Saturday, August 22, 2020

Solomon's Rise and Fall

It's strange to think that it's been almost five years since I stopped working full time.  I had never known anything other than being a working wife and mother, and my career had been a blessing from God that generously provided for my family.  When I chose to walk away from it, I knew it was at God's prompting.  Oh, sure, I was intrigued by the idea that I'd have free time to pick up a hobby or have dates with my husband on his days off, but I was scared of as many things. I still hold a special place in my heart for those fourteen years that I worked in real estate.  I learned so many things and met great people, but those good things were always clouded with a darkness that is hard to articulate. When the time came, I knew that if I didn't leave then, what had helped develop me as a person would soon destroy me.

I think of Solomon, who worked in Biblical real estate.  He was born to a father who longed to build God a temple.  David was convicted that he lived in a home while God lived a tent.  (Read the account here: 2 Samuel.)  God's plans were not for David to build His temple, but rather for his son Solomon. David did as much as he could.  He collected the supplies, but it was Solomon who would build.

Solomon was blessed by God. Being born a prince, he had a good start in life. He had all the earthly blessings one could dream of: wealth, wisdom, and love. In fact, he found love over and over again. And again. And again after that:
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. (1 Kings 11:1-8, NIV)
It's hard to know when to stop building. If Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, he may have built hundreds or thousands of altars to false gods. All God wanted was for him to build one.  

God has given me a temple to build, just like He has given you one. It is a monument to God that will bring Him honor and glory.  We must be careful to hold fast only to God.  Otherwise what brings us up will evengtually bring us down.

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