The Easy Road

1 Chronicles 28:20-21
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.

Solomon had everything he needed to succeed.  He inherited an established kingdom.  He had materials and wealth.  He had people surrounding him to serve him and help him.  He had God with him and God’s blessing and favor upon him.  David had gone out to war and conquered enemies, taken territory, accumulated riches.  He had followed God’s leading all along the way and was able to build up a great kingdom in Israel and pass it on to his son.

But maybe it was too easy.  Solomon didn’t have the trials that David had that kept him needing God.  He didn’t have to struggle as much.  His life wasn’t in danger.  He didn’t go out and face giants and flee from Saul and experience battles that would prove his faith and his strength.  So he eventually drifted.  He got caught up in those comforts and ended up doing what David never would have—forsaking the God of Israel for idols and false gods.  It didn’t seem as important to Solomon as it had been to David.

Can’t that be true in our lives, as well?  So often we want the easy road.  We want the life of ease with everything handed to us and an abundance of things available to us.  But how do we get strong, then?  How can we grow if we never face a trial?  How can we learn to trust God if we never feel like we really need Him?  How can we grow not just in our knowledge of who God is, but who we are, if we never have an occasion to learn those things deeply and intimately for ourselves?

Solomon started off strong, but he wasn’t able to remain faithful to God all of his days.  He did great things in his lifetime.  He built the temple, he judged the people with wisdom and discretion, he grew in wealth and fame.  But ultimately, with the thorn of those false gods permeating the land and the hearts and minds of the people, that great and mighty kingdom would crumble.  So can’t we see from Solomon’s life the importance of remaining faithful to God?  And can we learn to appreciate the blessings and success God gives to us without allowing them to cause us to forsake Him?

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