Imagine all of your dreams coming true. Can you? Has it ever happened before? We know of one: King Solomon. He is the only person of which the Bible says that the Lord loved him so much that He wanted to change his name to Jedediah (beloved of Jehovah). Wow, imagine that! Did it show? Let’s see: Displaying the golden spoon in his mouth from an early age, Solomon grew up in a palace as the heir apparent to the greatest king in the history of God’s own nation. And God promised his reign would be even more majestic.
En route to his destiny, all the drama and intrigue of his father’s reign passed him by. He didn’t need to go and fight in any wars; his dad had Joab. When Absalom conspired to take away his inheritance, others fought that battle for him. All he did was enjoy all the fun, games and good times of a king’s kid. Solomon didn’t have to assume the responsibility of the crown until he was forty, which gave him lots of time to enjoy himself any way he wanted. Unlike Jonathan, he didn’t display any interest in warfare, and wasn’t active in his dad’s army, and nobody seemed to mind. Make love, not war, seemed to be Solomon’s motto . Being the heir apparent of the superpower of the day, Solomon got to marry a princess of the only other superpower worth mentioning: Egypt. And, get this: Solomon didn’t have to provide a dowry, as was the norm. Pharaoh wanted so badly to have his daughter marry Solomon, HE provided the dowry! That pretty much fits what we expect when we think of God loving someone enough to want to change his name, doesn’t it?
Isn’t this what we all wish for and dream about? Be honest: if you could write the script of your life, could you do any better than that? Solomon did. When it looked like he might lose his kingdom to Adonijah’s connivance, his mother and Nathan simply stepped in and protected his interests for him; he didn’t have to do a thing. But wait, as those late night TV ads say, there’s more. Once Solomon ascended the throne, he got a personal visit from the God who wanted to change his name. This wasn’t a fairy tale genie, it was the God of heaven and earth, telling Solomon he could have whatever he wanted. Well, it seems Solomon, on top of everything else, was smart, too. He asked God the right question and then, just like hitting the daily double on a TV game show, he got “everything else” thrown in (as if he didn’t already have everything).
Solomon then proceeded to build an extravagant temple for God, but even for this, his dad had already bought most of the materials. All he had to do was put it together. And when that was done, Solomon received a second visit from Lord–not an angel, the Lord Himself. This visit, though, had a gentle warning.
The fairy tale life of Solomon continued unabated. Because his dad before him was so powerful, and because God loved him, he didn’t need to fight any wars. And, if that wasn’t enough, all he had to do was rake in the money everyone was throwing at him. It was almost like you walking into a bank and the manager taking you aside and insisting that you please take this check for a million dollars.
Could we get used to that? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bottomless bank account, our face on the cover of Time magazine and our choice of marriage partner? And if that person displeased us, all we do is speak to the chief of staff… who simply finds a better one? Add to that absolute power: if someone cut us off in traffic, we simply get on the cell phone and security takes care of not only the problem, but the person, too? When we dream, isn’t that how we dream? Seriously.
Solomon had all of that. He is the one person we know of who truly had the life we only dream of.
So… how did it work out for him? Was this the first happily ever after? Sadly, no. God has (still has) a body of common sense instruction. We call it by many names, most of them unflattering: the law, Old Testament, legalism, and more. Solomon, wise though he was, didn’t follow these guidelines. We know about the woman thing, but there were several other ways in which he blew off the Lord’s guidelines. And over time, gradually but inexorably, Solomon turned his back on the Lord. Sad, very sad.
Solomon received a third visit from the Lord, the one who a few decades earlier had wanted to change his name to Jehovah’s Beloved. This time, though, all Solomon received was a stinging rebuke, and the only promise he received was that his kingdom would be ripped apart, and it was his fault. Going forward, because Solomon turned his back on his heavenly Father, he would have war, dissension and strife. As we know, God turned his back on the glorious temple, too, which was ransacked a few short years later by none other than Solomon’s father-in-law.
Having all his dreams didn’t work out well for Solomon after all. What about us? Could it be that having all our dreams come true might not be the best thing in the world for us? Below the photo, there’s a link to a real life sad article (from a very credible source) about the billionaire scion of the Anheuser-Busch fortune/dynasty, who locks himself in a huge mansion these days. It might not be representative, but it is thought provoking.
Do I still want the Lord to give me all those nice things (sandwiches) I used to ask for? I’m not so sure any more.
How about you?
(Warning: it’s a long read, and not all that edifying.