Solomon’s Pride; August 9, 2017

1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”

David really laid it on the line to Solomon in this formal ceremony of succession, but Solomon took it as a ceremony rather than as personal reality. I really think Solomon’s downfall was his pride. He was greatly blessed and gifted, but instead of recognizing God’s grace toward him he thought he somehow deserved all he had. He felt – whether or not he consciously thought – that all of those things made him above all the rules. That is a sadly common thing. Today we are seeing lots of people who think they are above the law, that their wealth or political connections or whatever make them immune to the rules that govern everyone else. Just yesterday I was reading an article that said better-educated people are actually more likely to try various drugs than people with less education. I think that’s part of the same phenomenon. Solomon was so gifted, in intellect and a number of other areas, and so blessed materially and in social position, that he felt he was above not just the laws of the land – which he made – but above the laws of God. To me that makes him one of the most pathetic figures in the whole Bible, because he squandered it all. His father David was very aware, as he made clear even during this ceremony, (verse 4) that everything he had was God’s doing and not his own; the best he could do was cooperate and not get in the way of what God had planned. Had Solomon possessed that sort of humility, who knows how glorious the story of Israel would have been down through history. God ultimately redeemed it all through David and Solomon’s descendant Jesus, but there was incredible suffering and destruction along the way. Today we need to remember that even those who make rules and laws are not above the laws of God, or even the laws they insist everyone else follow.

This has always been an issue for me. My life has been a battle between feelings of inferiority/rejection because I’ve never been good at sports, for example, and pride to the point of hubris because of my intellect and other gifting. Neither side of that has done me any good! My identity is in Christ, so it matters very little how people evaluate me, (1 Corinthians 4:3-4) but every good thing about me is a demonstration of the grace of God, not something I have earned. I am not to deny or ignore what God has done for me, but I am not to think or feel that makes me better than others in terms of my value before God. I am certainly not to think it gives me the right to ignore God’s commands! Because this has been a struggle for me it makes it easy for me to spot it in others. I am not to look down on them, certainly, but speak the truth to them in love, and pray for them that they may receive it.

Father, thank You for this reminder this morning. With the photo show that started yesterday, people are saying lots of complimentary things about me. Help me point each of them to You, so that You may receive all the glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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