Solomon was a king with many accomplishments. His accomplishments were not small or simple, but rather they were grand, complex, and fully in the public eye. Everything Solomon did was larger than life. . .from his great wisdom to his glorious building projects to his success in commerce and politics. Nothing he did was simple. People traveled great distances to listen to Solomon’s wisdom and put their eyes on his buildings. As someone who thrives on efficiency and has a great admiration for those with a high tolerance for hard work, I can’t help but read through this passage with admiration for all Solomon accomplished. The shear amount of energy, organization, and vision casting that would be needed to lead through these projects makes my heart beat just a little bit faster. It’s safe to say that Solomon was a king that left an impression. During these years of building Solomon also made time to spend in worship. He regularly offered sacrifices and called on the name of the Lord. And God was pleased and was willing to bless the temple and dwell with His people.
However, we know that our God is jealous for the hearts of His people. Leadership skills, completed to-do lists, and grand accomplishments are great, but what God really wants is full devotion and motivations that are grounded in bringing Him glory. God reminds Solomon of this when He gives him a strong warning not to stray from Him. He reiterates the importance of serving Him and following His commands above all else. God gives Solomon a gloomy picture of what will befall his kingdom should he stray. This is a prime opportunity for Solomon to remember that the God he serves is a just and faithful God. He is not a god who gives empty threats and warnings. Sadly we know that eventually Solomon allowed his own selfish desires and pride to lead him away from the one true God. It didn’t end well, and God held true to His word.
Wether you read this passage with admiration, connected with the accomplishments, or thought Solomon was a little over the top and needed to calm down, we should all take a moment to pause and re-read God’s statement to Solomon in verses 3-9. We should all evaluate our own hearts in light of who God is and who He has called us to be. Do we seek Him with our whole hearts? As we work, do we work to bring Him glory? Do we rest in the knowledge that He is in control and we simply are not? Do we put our own desires ahead of His commands? Let’s take stock of our hearts and truly seek His wisdom.