A Wandering Desire
Sermon shared by Timothy Darling
Summary: We like to think of God’s blessings as being rewards for good behavior. That is not always the case. In many cases they are given so that we can benefit the kingdom of God, whether through giving to Him or to others and so strengthening other believers.
Audience: Believer adults
He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 1 Kings 11:3 (NIV)
He had 1000 wives. That is a large household. I am convinced that Solomon wrote the Proverbs for his many children. Even if only 1/10 of his wives had one son each for him, he would have had more sons than he could meaningfully be a father to.
This raises another point though, and that is often overlooked. His official wives were of royal birth. Solomon was a master politician of his day. The Bible makes much of his marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter, and for good reason. This is the first time recorded in history that a Pharaoh of Egypt married a daughter to a foreign king. In fact, the very idea was an insult to Egyptian kings, and it had been tried before. This makes Solomon’s marriage to her quite remarkable, indicating a measure of power that even Egypt respected.
Solomon used - and over used the marriage treaty. Peace was often negotiated between countries by marrying the royal families together. It was assumed that a king would not wage war against his daughter’s and grandchildren’s home. In this way, foreign royal wives and their children were often little more than well kept hostages. In addition, the children born of these unions would, presumably, have loyalties to both countries, ensuring peace between them.
Suffice it to say that Solomon had wide interests and experience. He experimented with everything that was at the disposal of a king. And this brings us back to the passage in Ecclesiastes:
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
Ecclesiastes 2:10 (NIV)
In following his desire, Solomon disobeyed the Law of Moses and fulfilled the prophecy of Samuel, showing himself not only the wisest king who ever lived, but also a very disobedient man.
Back when Moses was writing the Law, there was, of course, no king. But God knew there would be one day, and so, He made provision for the king. He gave him special rules and commands.
The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
Deuteronomy 17:16-17 (NIV)
Solomon broke all these commands
• he accumulated horses
• he accumulated wives
• he accumulated money
Samuel also warned them that the king would take the sons of the people to man his chariots and his horses, and Solomon expanded this practice far beyond David.
Solomon was not the worse king who ever lived, but he was, perhaps, the most distracted. He worked on more projects than any other king in Israel’s history, and he had 40 years to do it. Why?
• According to Ecclesiastes, to delight his heart
• And that was his reward
• When he looked for pleasure, he found it
• And pleasure was all he got out of it
Jesus asked this question:
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36 (NIV)
What pushed Solomon to experiment?
Roller Coasters are a strange phenomenon. I used to love them, but the last couple of
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