Archive for February 10th, 2019

1 Kings 10 and 11The Wealth and Sins of Solomon

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Johann Freidrich August Tishbein: The Queen of Sheba Kneeling before King Solomon

Written on February 5, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

Solomon had such a good beginning.  When he first became king, Yahweh asked him what it was he wished for.  He wisely answered that he sought wisdom rather than fame, wealth or land.  Yahweh was so pleased with this response that he granted the young king wisdom  . . . and also all that he had not sought.  What happened to such potential?  It may have been the visit of the Queen of Sheba.

When we have time to meander through the story of Solomon, we can see the promise he embodied.  And we can see that he was designated by Yahweh as the one who would build the beautiful temple on the mount in Jerusalem . . . a fitting priestly, noble house for Yahweh.  This kingdom of Twelve Tribes which was guided and guarded by Yahweh had become renowned for its fidelity to their God, its strength in battle, its design and construction of the most beautiful temple ever built to a god . . . their God . . . the One True God.  Solomon, as the head of this kingdom, was visited by many diplomats, married many wives to form alliances . . . and eventually succumbed to the siren song of too much success.  He becomes fuddled by the voices of a world which would bring him down rather than raise him up.

My young son-in-law said to me several years ago: Why is it . . . what is it . . . that causes successful people to shoot themselves in the foot?  And he answered his own question:  There is too much success.  They lose sight of what was important in the first place.  Several years later he came to me with a personal dilemma . . .and the answer I gave to him was the one he had already given me.  To his credit, he has stopped listening to those siren voices and he has put his eye back on the proper horizon: living a life well-lived, living in awe of the Lord, living as if nothing else mattered but God . . . because this is the only way to live.  God is the only thing that matters.

Solomon succumbed to the songs sung by his jealous competitors, spouses, courtiers and servants.  As our eyes move over the verses, we can see the end of this tale coming at lightning speed.  Before he knows it . . . Solomon has lost all . . . kingdom, fame, wealth and wisdom.  And perhaps this is the greatest lesson which we can learn from this man.  When we allow ourselves to be called astray by a relativistic, self-satisfying world where pleasure reigns and joy is lost . . . when we begin to stop our daily chats with God because we have no time or no desire . . . we will know that we have taken a wrong turning.

So we may want to think on this . . . if the Queen of Sheba comes to call . . . it is time to focus on the true horizon . . . and resist being swayed by those who do not have Yahweh as the focus of their lives.

A re-post from February 10, 2012. 

Image from: http://www.artexpertswebsite.com/pages/artists/tischbein_fa.php 

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