Second Chronicles 8 Commentary
“My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because the places the ark of the Lord has entered are holy.” We may describe human intelligence as an art of trying to make stupidity look good. This is what King Solomon is trying to do here. It should be easier for him to simply say, my wife, is a worshipper of foreign gods. I therefore must accommodate her religion away from Israel’s religion. Or, I have married wrongly, let me find a way to live with it.
As we learned from the Book of First Kings, Solomon actually married hundreds of women in this way. And he built palaces for each one of them. That is how Solomon imported paganism and accommodated it so lavishly.
Solomon’s statement may reveal some very interesting facts about his godliness. He never considered himself a holy man to keep away from the unholy alliances with pagan-worshipping women. He thought of holiness as an external value to be respected. It was never an inner quality for him.
“The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.” Deuteronomy 17 verses 16 and 17.
This chapter and the next chapter should be looking at Solomon’s achievements. But in view of the above scripture from the Law, these two chapters are telling us how far Solomon fell from the set standard. The saint is warned. What we call success may easily be a list of sins. And in the meantime, like Solomon, we can continue to offer sacrifices with surprisingly greater consistency and commitment. We have selected what to observe and what not to observe.
Importantly though is the fact that the LORD did actually give Solomon rest. He didn’t have to fight his way to greatness. The LORD provided prosperity to David but to it was by sweat and blood. The LORD provided prosperity to Solomon but it was by rest. ‘Some boys are lucky’ – read as providential.
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