Have you ever given much thought to Solomon—the Solomon whose life started out great and ended up pathetic? Solomon was smart. As he took the throne, he asked for wisdom—wisdom to rule God’s people. Even God was impressed, and He gave it all to Solomon. Not only did God give Solomon wisdom, He gave him everything else—wealth, fame, glory, all the worldly desires of mankind.
God blessed Solomon, and he started out great; but when we find him at the close of his life, we see a man filled with regret. He looks back on life and sees it as futile.
There’s a warning for us in the life of Solomon. He asked for wisdom to rule a people. Instead, he built a kingdom. And what became of that kingdom? Shortly after his death, the nation was divided and eventually carried off into captivity. The glorious temple was burned; the opulent palace has long since crumbled to dust. When Solomon was building a nation, he should have been building a people. And therein lies the warning.
When we are old and lift up our eyes, what do we want to see? —a monument of stone or the smile of a faithful disciple? Solomon took God’s gifts, and he built a nation, leaving his people in spiritual confusion.
Melody often feels like Cyclone Callie has ripped through the house. I recall so many years filled with repetitive tasks in which I often mused, “I clean this up now and it will look just like this again in an hour.” There are probably many days, or years, that you don’t feel like you use any of the gifts God has given you. And it is true that anyone could wash those clothes and clean those floors, but no one else would stop in the middle to play peek-a-boo. No one else has the magic to heal a hurt with a kiss, to discipline in love, to sacrifice for the other’s good. No one else has so much at stake.
So, take heart for today: it is weighty work you do. The old do not take joy in palaces of stone but in the walk of the feet they’ve shod, as little ones when they toddled along.