In v. 6 it says that Solomon did not wholly follow the Lord, which leads us to believe that while he continued to worship God, he also worshiped a multitude of other gods that had been brought to Israel by a host of wives and concubines that Solomon had taken to himself.

Solomon became the personification of Israel’s unwillingness to drive out the Canaanite influence and intermarry with them against the direct commands of God.

So in the latter part of Solomon’s reign, Israel’s enemies start to rear up again in Edom and Syria, as well as an internal threat from Jeroboam. God’s promise to Solomon is to tear his kingdom in two after he has died, and rather than showing regret or repentance, we see Solomon attempting to kill Jeroboam and eliminate the threat, much as Saul had tried to do with David.

So tomorrow we’ll see the fallout of Solomon’s unfaithfulness as the united kingdom becomes the divided kingdom. Thanks for joining in and God bless.

Next reading: 1 Kings 12-14

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