Today's devotion from 1 Kings 3.
1 Kings 3 is usually a highpoint in the tale of Solomon. When he is visited by God in a dream, we see that he does not ask for riches or long life, but for wisdom. Pleased with this response, God gives him all the above. He will be wise, but also rich. We will see exactly how wealthy he shall become in the coming days. Yes, we look to Solomon, and wish we could have a similar opportunity.
However, 1 Kings 3 is not just an upbeat, everything-is-going-great chapter. There is dark foreshadowing that we might be tempted to miss. You see, even now in Solomon's life we are privy to a battle that will take place. In this chapter we see the initial lines beginning to become defined.
Think about this, if Solomon's wisdom is the only important detail in this chapter, why are the first words about a strategic marriage that would create an alliance with Egypt? It is because this chapter outlines the battle. In verse 3 we read, "Solomon loved the Lord by walking in the statutes of his father David, but he also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places." Yet, by the end of his life, Solomon's many pagan wives will have swayed his heart.
In fact, in just a few chapters we will read, "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)
What is the lesson? Solomon loved the Lord, asked for wisdom to rule, worshipped profoundly, built the temple, and still stumbled in the end. No one, not even Solomon in all of his divinely appointed understanding, is exempt from the necessity of guarding one's heart.
How is your heart?