So much of an evaluation of history comes down to one’s perspective. For instance, was Solomon a good king or a bad king? Yes. For that matter, one could equally ask the same thing about David. Certainly the end of David’s reign was more positive than the end of Solomon’s reign. David seemed to have maintained a stronger relationship with God toward the end of his life than Solomon did. But was Solomon a good king for Israel? From a purely political perspective, no one reigned over a larger or more prosperous kingdom than did Solomon. For the most part, Solomon’s reign was a peaceful reign. And there’s no doubt that Solomon was wise beyond his contemporaries. But nevertheless, when one reads about the end of Solomon’s days, one finds that he had allowed himself to drift away from an undivided devotion to the Lord. What began so promising, didn’t end that way. Soon after his death, Solomon’s kingdom was divided.
Solomon’s story serves as a reminder that regardless of where we presently stand in relation to God, we must be diligent and disciplined in order to not only maintain our present relationship, but to also see that relationship grow. Just as any healthy marriage requires intentionality, so too does our relationship with our Savior. Most people who lose their faith don’t wake up one morning no longer believing. Nor do many people simply decide to quit following Jesus with one big decision. Most people begin to drift slowly away and before too long, the Promised Land is out of sight, well beyond the horizon. So wherever we find ourselves today, even if we’ve drifted too far, may we fix our eyes on Jesus and with intentionality and conviction, walk slowly, but surely in his direction. – Shay