Friday, September 2, 2011
Jay Leno and Solomon...
No, I don't think Jay Leno is as smart as Solomon. The title may be misleading in that regard.
-But reading 1 Kings 10-11, I was reminded a bit of Solomon in the description of all he collected. I mean, doesn't it remind you a bit of Jay Leno's famous garage full of collectiblly restored, costly cars?
"The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue--the royal merchants purchased them from Kue. They imported a chariot from Egypt for 600 shekels (15 pounts) of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty...."
That is just the tip of the iceberg with this king. He had ships, gold beyond our dreams. (And with gold prices I have some wishful dreams, don't you?) I mean he even made 200 large shields of hammered goald, 600 bekkas of gold went into each shield (7.5 lbs.). Even the Queen of Sheba who came to visit him because she did not believe the rumors, was in awe of Solomon's riches.
So I picture this man with all of his "cars" like Jay Leno. People are amazed by him. They come from all over to talk with him, to see for themselves someone this wealthy and wise.
That is where the story becomes sad though. Chapter 11. Solomon loved something else, too. Women. He loved foreign women so much that He took women from many nations against God's command. 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines.
What happened to his wisdom? He made political alliances and enjoyed the gifts of wealth that came with each partnershp as well as I am sure, he enjoyed the women themselves.
Solomon turned with each compromise away from God. He established altars to foreign gods, just as God told him NOT to do.
This is the part I find most interesting and hopeful and even unusual. The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from God of Israel. So the Lord told Solomon he was going to take away his kingdom.
He was going to give the kingdom to his subordinates.
Because of David, his father, the Lord would not do it during Solomon's lifetime. "I will tear it out of the hand of your son."
Now, I find that interesting, don't you? Solomon did not experience the full wrath of God because of his father David. Even the tearing apart of the kingdom was diminished later because of God remembering David's heart.
Perhaps then, while my parents can not save me or get me into heaven, perhaps their faithfulness has helped spare the degree of punishment I have so often deserved? Or perhaps my own faithfulness or heart toward God will benefit my own daughter some day?
I know. I know. It is an unusual thought. I have not had it until reading this passage. I know only Jesus can save us and get us into heaven. My Christian parents can not. It is my relationship with Jesus that ultimately matters. It is what HE did on the cross that saves me.
Yet...perhaps the blessings or lack of punishment in my life has been because God has remembered my grandparents or parents or great-great grandparents' heart and prayers for me before I even entered this earth.
I don't know...but it is here in Kings. It is happening to Solomon's kingdom. He has all of these riches. He has all of these women. Yet He has turned away from God. God told Solomon what would happen if he did such a thing, yet God tells him he will spare his kingdom during his life time because of his father, David's heart.
May I be diligent in keeping my heart for God, not only for my sake, but for that of my family's. Something to ponder upon reading 1 Kings 11.
For His Glory,