It is sad to watch God-revering men who, after toiling to their pinnacles of success, succumbed to secular influences, distanced from God and ending as failures of their successes.
King Solomon was one of the greatest of such pit-falls God had used to teach us life’s lessons.
King Solomon started off very well, showing his love for the LORD by walking according to the statutes of his father David. When he ascended the throne, God granted him wisdom to rule, plus immense wealth, solidly grounding his position in God and life.
Solomon’s writings in Song of Songs, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and his contributions to the Psalms astounded us with his in-depth wisdom as collated in the Bible. He ruled wisely and extended God’s Promised Land with stability; flourishing in trade, peace and prosperity. Soon he was renowned as the wisest man in the world. Kings and queens from afar were dazzled by his genius and Jerusalem’s architectural marvels and civilized cosmopolitan.
Despite all these, Solomon took a dramatic downturn in mid-life: his extravagant love of luxury and exquisite led him to exotic treasures, frolics, songs, wines and women.
His turning-point came as he lavishly constructed God’s Temple, but way overly lavish and exquisitely, his own Palace. He inter-married foreign princesses of different religious beliefs for military alliances, betraying his trust in God. Overwhelmed with great multiple wives and concubines, he compensated them by building altars and even bowing to their idols.
King Solomon, in his follies had distanced, disobeyed and sinned against God and His Commandments.
Fortunately, at long last, almost on his death bed, he awakened to lament:
“…the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man…God will bring every deed into judgment. “ (Eccl. 12:13-14)
Let us, therefore, hang on fast to God to safeguard ourselves against sins and failures that success can invariably bring upon us.
By Ron Chan