In today’s Bible reading* we read of Solomon’s wealth, riches, and women. He seems to be the man who has everything.
When the Queen of Sheba visited him, we’re told that she gave Solomon four and a half tons of gold. (1 Kings 10:10 CSB; 2 Chronicles 9:9 CSB) According to the closing price on Friday, June 11, 2021, today’s value is just shy of $248 Million.
Further, we’re told in 1 Kings 10:14 CSB and 2 Chronicles 9:13 CSB that twenty-five tons of gold were given to Solomon annually. This works out to be $1.375 Billion. Solomon’s drinking cups were gold. His utensils were gold. (1 Kings 10:21) Solomon had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen. (1 Kings 10:26) He had four thousand stalls for chariots and horses. (2 Chronicles 9:25)
So Solomon has lots of stuff. So what do you give to the man who has everything?
Looking at the beginning of 1 Kings 11, we’re told, “King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn your heart away to follow their gods.” To these women Solomon was deeply attached in love. He had seven hundred wives who were princesses and three hundred who were concubines, and they turned his heart away.” 1 Kings 11:1–3 (CSB)
So Solomon has lots of women. If he had a different bed partner every night, Solomon would only be with the same woman every two years and eight months. Too bad Solomon didn’t know about the godly woman described by King Lemuel [possibly another name for Solomon] in Proverbs 31. (especially Proverbs 31:10-12, 26, 30)
We’re also told that “When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away to follow other gods. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the LORD his God, as his father David had been.” 1 Kings 11:4 (CSB)
But it wasn’t so much the fact that he had surrounded himself with so many pagan women. What angered God was that Solomon’s heart had turned away from God. (1 Kings 11:9)
We often look at actions. But God looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) Even though David had sinned through adultery and conspiracy to commit murder, he was still a man after God’s own heart. Despite David’s sin, God commends him as an example of following Him with all his heart. (1 Kings 9:4, 11:4)
So what do you give to a man who has everything?
You ask God to give him an undivided heart!
Jeremiah 17:9 warns us that our hearts are deceitful and sick. We must remember that our heart’s default setting is bent toward evil. Evil intent and evil behavior.
Solomon knew this and warns his son to diligently guard his heart above everything else. (Proverbs 4:23) Unfortunately, he didn’t take his own wise advice.
How are you guarding your heart? What additional measures do you need to take to keep from distractions?
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
1 Kings 10
1 Kings 11
2 Chronicles 9