King Solomon and His Many Wives

It is true Solomon “had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” for it is recorded in God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, in 1 Kings 11:3. It has been suggested many of his wives and concubines could have been daughters given as gifts to him by surrounding potentates when peace treaties were negotiated with the Kingdom of Israel. As Solomon’s kingdom and influence grew so did his desire for these foreign women whom God strictly forbade His people as they entered the Promised Land from becoming involved with because of their idol worship (Deuteronomy 7:1-4; 1 Kings 11:1-2).

After all the magnificent successes God had given King Solomon throughout his reign, the Book of Kings records “when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart after other gods.” Those gods included “Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians… Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites… Chemosh, the abomination of Moab… and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.” Solomon offered sacrifices and burnt incense unto the gods just as his forbidden wives did who did not worship the One True GOD who had blessed Solomon in wisdom and riches (1 Kings 11:5-8).

Because of His Righteousness, God’s judgment fell upon Solomon and the entire Kingdom of Israel. It was then God pronounced the kingdom would be divided after Solomon’s death into the Northern Kingdom consisting of ten tribes of Israel, and the Southern Kingdom consisting of the remaining two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. Solomon’s son Rehoboam would rule the Southern Kingdom consisting of Jerusalem, while Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam, would rule the Northern Kingdom (1Kings 11:11-13,43; 12:1-24). As a Divided Kingdom God’s judgment continued to be poured forth as a result of Solomon’s sin for the next 400 years, until eventually the Northern Kingdom was carried away captive by the Assyrians and the Southern Kingdom found themselves under captivity in Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 17:5-6; 2 Kings 24:10-16; Jeremiah 52:28-30).

According to 1 Kings 11:4 Solomon’s “heart was not perfect with the LORD his God” concerning his many wives and worship of idols. King Solomon is made mention in the closing words of Nehemiah’s book after the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt and the return of Israelites from the Babylonian captivity had taken place. Nehemiah contended with those who were once again taking wives of the Ammonites and the Moabites, saying, Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things?… God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?” (Nehemiah 13:23-27). Solomon is not one to be emulated or used as an example for having multiple wives, for in doing so he greatly sinned against the One True God.

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Lame Excuses

Since the dawn of time man has proclaimed lame excuses for his downfalls and sin against God. Adam blamed the woman God had given him for causing him to sin by eating the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent for tricking her into being the first to partake of the fruit (Genesis 3:1-13). Moses’ brother, Aaron, blamed the fire for producing the golden calf idol when Moses’ return from Mt. Sinai seemed to be delayed (Exodus 32:1-24). Even King Saul had his share of lame excuses in attempting to blame others for his disobedience.

As King Saul’s patience waned in waiting for Samuel’s arrival in Gilgal, Saul went ahead and took it upon himself to offer the burnt offering for God’s blessing and protection before going into battle against the Philistines, something only a priest could do. Upon Samuel’s arrival as the giving of the offering concluded, Samuel asked Saul, “What hast thou done?” Saul’s defense in disobeying God’s explicit command clearly given in His Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai were numerous: 1) The people were scattered from me;  2) You didn’t come at the appointed time;  3) the Philistines are gathering against me; and, the lamest of all,  4) I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 10:8; 13:8-12)

Saul’s lame excuse concerning the burnt offering did not prove to be his last, for on the occasion of battling the Amalekites for which he was commanded to destroy both life and property for their coming against the Children of Israel in the wilderness, Saul returned from battle with “the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good.” He had also spared the life of their king, Agag, whom he had taken as prisoner. Saul’s lame excuse to Samuel this time was But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.” It is then Samuel replied, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.”

For Saul’s lame excuses and continuing disobedience, God’s judgment was rendered against him. Samuel’s pronouncement from God against Saul was “Because thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” It was then Samuel was sent to the sons of Jesse to anoint David the next king of Israel. (I Samuel 15; 16:1-16)

The Cure for Depression

David’s life began as a young shepherd boy keeping watch over his father’s flock as they grazed along the hillsides of Judea. Being the youngest son of Jesse, he was the one chosen by God to be the next king of Israel. The current king, Saul, showed great jealousy over the selection of David before the end of his reign had taken place, attempting to pin David to the wall of his palace with a javelin not once, but twice on two different occasions  (1 Samuel 18-19).

The Psalms are the writings of David as he experienced life as a shepherd boy and also as a man on the run, for his life, from the king. Throughout the Psalms David’s emotions are on full display, from triumphant in victories over the lion and bear attacking the flock and the defeat of Goliath, to the despair he felt in the forced separation from his best friend Jonathan, King Saul’s son. There were those who hailed David as victor for his acts of valor, and those in confederate with King Saul who sought to fulfill the King’s wishes in seeing David’s demise.

Many of David’s Psalms begin with hopelessness and despair but find their way to praising God for His goodness, faithfulness, longsuffering, deliverance, and/or salvation before their conclusion. David’s answer in Psalm 42 to being cast down and disquieted was to “Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God”  (v.11).

Psalm 3   “LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me,” (v.1).   “Arise, O LORD, save me… Salvation belongeth unto the Lord,” (vs.7-8).

Psalm 12  “Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth,” (v.1).  “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth,” (v.6).

Psalm 35   “Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me,” (v.1).  “My soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in His salvation,” (v.9).

Psalm 56  “Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up,” (v.1).  “In God will I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me,” (v.11).

God IS Love

God Is Love3rzThe most beloved verse in all of Scripture, John 3:16, declares from the mouth of Jesus Himself in His conversation with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, “For God so loved the world…” The greatness of the capacity needed to love the whole world is not something mere man could do; only God who IS Love is capable of such love.

Love comes from the very nature of who God is, for “God is Love” (I John 4:8). Love is not merely an attribute of God… God IS LOVE. Without God there would be no love. Without God there would be no love in this world for others, no love for the downtrodden, no love for the poor, no love for the wounded and weary. GOD IS LOVE.

Because of God’s love for the world He sent His Only Begotten Son to offer the redemption of man to Himself. Although the greatness of His love is for the whole world, His gift of Eternal Life is only given to “Whosoever believeth in Him.” Whereas His love is universal, salvation from sin is not; it is dependent upon each individual’s decision to repent and seek God’s forgiveness from their sin.

Without Christ man is incapable of loving fully. Without Christ love is superficial, man-made, subject to the whims of one’s emotions. With Christ love is pure, gentle, kind, compassionate, enduring and loving throughout all generations (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Sound of Abortion

The act of abortion was legalized by the Supreme Court of the United States of America on January 22, 1973. Since that fateful day 45 years ago over 60 million U.S. citizens have been denied their Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Children are Heritage

Meeting Messiah

Following the Resurrection of Christ those who had so vehemently sought for His death were left with an Empty Tomb. The watchmen who had been assigned to guard the tomb were given large sums of money by the chief priests with instructions to say to anyone who asked, “His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept.” In Jewish culture today this belief is still “commonly reported among the Jews until this day,” as Matthew recorded in his day (Matthew 28:11-15). For a Jew to finally meet the Messiah the Old Testament Prophets foretold about is truly life-changing.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem” – The Holy City

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about… I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people;  All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:2-3

“In that day shall The LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem… I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:8-9

“The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem… So shall ye know that I am The LORD your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain:  then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” Joel 3:16-17

 

“Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem”

Psalm 122:6