“And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statues of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.” (1 Kings 3:3)
When you read a story in the Bible, don’t just think of it as a history lesson, although it is that. Think of it as a way for God to teach you things He wants you to know. Many lessons in God’s Word are not in the form of “Thou shalt” and “Thou shalt not.” Rather, many are in the form of good examples for us to follow–and bad examples to avoid–in the stories of those involved.
Our passage says, “…Solomon loved the LORD,” King Solomon loved the Lord and showed his love by obeying Him. That’s why the verse says he was “…walking in the statues of David his father:” The message here is simple: to love God is to obey Him.
In fact, when God offered Solomon anything he wanted–“Ask what I shall give thee.” (1 Kings 3:5)–Solomon didn’t ask for anything right away. Instead, his reply started, “And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father:” (1 Kings 3:7)
Note those words. Solomon didn’t say, “…thou hast made me king…” but “…thou hast made THY SERVANT king…” (capitals added) Solomon called himself God’s servant. He knew that no matter what position he held, he was God’s servant. God was sovereign, not him, and any obedience he rendered to God was no more than God had a right to expect.
This passage also offers an interesting, helpful exercise for prayer. Next time you pray, don’t refer to yourself as “I” or “me.” Instead, use the term, “your servant,” as Solomon did. You might say, for instance, “Lord, please guide your servant” instead of “Lord, please guide me.” The Bible doesn’t say we have to refer to ourselves as God’s servants, but doing so helps us appreciate our position before God. After all, Psalm 119:91 says, “…all [people] are thy [God’s] servants.”
Solomon was also Israel’s leader, which tells us that it’s especially crucial for political leaders to realize they are God’s servants and strive to govern themselves accordingly. 2 Samuel 23:2 says, “…He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” God is Sovereign and has every right to expect us to obey Him, no matter who we are. No one obeys perfectly, but is your life characterized by the desire to do right before God? What about your words and deeds? If you’re a leader, what about the things you support in your political position?
We show love for the Lord by obeying Him. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Yet He loved us first. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) We’ve all disobeyed God and sinned. Yet God the Son, Jesus, loved us, died for our sins, and rose again. If you want to see how to be forgiven for your sins and have eternal life by receiving Jesus as your Saviour, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 10/11/21
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822