Who Influenced Who?
For all that is said about Solomon and his greatness, there is one sad thing. His wives “turned his heart away from the Lord.” To me that is sad! God gives wives to help men. Yet, with Solomon, they turned his heart away from God. But it also cuts the other way, too. Solomon loved his wives. He clung to them in love. His love for them was not caring love. He did not do them good all the days of his life. Oh, he provided financially for them. All the external needs were obviously there in abundance. Instead of turning them from idolatry, he built for them high places where they worshipped their idols. Both failed each other.
One thing this reminds me of is the great importance of influence. Solomon’s wives influenced him negatively. His wives were not the only negative influences in his life. There was his wisdom, wealth, and reputation, too. When you are told, “the half has not been told” and that the whole world has heard about you, that is heady stuff. Solomon began to embrace being the king. Who was going to tell him, “No?” Further, there was the influence of his enemies, particularly Jeroboam. Jeroboam was strong, vibrant, and good-looking. He was influential.
Solomon began well. He began like his father David. He began by keeping the commandments of God. But as he grew in fame, wealth, and gathering of wives, his heart changed. He lifted up idols and may have even joined in worship to them. When David erred, he confessed and turned to God. When Solomon drifted away, his heart kept turning away. He never confessed and returned to God. How sad! He began in such a positive way. He asked God for wisdom regarding justice and understanding and then turned away from God. Solomon’s heart was not like God’s.
But did it have to happen that way? Where was the one person who was a good and positive influence on Solomon? Not his enemies. Not Jeroboam. Not his wealth, wisdom, and reputation. What if Solomon would have had that one go-to person who he would listen to? That one person who could have told him he needed to stop going in the direction he was headed. And then, what if Solomon had listened?
We all have influencers in our lives. Do we have those influencers who we will listen to? Who will tell us what we need to hear when we do not want to hear what they have to say? Is there that person(s) who we trust to have our best interest at heart, that will love us enough to help us walk in the right way? Maybe that is my wife. Maybe it is my grown children. Maybe it is a good friend. Maybe it is one of my shepherds. Maybe it is a mentor.
We will have to nurture those influences in our lives. Evil influences do not have to be sought, they will be there without asking. But we need to seek and include good and righteous influences in our lives. Solomon might have had that one good influence in his life. But David, his father, had died.
Find that one person(s) who will influence for good. Learn from Solomon. Wealth, wisdom, and reputation are no guarantee that we will have a circle of righteous, godly influences in our lives. But they are there if we look for them.