Solomon seemed to be such a great youngster. Bathsheba raised a good kid. Even when His father David died, Solomon was made king and God came to him in a dream and said, “Ask what I shall give thee.” With a childlike understanding Solomon said, “Give me an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” God was pleased with his answer and granted him more – a lot more. First Kings opens with such great promise for this young man. As you wind on through the first ten chapters, Solomon doesn’t seem as though he wants to please God anymore. He has horses and chariots in abundance; he even has chariot cities. By chapter eleven he is already neck-deep in horses, chariots, strange women and sacrificing to the gods of the lands.
What a disappointment! Through the first sixteen chapters of First Kings there is only one name that stands out. It’s not Solomon, Jeroboam, Rehoboam or a dozen others that had the opportunity to obey God. None had the heart of king David, Solomon’s father. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father (1 Kings 11:4). Not a one of the rest of the kings in First Kings could hold a candle to David. Solomon loved strange women and clave to the love of strange wives. Rehoboam wanted to appease his young buddies, while throwing away wisdom from the older men. Jeroboam thought highly of his own council while destroying Israel and throwing her into apostasy.
When many won’t do the right thing or live a life pleasing to God, usually there will be one in the crowd that fears God. Over and over we read in the Old Testament of the many that do what is right in their own eyes, while just one or two occasionally do what is commanded of them by God. In the New Testament we read of one that would bare the sins of many (Isaiah 53, 1 Peter 2:24). Then in Acts and other parts after, there are those that start picking up the slack for what those in the O.T. would not do. It’s amazing to me the strength of the prophets of old to endure and trust in God as they did. Just a handful of kings are worthy of mention. Yet Hebrews 11 and 12 reminds us of the many, the faithful many, that are examples to us even today. Yes, even today the fight is on with those that give in to temptations and their own lusts. One can sit at the dinner table with their family gathered around. One can look at those across the table and maybe it’s just curiosity, maybe it’s worry, or maybe it’s fear that we haven’t done all that we can do, but will our loved ones be some of the few that will have pleased God?
David had several boys that followed after him and it is a high probability they are not in Paradise. David was one of the few in his time that knew what repentance was all about. He did it often. He loved God and it showed. Solomon may not have gotten it right in life, but he got it right in word: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). When many won’t keep the commandments of God, usually there will be one who will; when many sit idly by, there will be one standing for what’s right; when all have sinned, there was One. . .