1 Kings 10:14
As I read the Bible, some numbers catch my attention. For example, the number 7 is the number of perfection or completeness (Notice the multiple uses of the number seven in Revelation). But one number that stands out is 666. In Revelation 13:18, this is the number of the beast. It is important to note, in Ezra 2:13, which lists the families returning to Jerusalem and Judah from Babylon, one family is listed with 666 members. So, the number might not always have a deeper meaning. But since I know what the future holds for Solomon's reign over Israel, I noticed that number.
1 Kings 10 presents the apex of Solomon's rule as king and the beginning of its demise. The start of the chapter describes the glory the LORD received because of King Solomon. Verse one says Solomon's fame brought honor to His name. In verse nine, the Queen of Sheba praises the name of the LORD and declares His eternal love for the nation of Israel, since He provided a king who rules with justice and righteousness. 1 Kings 4:24 says, Solomon had peace on all sides around him. Following the dedication of the Temple in 1 Kings 8:66, the people went to their homes joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness the LORD had shown David and Israel through Solomon. Everything seemed to be going very well in Israel.
But beginning in 1 Kings 10:14, the success of Solomon's kingship wanes. Solomon's accumulation of gold is the first in a series of God's instructions he ignores. In Deuteronomy 17:14-17, God provided three specific directions for the future kings of Israel; do not acquire many horses, do not take many wives for they will turn his heart from the LORD, and do not accumulate large amounts of wealth. Also, 1 Kings 10 demonstrates Solomon was acquiring many horses and 1 Kings 11:1-4 describes him taking many wives. Starting in 1 Kings 11:9, God brings to an end the peace Israel enjoyed. When everything was going well, just like his father with Bathsheba, Solomon chose to ignore God's instruction. The consequences of Solomon's disobedience will be the division of the nation.
When everything is going well, is it our nature to think, "Okay, I've got this, I know what I am doing", without any reference to God's provision or protection? 1 Corinthians 10:12 provides wise counsel for when we think we have it all together: "Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall."
Our God and Father, thank You for protecting us from ourselves. We are inclined to consider ourselves capable of running our affairs without You, even though Jesus told us we could do nothing without Him. Holy Spirit, You know our nature. Please bring enough trials into our lives to keep us walking with You, but not so many that our actions diminish our Father's glory.
Psalm 91 is the perfect reminder following my discussion of 1 Kings 10. Examine what the LORD does for those who dwell with Him. Because He delivers and covers you, there is no need to fear, for you will see the wicked punished. If He is your dwelling place, no evil will overtake you because He commands His angels to protect you. If I hold fast to Him by knowing His name, He will deliver and defend me. I will see His salvation.
Yes, this is a much better reminder and prayer when we begin to think "I've got this Lord. I know what I'm doing."