This week we come to the end of our series looking at David. We have seen his ups and down, the good and the bad aspects of his life.
He was great, but he is not the model for us.
We are going to reflect on the tragic disintegration of the Kingdom he established. But then look forward to the Kingdom of his greatest heir – the eternal King and Lord, Jesus.
vv 2-3. The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.
Solomon is generally remembered for his wisdom – you might think otherwise when you read these verses! It is not so much that he had a plethora of wives and concubines, that would have been normal in that day and age for a king, but rather that he allowed these relationships to turn his heart away from following the Lord. This is put across very strongly in verses 9-10; The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command. As his reign progresses we find Solomon moving further and further from God in order to worship idols.
Here was a man who started well, but went his own way later in life.
The story comes as a warning for old age. It seems quite easy to slip into a self-indulgent life style when the only thing that matters is personal pleasure. It is not so much laziness but more an issue of pleasing oneself in the choices that have to be made. This is an attitude that can affect any one of us in retirement – it is much easier to put self at the centre of everyday life when the pressures of work disappear. I’ve heard it expressed like this – ‘Time is my own now, I can choose what to do.’ I’m not likely to succumb to the lure of 700 wives and 300 concubines, but the draw of personal pleasure is a likely source of temptation and a drift away from God.