The title of this blog may give you pause, and you might ask some questions like:
'Wait isn't he the wisest human who ever lived?' or 'Didn't he build the temple?' The answer is yes! By the time of his death, however, he had fallen so far away from God that the Lord took away 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel from the line of David! How did he fall so far, a man with untold potential, to a King who was punished by God? He was the third king of Israel following his father David. He was the child of David and Bathsheba (yes the Bathsheba that David fell in love with and had her husband, Uriah, murdered. Big time failures were definitely a family legacy) and was not the oldest son but he was the one whom God chose to rule after David. Early on things were great! He was following God and God was so joyous that he offered to give Solomon anything he wanted as a reward. Solomon asks for wisdom (a discerning mind 1 Kings 3:9) and God is so pleased that he didn't ask for wealth or victory or any number of other things, God gives him wisdom but basically everything else too. This is why Solomon is considered the wisest man who ever lived and why many believe he wrote the book in the Bible called Proverbs. Everything is great right?
Well, Solomon eventually got full of himself and got to love his wealth, his women and even other gods! If you are familiar with the Ten Command you know that the first three are: I am the Lord Your God; You shall have no other God before me; You shall make no graven images or likeness. Solomon failed, and God was not happy with him.
You can read all about Solomon's fall in 1 Kings 11. He put having literally thousands of women, money and other gods before his mission of leading the kingdom of Israel in their everyday lives and being the example of what it means to serve God. So, of course, there were bad consequences for his choices, unfortunately for Solomon, it affected more than just him. That is a truth of how we live our lives. We are so interconnected that what we do, deeply affects others. Our choices can bring heaven on earth: when we share the love of God with neighbors and God is present, so is heaven! Or, if we choose to be selfish, to focus on what we desire over what God wants, then we bring hell on earth. If you live on planet earth you have experienced this. Maybe it was a parent or spouse who made bad choices and was abusive. A friend who betrayed you. A politician who put their own power before the needs of the people. We see it where we see hunger and there is food but the local warlords have prevented those who need the food from getting it. We have seen it with individual and corporate greed. And I am sure you have seen it within yourself and you have witnessed how your choices can give life or destroy it.
Philippians 2:13 tells us that "God is the one is able to make you want and actually live out his good purposes." Once we receive God's love and accept the free gift of Salvation, God expects the church, just like he expected Solomon, to live out his good purposes so that God's "will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10)." God is not the type of parent to ask us to do things just for God's own enjoyment but because of our choices, how we live our lives, affect everyone else around us! What happened to Solomon is that the temptations of the world and his riches got to him, so much so, that it is said of Solomon in 1 Kings 11:9 that his heart turned away from God. Solomon! This great hero of the faith fell away from Gods own heart because he was distracted by the glitz and the glam of the world around him. Rather than transforming the world, he allowed the world to transform him. We must keep God at the center of our lives, to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength! When we stop doing that we begin to worship other gods: greed, unforgiveness, lust, hate, and envy. Those things consume us until one day we look back and cannot even imagine how we got to the place we are currently at. So if you have not yet done so, take some time and fall in love with your savior all over again. Just think, the creator of the universe wants to spend time with, and that's pretty awesome. May you fall more in love with our God every single day, every time you meet. May you always center your life around the one who gives true life and gives it abundantly. And may you make better choices than Solomon, so through you those around you get to experience heaven on earth.