11 June – Additional Notes


Before you jump to conclusions using your 21st Century mindset and either say of v1-3 that the women were to blame for leading Solomon astray and destabilizing the nation; or else, go the opposite way and say that Solomon put his passions before his brains, we need to note a couple of things at the outset….

  1. In those days, foreign kings would have sent their daughters as ‘gifts’ for forming alliances with Solomon. 700 of his wives were of Royal birth! Now to reject them could be a cause of war. While his hands were tied, Solomon should have gone back to Father God with the rule [v2], just as Eve should have gone back to God with the rule at the beginning of this epic saga.[a] When the situation is outside our control and it contradicts Father God’s specific instructions, a new gameplan is needed.

  2. The fact that Solomon “held fast to them is love” [v2] only demonstrates something from my June 4 Breadcrumb that you may have missed. The English translations of 1 Kings 4:29 say that Solomon had “breadth of mind”, but in the Orthodox Jewish Translation is says “largeness of heart”.[b] If the latter is true, Solomon had a big heart and this was a huge strength for international relations. However, our very strengths can become our weaknesses; and in this case, Solomon’s big heart appears to have become misguided to his downfall.

  3. We are all born to rule over our environment[c], and Solomon had full control over his household with cultural backing to so “No” – and no would have been no. With the benefit of hindsight, I see that Solomon’s leadership could have been clear. He could have used his priests to educate his wives in what if meant to understand their Creator God. If one insisted on following their foreign gods, then a house rule of no idols in the palace. If detestable practices engaged in, then that wife could easily have been ‘not called for’ again. With 1000 women to sleep with (that’s 3 women a night in a year) Solomon could easily have given ‘non-compliance’ a higher place in his home. If fear was his issue (worried about what daddy would say if a wife wrote home), Solomon had the nation’s storyline to show what happened when the High Priest Aaron feared the people[d], or when King Saul feared the people.[e] Fear is not an option in we who are designed specifically to rule! Yet it seems clear from v4-8 that Solomon willfully allowed this mix of religions then engaged in it himself. So foolish was his unnecessary choices, that Israel was still sacrificing centuries later to a shine that Solomon built.[f]

“Now the Lord was angry with Solomon….” [v9] If you understand our Creator God, you will be shaking your head as I am while typing this to you. The LORD passed by Moses centuries earlier and proclaimed Himself: “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate (merciful) and gracious (retore the broken; the noun rechem in Hebrew means “womb”, indicating that God’s compassion is like a mother’s deep love for her child), slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness (steadfast love, compassion ,goodness) and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin…[g] Again 40 years on: “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.[h] The fact that Solomon was now in his 50s-60s [v4] shows that Father God persevered perhaps through years of this growing and ever deteriorating indiscretion.

‘No excuse’ rested on the fact that the LORD had appeared twice to Solomon. [v9] If the Creator God appeared twice, and in person, to you or to I, would this have a lifelong effect on our every choice thereafter? It seems that even this fades in time, and we need to clearly know our Creator’s instructions [v10], then be on our guard even at the height of our maturity and until the day we die.  The rest of today’s chapter [v11-39] describes the mess that resulted when the hammer of the Righteous Judge falls.[i] And here we see that our Maker is neither a puppet nor a genie in a bottle. Yes, He is gracious and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love; however, He is also righteous and just and justice must be seen to be done. To understand this dichotomy, read the full chapter of Deuteronomy 28. Although only 14 verses are given to blessing and the rest of the chapter lays out the horrors of rebellion, the 14 are so dripping with outlandish grace, joy, prosperity, and protection such that nothing more can be said!! The remaining 54 verses are the written contract between the Creator God and His people. The contract reveals that without a firm grip, a shocking deterioration to the depths that humanity could possibly descend, and the appalling contrast is utterly horrific.

As with any good father though, our Father God doesn’t discipline us without end; and v38-39 shows ahead of time, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel if Solomon wanted to take the right path. Unfortunately, v40 reveals Solomon’s attitude at the end of the day and instead of saying sorry to God and righting wrongs, as his father King David had done, Solomon chose to destabilized the nation by wanting to kill the one chosen to inherit the kingdom. At the end of his Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon had once written….

“Let us hear the sof (conclusion) of the whole matter (at the end of it all, what is there to be said); Fear HaElohim (God), and of His commandments be shomer mitzvot (be guarded over His commands); for this is the whole duty of haAdam (humankind). For HaElohim (the LORD God) shall bring kol ma’aseh (every work) into mishpat (judgment), with every ne’lam (secret thing, concealed thing), whether it be tov (good), or whether it be rah (evil).” [Ecclesiastes 12:13-14]

How sad and utterly bankrupt it is to know so much in one’s head, and yet finish one’s race devoid of righteousness in lifestyle and actions. Is it not better to know that without our Provider, I have no good thing… According to His power, it’s more than I ask, think, or imagine since I’m already loved and already chosen. And that is enough….

CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”

[a] Genesis c3

[b] 1 Kings 4:29 is 5:9 in the OJB

[c] Genesis 1:26-28

[d] Exodus 32:19-26

[e] 1 Samuel 15:22-29

[f] 2 Kings 23:13

[g] Exodus 34:6-7a

[h] Deuteronomy 4:31

[i] Genesis 18:25b

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