Finishing Well

Solomon

I was reading in 1 Kings 11, about King Solomon’s final years. It was a sobering read, to be truthful. When people typically think of Solomon, they usually recall the following facts about him- his father was King David, the greatest king in Israel’s history; he succeeded his father to the throne; Solomon was offered anything his heart would desire by God, and he (wisely) chose wisdom to lead; as a result, God gave him unsurpassed wisdom, but also blessed him with vast wealth, power, and influence across the world. What fantastic potential and promise!
Solomon penned most of the Proverbs, some of the Psalms are attributed to him, and scholars believe he wrote Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs as well. Solomon was given the privilege of constructing the first great Temple, built up Jerusalem up as well as other great projects across the country, constructed a vast navy to sail the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and beyond. His wisdom, fame, and wealth were beyond any of his time. All because he started well- he dedicated himself to follow God, to walk humbly before Him, and to lead God’s people with wisdom and compassion.
But something happened along the way. By chapter 11, Solomon began to waver and weaken.
His wealth, power and fame began to go to his head, as he accumulated more and more for himself, and began to treat his people as servants rather than God’s people, taxing them heavily and pressing them into slave labor. He gathered for himself literally hundreds of wives and concubines, to feed his lusts. And he allowed for the worship of false gods among all his wives, and ultimately among the people, eventually participating himself. He short, rather growing into a wise old man, he became an old fool.
The sad final years of his life can be summed up in these verses- “Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord,… he did not observe what the Lord had commanded.” (v.9-10) In fact, his final recorded act as king was a plot to kill the man God was going to give part of his kingdom to upon his death. He fought against God while near his own death!
His story startled and shook me. I had not looked at Solomon this way before. He did not finish well, but in shame.
I never want to make choices that would bring shame upon myself, my family, my people, and ultimately, my God. I want to finish well, finish strong, and leave a legacy of love for God, love for people, and love for life. I want to hear God say, “Well done, welcome home!”, not “What were you thinking?!” I know I’ll not be perfect, I’ll make mistakes sometimes, but may I never destroy God’s work in and through me. May my life, overall, bring Him glory and honor.
May my epitaph one day read- “He walked with God, and brought others along.”

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6 responses to “Finishing Well

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. Finishing well is indeed a goal to keep in mind.
    In regards to King Solomon, after reading and studying his writings, I wonder if he was judged too harshly by later writers who objected to his beliefs and practices of allowing religious freedom during his reign.

    Regards and good will blogging

    • Good thoughts, but in my understanding of the nation of Israel in the OT, God intended the nation to be of one-faith, following His commands, and being an example to the world. They often fell very short of that, but God still would use them to bring the Savior into the world, Jesus Christ.
      Thanks for your comments and thoughts!

      • You may be right. However, in my humble opinion, I find it hard to believe that our Creator of all mankind would want to exclude anyone because of their righteous beliefs.
        .
        Regards and good will blogging

  2. Well, He is the God who stated in the OT, “you shall have no other gods besides Me”, and declared through Jesus Christ in the NT, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” As the Creator, The Lord God of all, I guess He has the authority to set the terms.
    Thanks!

  3. “If no one comes to the Father but through Me,” do you believe a merciful God who created everyone else will not allow all his creations to never come to him because they never heard those words?

    Most religious beliefs are the result of where a person is born. I wonder if maybe our Creator had a plan for all other religious cultures too. He does have authority I agree.

    Regards and good will blogging/

  4. His plan is His Son, Jesus Christ. It’s our job to take His message of salvation across and throughout the world (Matthew 28:18-20). Man strayed away from God across the centuries, created his own religions and belief systems to suit his desires, fears, etc., and yet God’s plan all along has been this- “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
    Thanks again for your thoughts, and have a blessed weekend,

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