Solomon’s father King David died. He led Israel for forty years. Solomon was David’s choice to be his successor. Just a young man twenty years old, he felt woefully incapable of leading this great nation on his own.
In Solomon’s dream God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (I Kings 3:5). Solomon knew immediately what to say. “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern right and wrong.” This answer pleased God. He said, “I will give you a wise and discerning heart…” and “very great insight, and a breadth of understanding.” God added, “If you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life” (1 Kings 4:29).
Solomon’s first great task assigned by his father was to build the Temple of God. Over many years he wrote 3,000 proverbs that offered insights, instructions, warnings, advice for overcoming temptation, and general character-building wisdom.
Solomon had a new son when he became king, and he named him Rehoboam. This son, who would be the future king, grew up under the forty years leadership of his father’s reign. His keen child-like eyes noticed all that his father did.
“Solomon, however, loved many foreign women…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’” (I Kings 11:1-3, 6). As Solomon grew old, he fulfilled what God had said. He set up altars to other gods to please his wives and turned away from his God. Where was the wisdom he once had? “So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely.”
Throughout the years, Rehoboam noticed the affect these women had in Solomon’s life and when he began to worship their idols. Solomon hardly knew the example he was setting for his family, his kingdom, or the future of Israel’s history. His actions told his family that God could be put aside for other gods. Rehoboam’s keen eyes reasoned that serving other gods would be better for him too–wouldn’t it?
Solomon’s forty-year reign ended with his death. His son Rehoboam became king at age forty-one. Three years into Rehoboam’s reign, when he felt established as king, “he and all of Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 12:1). Rehoboam’s lack of wisdom and the unwise example seen at home affected his inexperience in leadership. Solomon and Rehoboam’s flawed choices set a precedent; many subsequent kings also forsook God’s leading.
Dads, it’s worth being a strong and positive example since keen eyes are watching. If you are not, devastation and a torn family could wreak havoc in their future. It is better to continue serving the Lord and be blessed. Don’t damn your descendants with your lifestyle.
Florence Simmons writes to encourage people to invite more of Christ into the moments of their day. Check out her website www.common-sensewisdom.com and her MOBI www.commensensewisdom.MOBI. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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