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Meeting Expectations Like King Solomon


Early expectations, leadership roles, and success can do damage to young superstars or high achievers who aren’t ready for everything that comes with it, but that was not the case for LeBron James. He became famous in high school when the cameras started following him around, his high school games started being televised on ESPN, and magazines like Sports Illustrated started putting him on covers as early as his junior year and naming him, “The Chosen One.”


LeBron could have easily folded under the pressure, but he made good choices, kept the main thing the main thing, stayed focused, and kept good people around him who aligned with his vision of who he wanted to be and what he wanted to do, and he rose to levels few people could have imagined.


When reading about the Bible story of Solomon, I see similar expectations at a young age, similar choices that led to unprecedented successes, but also bad choices that led to his fall.


Solomon was one of the richest and wisest kings to ever live. Under his leadership, Israel rose to the peak of its size, power, and glory. Solomon’s wisdom and success, including building the first holy temple in Jerusalem, brought him worldwide fame and respect.


Solomon was the king and leader during Israel’s golden age.


Solomon’s father, David who slayed Goliath, gave him specific instructions to follow God when he named him the new king. In 1st Kings 2, David said, “Keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”


These instructions tell me two things. First, we must listen to and obey God, and second, we must listen to and obey our parents and leaders. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” - which is the first commandment with a promise - “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Hebrews 13:17 says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”


When Solomon becomes king, the first three things he does both lead to his success and to his failures. The first thing Solomon did was ally with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. The second thing Solomon did was go to Gibeon to offer 1,000 burnt offerings and sacrifices for God. This led to the 3rd thing he did, which was to ask God for wisdom.


Solomon was trying to be strategic in allying with Egypt by marrying the Pharoah’s daughter, later in his life, this backfired on Solomon. We have to be careful who we partner with, and we have to make sure that every partnership we seek is good for us and aligns with our values and how we want to live our lives. While King Solomon led Israel to levels they had never seen before, he had a fall from grace that led to a split of his kingdom because he disobeyed God’s commandments by marrying foreign women and worshipping foreign gods.


Who we choose to spend our time with makes a big difference in our success. Before aligning with someone, seek God’s guidance in prayer, and ask yourself if this is the type of person who will help you go where you are trying to go.


But before Solomon’s fall from grace, he achieved things that nobody else had done because he gave everything to God. Immediately after marrying Pharoah’s daughter, he made 1,000 burnt offerings, meaning he burnt 1,000 pieces of his possessions for God. I don’t think I own 1,0000 pieces of anything, so this would be a big deal for me. Early in his leadership, Solomon put all of his trust in God’s leadership. I wonder what would have happened if he would have made the sacrifices before marrying Pharoah’s daughter? Would he have aligned himself with people who would have helped him stay aligned with God so that later in his life, he would have not worshipped false gods and kept the real, true God as his North Star?

 

After making the sacrifices, God appeared to Solomon in a dream, telling him he could ask God for whatever he wanted. Solomon didn’t ask for money or a long life; he only asked for the wisdom to lead the people the right way. Solomon said, I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart [wisomd] to govern [lead] your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.”


Solomon knew he was a young leader with a big responsibility. He asked God to help him fulfill his duties in the best way possible, and because of that, God said, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”


And that is what happened until Solomon started worshipping other gods because of the friends and people in his life.


God wants us all to be successful, to have joy, to love what we do and who we do it with, and He wants us to have peace. When we seek His wisdom by reading the Bible and praying to Him, when we make sacrifices to do what He wants us to do, and when we align ourselves with the right people, we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.


That is the message that I take away from Solomon, one of the greatest kings who ever lived.


SOMETHING(s) TO THINK ABOUT


1 - What is a leadership role that you are currently in or want to be in that you need God’s guidance and wisdom in?

2 - How can you ask or seek His wisdom and guidance?

3 - Who are some people that you can align with to help you live and lead the way you want to?

4 - Who are some people and what are some things that might keep you from living the way you want to live and leading the way you want to lead? How will you manage this?


My Prayer


Dear, God. I pray that you give me the wisdom to do what you’ve put me on earth to do in a manner that pleases you and serves the people that you’ve put me here to serve. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.


For a printable PDF of this post, click here: Meeting Expectations Like King Solomon

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