Driving home from work recently, my attention was arrested by Dr. David Jeremiah’s comments on King Solomon. He mentioned the well-known fact that Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. His unprecedented and unsurpassed wisdom was the result of God’s answer to Solomon’s request.
In His answer to Solomon’s prayer, God said, “… Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like” (2 Chronicles 1:11 – 12).
In addition, “… God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (1 Kings 4:29-34).
Listening to these facts about Solomon, I wondered, “How did the wisest man in the world, turn away from the One who give him everything?”
First Kings 11:1-4 identifies Solomon’s diagnosis – he had heart problems. “But King Solomon loved many foreign women … from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.”
I recognize that King Solomon’s heart problems are not unique to him; this diagnosis is one to which I am also predisposed.
I realize I could make the mistake of focusing on the number of women Solomon loved, think, “No wonder his heart was turned away from God,” and breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, this response would not be reality based.
The truth is, I am not immune to developing Solomon’s heart problems because it does not take hundreds of relationships to damage my heart. All it takes is one.
The harmful relationship could be the one I have with myself – when I prioritize my wants and ambitions above His purpose. When I prize vengeance over forgiveness. When I delay obeying Him. Just to name a few conditions that foster heart disease.
Or, it could be a relationship with one person whose opinion I value more than the opinion of my Father; when pleasing that one person and gaining his/her approval becomes more important to me than His approval.
What I find sobering is that someone could have heart problems and not know it; this is true physically and spiritually. Thankfully, regular check-ups can aid in identifying the onset of heart problems so that they can be attended to early.
Great Physician, I will not wait for a spiritual check-up one moment longer. I echo the words of David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”*
*Psalm 139:23-24 (New Living Translation)