Yesterday I was reading in 1 Kings 11, where Solomon turns from God. At this point in Solomon's life God has blessed him in unbelievable ways, and Solomon had followed God. In 1 Kings 11, Solomon is nearing the end of his life, and in his old age and in all of his wealth and poor decisions he had made, he began to worship other gods. Actually, it was because of the women that Solomon had married that he was convinced to worship other gods.
When i read this, i was very disappointed in Solomon and the way that he ended his relationship with God. I actually thought that he was a really stupid person for acting this way. If God had blessed him so richly throughout his entire life, then why would he stumble right at the end? I dwelt on this for a little while by myself, then I began to talk with Bethany, my girlfriend about what I had read.
She brought up the point that Solomon was the wisest person to have ever lived apart from Jesus. I realized that, but i still wasn't turned from my negative view of Solomon. Then, in her wonderfully scathing and forcefully introspective way, Bethany said made me see the story in a different light. The easiest way to show this is through dialogue...
Jordan- "I just don't understand how he could fail right at the end of his life after being the apple of God's eye for his entire life. I mean God had given him everything that he could have ever wanted and more, but he still was turned away from God. He's so dumb! If i was in his position, i wouldn't turn away from God"
Bethany- "Jordan. Stop and think for a minute. You are in his position. You have been blessed beyond most everyone else in the world, but you still turn from God every single day. How can you say that you wouldn't do what he would do, when it is impossible for us to live perfect lives? Just because God blesses you doesn't give you immunity to failing and sinning."
Jordan- "Oh crap. I'm the stupid one, aren't I?"
Bethany- "Now you're just being ridiculous Mister Bolte."
Bethany had it right on. I am just as blessed as Solomon was, but i still sin. The amount of blessing that God bestows upon someone doesn't correlate with the individual's ability to stand strong against sin. The wisest man that has ever lived was still suspect to his sinful nature.
I'm so glad that we believe in a God that knows that we are crappy, but still loves us. He blesses us in ways that we can't even begin to understand, yet we still rebel. I hope that Solomon and his actions help us see that material wealth, God's blessing, and beautiful women don't protect us from sin.