Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Lost Fourth King Of Israel

Maybe not lost, but surely missing in the New Testament.
Before Bible scholars press the buttons on  their contradiction recognition machines, pointing out that Solomon was the Third King of Israel-Saul, David, and then Solomon...the first and truly only KING of Israel is God.
Then Saul, who messed up bigtime, David, a man after God's own heart, and then Solomon, who made Saul look like a novice in the messing up department.
You might say that God allowed Job to be tested by ruination, and allowed Solomon to be tested by wealth and abundance. Guess who passed the test?
What brought this post into being was a study in Ecclesiastes the other night, with a study note kicking me back to 1 Kings chapter 11. I won't post it here for the sake of time (I'm due for my nap) but in chapters 9-11 of 1 Kings God warns Solomon to keep to the straight and narrow, or he'd be buying troubles wholesale.
King Solomon blew it, allowing the abundance of treasures in this world to pull him away from God.
Not just the 700 wives-headaches, anyone? But he also built altars for his foreign wives to worship their gods.
Thus violating the Prime Directive; here is what God said in 1 Kings 9: 6-9
"6“But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 
7then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 
8“And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ 
9“And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore the LORD has brought all this adversity on them.’”

Adversity wasn't the half of it. After Solomon died, Israel was broken up, with ten tribes heading North to set up their own nation, only to be eventually wiped out.
The believing remnant was later carried off to Babylon; Daniel and company became slaves of infidel kings.
Fast forward to the time of Christ, the New Testament era. All Israel loved them some Moses bigtime, and David was well thought of, but Solomon? The grandest human King to ever sit on the throne, the writer of three books of the Wisdom literature? Hardly a note. Jesus makes mention of Solomon when He states that even Solomon, in all his glory wasn't as well dressed as the lilies of the field made by God.
Will we see Solomon in Heaven? I think so, as even for kings, Salvation is a gift from God, not dependent on works or anything that a man does or doesn't do. No matter how much Solomon (or Doug) screws up, it can't affect Salvation. He or I may arrive in Heaven with no treasures laid up, no extra crowns won by  bearing fruit, living a life pleasing to God, but if we are in, we are in, thanks to the lovingkindness and longsuffering of God. I hope to see you there, too.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Some fancy talking Muslims suggest that King Solomon was their "Prophet Suleiman". Of course, they don't think he was Jewish. They just like that he was rich and powerful, a warrior/conqueror.
They also think that Ishmael was the one Abraham almost sacrificed on a mountain, that the birthright was his and theirs, which is the claim that they have been pressing for 1700 years.
Nope. Issac was the birthright holder, then Jacob instead of Esau, etc.
The more that one digs into the Bible, asking God to open the pages and instruct the reader, the more one becomes amazed at all that is written there.