This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
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… Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. ~ 1 Kings 11:4-6
When you think of King Solomon, you probably think of the wisest man who ever lived. When he first became king, God told him to ask for anything he wanted. Instead of riches or the death of his enemies, Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people well. God granted him this request and also gave Solomon wealth and prosperity.
Solomon, during his reign, built a temple for the Lord, just as God had promised David. He also wrote countless proverbs, many of which stand today as inspired Scripture.
Yet, when it came to the end of his life, Solomon did not finish well. During his reign, he married 700 women and had 300 concubines. Many of these women, it seemed, were included in political pacts with foreign governments. That meant, that many came from lands that worshiped false gods and followed misguided religions.
Instead of being faithful to God, Solomon began to worship false gods with his wives. He even built “high places” where sacrifices could be made.
The wisest man who had ever lived, because he was not careful to guard his own heart and remain faithful to God, failed to end life well. I pray that it is not said of me or you they did evil in the Lord’s sight.
In 2 Timothy 4, Paul spoke of the need to finish well. He described it as fighting the good fight and finishing the race. If we’re going to be like Paul instead of Solomon and finish well, then we will have to fight. We have to fight temptations and stubborn sins. We have to fight laziness in our spiritual walk and the tendency to drift. We have to put in the effort to build strong relationships with other followers of Jesus who can help keep us focused. We have to fight busyness and the “tyranny of the urgent” to make time to be in God’s word, to pray, and to worship on our own and with our churches.
May we fight the good fight. May our hearts stay focused. May we be faithful until the end.
Scripture quotations taken from the Christian Standard Bible.