2 Chronicles 1:14-16 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt – and from Kue the royal merchants purchased them from Kue.
Among the many detailed instructions and warnings God gave to Israel through his faithful servant, Moses, as they entered his Promised Land to be his special chosen Covenant People, was the following:
“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, ‘Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,’ be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, ‘You are not to go back that way again.’ He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:14-20).
When I reflect on Solomon’s life (as revealed in 1 Kings, 2 Chronicles and his own confessions in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes) in the light of this Scripture to which he had ready access, I can’t help feeling sorry for him. Solomon had everything going for him: he was chosen to be King by God himself; he had asked God for, and been granted, wisdom to rule well rather than for wealth, fame, and victory over his enemies; and he had had a godly upbringing and example under his father, David. But, somehow, he ‘overlooked’ this vital bit of instruction in the Law of Moses and followed his own, seemingly successful, inclinations. He had even warned others: “There is a way that SEEMS right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12).
Thankfully, God has provided us with a descendant of Solomon, a King who DID keep the Law of Moses perfectly FOR US, and who DIED IN OUR PLACE in order that we might inherit all the blessings that come from HIS obedience – Jesus. As we, by faith, accept him as our Saviour, do we make HIM the Lord of our lives by reading, and meditating on his Word? With all the privileges we have in Jesus (cf Revelation 1:4-6), may our commitment to the Scriptures keep us from making the mistake Solomon made!