So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. (1 Kings 11:6)
King Solomon was third King of Israel. He succeeded his father David who was known as ‘a man after God’s heart’. Although David did not always fully obey God, his heart was not rebellious and his lapses in moral judgement were followed by times of deep repentance. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of Solomon.
Solomon was blessed with special visitations from God. One night, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and gave him ‘a wise and discerning heart…..riches and honor.’ 1 Kings 3:12,13. This was no ordinary dream. What a blessing to bestow upon an individual!
Sometime later, we read of God coming again at night to Solomon, speaking to him and instructing him. One of those instructions has echoed down throughout the centuries and has given hope to nations:
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
However, in spite of God’s personal revelations to Solomon, we read in the key verse above that ‘he did not follow the Lord completely’. We also read that “King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites…. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God”. (1 Kings 11:1,4)
How could this happen? How could a man to whom God had drawn so close, go so badly wrong? Ironically, we can find the answer in a book that is traditionally attributed to Solomon.
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. (Song of Solomon 2:14,15)
Solomon’s life had been blossoming. The news of his wealth, magnificence and wisdom had spread throughout the world. Solomon’s name was spoken of with awe and admiration. However, Solomon failed to pay attention to temptations that came upon him and, rather than ‘catch’ them, he entertained them and assimilated them into his life. They became part of his ‘vineyard’. He did not ‘follow the Lord completely’.
Like Solomon, we have been deeply blessed by God. Many enjoy the nearness of His blessed presence daily. It is a delight to wake each morning to peace and contentment. However, we must be watchful for the ‘little foxes’ that the devil will try to place in our vineyard. Perhaps already there is a ‘little fox’ that is trying to turn your eyes from your Saviour. Are you struggling with the challenge of complete honesty in financial dealings ? Or perhaps you are struggling to keep the foxes of resentment, bitterness or jealousy out of your vineyard. Oh the dangers of not following God completely!
Like Solomon, we have a choice of what to do with the ‘little foxes’. We can choose to entertain their presence or we can choose to ‘follow the Lord completely’. Which will be your choice?
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