Using wisely what God gives freely!

Any activity that is not led by the Lord and meant to honor and glorify him is futile and meaningless.

June 10

Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction.

1 Kings 7:1

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Using wisely what God gives freely!

Any time that I read about Solomon I find myself asking questions.  There are some things about his life that do not make sense.  It seems that he often did things that were out of character with the picture that I have of him in my mind.  Solomon was selected by God to be the king of Israel after his father David died.  God told Solomon that he could ask God for anything and that He would give it to him. Solomon asked for wisdom to rule the great nation of Israel.  God gave him wisdom and wealth and power and long life.  And Solomon did receive all those things.

It occurred to me today while I read today’s text why I am troubled by the life of Solomon.  Solomon built himself a palace.  That is not a huge surprise, nor is it alarming.  What caught my attention is that it took thirteen years to complete it.  Solomon also built the temple to the LORD.  Building the temple took seven years to complete.  It took twice as long to build Solomon’s palace as it did to build the Lord’s temple.

Solomon was the wisest man to live.  And my assumption was that this somehow meant that He was godly.  In my mind I assumed that the wisest man on earth would naturally be drawn to God.  The obvious truth from Solomon’s life is that great wisdom, power, and wealth do not lead you to God.  In fact, Jesus taught that it has the opposite effect.  Solomon’s wisdom, power, and wealth led him to do some of the very things that God had forbid the kings of Israel from doing.  Rather than drawing Solomon to God, these things drew him away from God.  It wasn’t until late in his life that he started to realize the mistake he had made.  We see his failure in the legacy that he left behind; a divided kingdom and nearly perpetual conflict.

None of us will ever experience even a fraction of the power, wisdom, or wealth that Solomon had.  But all of us do have some power, wealth, or wisdom.  If we are not careful, that little bit that we have can be twisted by our sinful nature or by our enemy to cause us to behave just as Solomon did.  Which is more important to you; building the kingdom of God or a palace for yourself?  Only your heart knows for sure.

Solomon had it all and yet if you read the book of Ecclesiastes, you get the strong sense that Solomon felt that much of what he did in his life was futile and meaningless.  That is a perfect description of any activity that is not led by the Lord and meant to honor and glorify him; futile and meaningless.  Jesus, help us to use all the wealth, power, and wisdom that you give us to bring glory and honor to you.

Daily Bible Reading:
Read: 1 Kings 7:1-51; Acts 7:30-50; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 16:31-33

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