God approved King Solomon and gave incomparable abundance to him.
After Solomon was born, he received Jehovah God’s favor. Just as it is written in the, “And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of Jehovah” (2Sa 12:25). When he started to become king of Israel, he didn’t ask God for more wealth or a longer life expectancy, but for wisdom so that he could rule his kingdom better. And moreover, he accomplished the lifelong desire of his father King David—building a temple for Jehovah God and leading the people of Israel to worship God there. Therefore, Jehovah God gave him blessings. As a result, under his government, Israel became extremely strong, to the point that it was beyond compare. So, many kings of Gentiles came to render plenty of treasure and rare wood to him and hear his words of wisdom, and thus he was admired as the wisest king. This is just as Jehovah God said to him: “And if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of your kingdom on Israel for ever” (1Ki 9:4–5).
God hated King Solomon, who worshiped idols, and so God rent the kingdom from him.
Solomon, however, married about 1,000 daughters of Gentiles as his concubines besides Pharaoh’s daughter. Jehovah God had said to the Israelites before, “You shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in to you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods” (1Ki 11:2). Nevertheless, Solomon went against the words of Jehovah God. In addition, when he reached his old age, he even worshiped false gods of his concubines, and he also built altars for them and personally sacrificed to them. His such actions were evil in the sight of Jehovah God. So, Jehovah God said to him, “For as much as this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely rend the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant” (1Ki 11:11). As he strayed from God, who had appeared to him twice, and enraged God, in the end God gave Israel to his servant Jeroboam and left only one tribe for his son.
God’s disposition does not change with the objects of His work.
What can we see from these two different attitudes that Jehovah God took toward Solomon before and after? God’s words say, “God’s disposition is His own inherent substance. It does not change at all with the passage of time, nor does it change whenever the location changes. His inherent disposition is His intrinsic substance. Regardless of whom He carries out His work upon, His substance does not change, and neither does His righteous disposition. … He does not grow angry because of a change in His substance or because His disposition has produced different elements, but because man’s opposition against Him offends His disposition.” “His anger is a symbol that all things negative no longer exist and, even more, is a symbol of His holiness.” From these words, we can see that God is holy and righteous, and that His substance does not change with time or geographical environments, nor does it change with the objects of His work. No matter who it is, even if he was previously liked by God, once he offends God’s disposition, God will never condone his transgressions or indulge him. This fact can be clearly confirmed through the two different attitudes God took toward Solomon before and after. At first, because of Solomon’s true worship of Jehovah God, he received Jehovah God’s favor and blessings. For example, Jehovah God bestowed wisdom upon him, and as a result of that, he was praised as the wisest king. However, when he turned away from God and worshiped false gods, God’s love and mercy for him transformed into anger for him. Consequently, God rent Israel from him and gave it to Jeroboam. From this, it can be seen that God is so holy. Besides, God treats everyone with righteousness, which is completely different from how we humans do. For instance, if someone gives us a good impression, then even if he does some bad things, we will indulge him and consider his feelings because of our favor toward him. It shows that in our dealing with people, we are unprincipled, and even more so we lack truth. As for God, He doesn’t treat people based on emotions. That’s why He didn’t forgive Solomon’s sins in face of these things—He liked Solomon and Solomon built the temple for Him. His wrath is not for satisfying Himself nor venting His anger, but for driving out dark and evil things and bringing good and positive things to mankind, so that we can live in the light and under God’s protection.
God’s attitude toward man depends on how man treats Him.
God’s words say, “God’s substance contains no darkness or evil. … When people commit wicked acts and offend God, He will bring His anger upon them. When people truly repent, God’s heart will change, and His anger will cease. When people continue to stubbornly oppose God, His rage will be unceasing; His wrath will press in on them bit by bit until they are destroyed. This is the substance of God’s disposition. Regardless of whether God is expressing wrath or mercy and lovingkindness, man’s conduct, behavior and attitude toward God in the depths of his heart dictate that which is expressed through the revelation of God’s disposition.”
These words give us a further understanding of God’s disposition. We can see God’s disposition is real and vivid, and how God treats man is determined by his attitude to God. Solomon was an example of this. When he started to reign, he had a heart of seeking and reverence before God and wholeheartedly built the temple for God. At that time, God approved of him and gave him wisdom as well as glory and riches, and even promised him to let his sons and grandsons rule Israel for generations. But in his old age, he betrayed God and followed his concubines in worshiping idols. This offended God, so God gave eleven out of twelve tribes of Israel to his servant. From this, we can see that God treats people based on the path they walk. God’s disposition is not only merciful and compassionate, but also righteous and majestic. In the past, we always believed that God was a merciful God, and no matter what evil we did, God would pardon us and forget our transgressions. But from God’s attitudes toward Solomon, we can see that our thought was too one-sided. Therefore, only when we know God will we beget a God-fearing heart, and only then will we not offend God and thus not receive His resentment and hatred. Just as the Bible says, “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Pro 9:10).
I derive a lesson from the story of Solomon: I should adhere to God’s words and keep to the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and I must not act recklessly. Thereby, I reflect on the path I have taken. When I started to believe in the Lord, I enthusiastically spent my efforts for Him. Later, I became a preacher. At that time, I thought my stature was small, so I would pray to and depend on the Lord with a cautious and prudent heart when doing things, and I would give all the glory to Him when my work bore fruit. Because of the Lord’s guidance, I had countless things to say when I preached. Gradually, I thought I was good enough, and that I had some capital. As a result, I no longer had the Lord within my heart, and I began to go against His words. When I preached I didn’t testify to the Lord at all, but instead I lifted up myself and bore witness to how I loyally expended for Him and what kind of suffering I had undergone for Him, so that I could have my brothers and sisters look up to me and vie with Him for His position in their hearts. As my actions and deeds brought the Lord’s disgust, I later felt dark in my spirit and had no words to say in my preaching. Thus I lost His presence. This failure gave me a true experience of the fact that God is holy and His disposition is unoffendable. Therefore, if we can frequently live before God and satisfy and love Him in everything we do, then we will gain His mercy and blessings. However, if we have no fear of God and satisfy our own selfish desires in all things, then we certainly will incur His hatred. From this day onward I will keep the lesson of Solomon in my mind.
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