As closeness to God diminishes, closeness to what is not of God increases.
My wife and I have been reading in 1Kings and just got to the end of our reading about Solomon.
In the beginning he was humble. He wanted to do everything right. But he knew his limitations. He sought wisdom, God’s wisdom so that he might be successful.
Yahweh saw his heart, his love and longing after…
Yahweh saw his mind, the right thinking in response to his concerns.
And God blessed him with the wisdom he sought and more.
In everything he did he was successful and prospered and it would seem there was just more and more that occupied his time and energy and thoughts.
Think about it.
He was engaged in building the temple, building his palace, building the house for his Egyptian wife, building the millo, building the wall of Jerusalem, making business deals with people within the kingdom and outside the kingdom.
He decided cases requiring justice for the people. His house, the servants, the food, was according to his dictates and his protocol. When the Queen of Sh’va came to see with her own eyes what she had been hearing about, “…it left her breathless.” (1Kings 10:5) CJB.
At some point it seems his life became dedicated to something else. He lived beyond and in contradiction to Yahweh’s instruction. He set his eyes on acquiring.
Buildings, land, crops, gold, silver, precious stones, horses, chariots, power, wives and concubines in a quantity and flow that brings to mind prophesies:
“For Adonai says,’”I will spread shalom over her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like a flooding stream…’” Isaiah 66:12 CJB.
Speaking of New Jerusalem:
“The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it… and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it.” Revelation 21:24-25 CJB.
Solomon’s Jerusalem and the kingdom of Israel a kind of foreshadowing of things to come. So it was with Solomon.
When did he have time to be intimate with God? Each day filled with activity that fixed his attention on the physical, with incorrect motives, resulting in him, little by little, to rely on his own understanding, instead of trusting in Adonai with all his heart and acknowledging Him in all his (Solomon’s) ways. He may have thought what he was doing was to or for the glory of God, just as the “Lord, Lord” people do, but Yahweh was not pleased. And He was not pleased because Shlomo valued his own thoughts and plans on a level equal to or above those of Yahweh’s, adding to or completely disregarding them.
God allows, then He judges and executes.
In one of his weaknesses, the influence of forbidden wives and the progressive drifting from Yahweh, Shlomo built places of worship and allowed worship of pagan “non-gods”.
He committed adultery, betrayed an intimate trust.
And Jehovah God determined to take his kingdom from him.
Not much is said about the state of his kingdom in his latter years, the extent of its prosperity and peacefulness and the spiritual condition of Shlomo and the people of Israel. But we know that after his death, true to God’s Word, the kingdom was split and a downhill spiral for both houses began.
I wonder if his ponderings recorded in Ecclesiastes were not a kind of self examination of all that had taken place and that for all the occupying of his time to acquire and gain, whatever he took a fancy to, in the end what truth and reality is, what being pleasing to God is, to:
“…take heed: one can write many books: there’s no end to it; and one can study so much that it wearies the flesh.
Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything (That he, Shlomo, had tried) : fear God, and keep His mitzvoth; this is what being human is all about. For God will bring to judgment everything we do, including every secret, whether good of bad.” Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 CJB.
I like to think this extraordinary man, so blessed by God, made peace with Him and was reconciled, that he backed away somewhere in his walk and took Yahweh seriously, treated Him in the truth that He is really real and though He is Master to be feared and obeyed, He is also Lover and friend, provider of every good thing and whose Ways and purposes are sufficient for us.
Father, may it be that in Your blessings we do not drift from You, in our drifting we do not forget You and end up far from You.
May we begin and end and in-between, work through the day and its activities, in unity with what pleases You and may You move Your Spirit to recapture our attention, remind us if we drift that corrections can be made before damage is done.
May we be in constant communion with You.
You breathed life into us, may we “breathe after You.”
In Yeshua’s name we pray.
May God’s love be in us all.