Today’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 7:1 through Ecclesiastes 11:6
1 Kings 11 is critical in understanding how Solomon got to the place to write the sad book of Ecclesiastes.
Solomon did exactly what the Lord told him
The Lord had clearly instructed Israel not to marry foreign women, because they would turn their hearts to their gods.
What did Solomon do?
He married women from Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon and the Hittites. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines and they did exactly what the Lord said they would do—turned Solomon’s heart away from his God.
Success, power, and prestige are as addictive as heroin.
That’s the only explanation for Solomon “needing”so many woman—just one more fix and I’ll be happy!
Solomon’s problem is an epidemic in today’s world. Leaders both in the political world and the church world start out with the purest of motives but when they get a taste of power and prestige they exchange their noble motives for an enticing ego trip.
I’m so thankful God shows the good, the bad, and the ugly in the Bible.
Solomon started out with a heart for his people and for God but ended up seeing his life as “meaningless.” God knows we learn best from someone’s example—Solomon showed us what NOT to do.
Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom from today’s reading:
- A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume (Eccles. 7:1)
- Finishing is better than starting (Eccles. 7:8)
- Patience is better than pride (Eccles. 7:80)
- If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes. (Eccles. 9:4)
- Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed. (Eccles. 9:10)
- Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. (Eccles. 11:5)
I think we should pencil in Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33 at the end of Ecclesiastes:
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Heavenly Father, help us to live a Matthew 6:33 life that is pleasing to you! Help us to know that this world isn’t about power and prestige, but about know You and causing others to know You! Help us to learn from the mistakes of Solomon!
In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 11:7 through Ecclesiastes 12:14; 1 Kings 12: 1-20; 2 Chronicles 10:1-19; 1 Kings 12: 21-24; 2 Chronicles 11: 1-4; 1 Kings 12: 25-33; 2 Chronicles 11: 5-17