Remember when God chose David, He said these words regarding him. “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). David dies and Solomon succeeds him on the throne but he is young and he reaches out to God. “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:7-10).
When God called Abraham it was the beginning of God calling mankind back to Himself in “right” relationship. Is Solomon’s request ever so perfect? Not only does God give Solomon the wisdom that he asks for; but all the wealth, fame and power that he so wisely didn’t ask for.
Some will say that the Old Testament is filled with the “Law” and today we have been freed of the law and are justified by Sola Fide (by faith alone) or Sola Gratia (by grace alone). Remember what God told the Israelites at the banks of the Red Sea? “These Egyptians that you see today you will never see again, today. The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still,” Exodus 14:13-14. And then the LORD gives the folks the Ten Commandments, laws to help them understand how to act as “Priestly” people; how to worship HIM. This is a discipline of love, agape love. Are we not supposed to fight for Him, as well?
The Kings, they get Saul first and he is awful. They then get David who is unbelievable, yet the Bathsheba thing remains a bit messy. Solomon is next, the wisest man who ever lived. “Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore.” (I Kings 4:29).
The story of Kings is not about their poor policies, lack of economic development or the battles they won or lost, as it is, about their lack of putting God first. Like Solomon, who in the end let his heart be taken away and turned his worship toward other gods. Regardless of how smart we are there is something about “I AM the LORD thy God” and how we worship Him that cannot be ignored, just because it’s old. Ain’t it so!