About twenty years after Solomon took the throne, construction is finally complete. The Lord gives His approval of the temple as He reaffirms His promise to bless Solomon for obedience. But immediately following, the Lord then issues a very strong warning of what disobedience will bring.
God tells Solomon that the prosperity they have experienced is because he is following in his father David’s footsteps. As we are well aware, this does not mean a perfect walk, but one ultimately trying to honor God above all else. Next, He warns him of the consequences attached to not walking with the Lord. It seems pretty clear, walk with God and be blessed or turn from Him and suffer the consequences.
Why is it so hard for us to be consistent? Well let’s look at how Solomon chooses to go forward and see if we recognize any warning signs.
We already know that that he is marrying multiple women from idolatrous nations. Next we see that Solomon does not fairly compensate his friend Hiram. This man supplied much of the materials for God’s temple and Solomon’s house. In fact, Hiram called the cities he received as compensation Kabul. Loosely translated, this means “good for nothing”. You and I should always deal fairly with people.
Next we see Solomon embrace using the remaining Canaanites for a labor force. God specifically ordered these people to be driven out of the land (Numbers 33:55), not accepted. This is yet another small step of disobedience that is a symptom of trouble ahead.
We must be careful of what we are willing to accept or condone in our walk with Christ. Are we living to please ourselves, or are we living to please God? Serving God takes commitment and a willingness to do the extraordinary. It means standing for God against a world that opposes Him. It means denying what we want in order to do what He wants for us.
Pleasing ourselves is easy. It requires no commitment or accountability. It’s just a matter of following our lusts as we feed our flesh and ignore the consequences. But, even if we ignore the consequences, as we see Solomon doing now, they will still come.
God’s plan is simple. Honor Him and He will bless, dishonor Him and He will curse. Though the plan is simple, following it is not. Let’s focus on pleasing Him instead of ourselves so that we can experience the great blessings He has in store.
1 Kings 9