When I read today’s chapter, the following verse came to my mind:
For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise
of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
1 Timothy 4:8
This verse may not be directly linked to our chapter today, but it reminds me of the contrasting values between physical gains and spiritual benefits.
Physical peace and prosperity do not necessary breed noble character in people, but faith and hope in God will definitely cause godly righteousness to grow in them. The situation described in this chapter indeed calls to mind about our awareness to stay on the path of God amidst physical peace and prosperity.
Bible Passage: 1 Kings 4
When the people asked Prophet Samuel for a king to rule over them like the other nations, he brought some instructions, and also predictions from God regarding the king. (ref. 1 Samuel 8: 10 – 18)
King Solomon did a lot of ‘takings’, not only from the Israelites, but also from the nations who were subjects under his reign.
Were the Israelites pleased about all these “takings” by the king? Well, they might have no complains in the beginning, but if we read the recordings in chapter 12, we can deduce that the people eventually were not very happy about it.
“Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”
1 Kings 12:4
In verse 26 of chapter 4, we read about the number of horses Solomon had acquired, and also the number of wives and concubines he had, recorded in chapter 11:3. Are all these doings not going against the commands of God?
But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.
Deuteronomy 17: 16 – 17
Solomon was indeed wise because of God’s blessings, but he was still as human as we are. Therefore we should not admire and long for the kind of physical wealth, peace and prosperity that he had brought to his people. For we are citizens in the Kingdom of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the One who is greater than Solomon.
The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it,for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
Matthew 12: 42
In regards to wisdom, Solomon can’t hold a candle to that of Jesus’. Because Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3). The people under Solomon’s reign experienced abundance, and they ate, drank and were rejoicing (v.20), but our Lord promises us that He would meet ALL our needs,
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The peace that a human king can give to his people is but temporal, but the peace that our Lord Jesus promises us is out of this world.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14: 27
We indeed have a KING who gives us abundant spiritual wealth, prosperity and security, and His Kingdom is truly unshakable, lasting through eternity.
Let us not forget to praise and thank Him for all these blessings while we bask in His everlasting love. Let us also not slack in our service to Him and His people.