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The Scriptorium

Solomon's Decline - and Recovery

Too late for Israel, but not for Solomon.

The Heart of God: David and Solomon (6)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on 1 Kings 11.1-13 and Ecclesiastes 9-12.
It was too good to last, but only because Solomon failed to keep watch over his heart (cf. Prov. 4.20-27). But Solomon’s folly and fall wasn’t the end of the story.

For reflection
1.  In what ways did Solomon begin to compromise in his relationship with the Lord? Why did he do this? How does his failure here serve to warn us?

2.   What did Solomon learn about the human heart (Eccl. 9)? How does this underscore his counsel to his son in Proverbs 4.20-27? David was described as having a heart for God. How would you describe Solomon’s heart?

3.  In Ecclesiastes 10, how do you see that Solomon is reflecting on his own folly? What warning does Solomon offer us in Ecclesiastes 11.9, 10? Where should our hearts be focused?

4.  We saw in a previous lesson that God remembers His covenant – He attends to it faithfully and in all its details, at all times. How should we understand Solomon’s counsel in Ecclesiastes 12.1?

5.  The word Ecclesiastes derives from a Hebrew root which means “to assemble.” It should perhaps be translated something like “leader of the assembly.” Read quickly through 2 Chronicles 6, noting all the appearances of the word assembly, and Solomon’s role in this chapter. Then meditate on Ecclesiastes 12.9-14. How did Solomon want to be remembered? With what period of his life did he long to be associated? What, in his view, is the whole duty of a human being?

Solomon stumbled and fell, but he worked to rescue his legacy, and that of the people, by rehearsing his failures and calling the people – especially his son, Rehoboam – not to emulate his folly, but to remember his service to the Lord, and to live their lives “under the heavens” rather than “under the sun.” How might we be able to tell when we are beginning to lose this perspective in our own walk with the Lord?

Closing Prayer
There will be an abundance of grain in the earth,
On the top of the mountains;
Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon;
And those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.

Psalm 72.16-19

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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