Most of the Proverbs are closely linked with Solomon. Who is Solomon, you ask? Let’s explore that a bit...
BUT FIRST, side-note: I have recently been going through Francine Rivers’ amazing novellas that bring different people in the Bible to life through fictional stories that expand upon scripture and allows you to connect with these people in such a deep way. It’s absolutely been changing my perspective on how I view God’s chosen people! Highly recommend both the series called “Lineage of Grace” (women in Jesus’s lineage) and “Sons of Encouragement” that hone in on lesser known men who were chasing hard after God. Go! You will not regret it!
Ok, now–Solomon. Let’s trace this down, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet with a little humor!
Moses was called to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, God’s power was on full display not only in their escape from Pharaoh, but then in His provision for them as they wandered in the desert for 40 years due to their disobedience. Joshua took over for Moses when it was time to enter the Promised Land, leading them to conquer Jericho as well as many other enemies who occupied the land. Joshua was instructed by God in no uncertain terms that all of the groups of people must be completely wiped out. If not, they would lead the Israelites astray and begin to worship other gods. But, when Joshua died, they still hadn’t cleared the land of these Canaanites completely. Their disobedience, once again (and again and again and again) has God taking action against them.
God raises up judges to keep the people in check but they just can’t keep it together for long. (Sounds familiar, yes? At least it does to little ole me!) There was Gideon…Samson…and the last judge was Samuel. The Israelites were rebellious and were wanting a king to rule over them and Samuel warned the people that God was their King, not a man. But they didn’t listen (surprise!) and God gives them what they want, but not without warning them it may not be all they think it will be. Samuel appoints Saul as king. Saul starts out very humble, but soon steps fully into the role and *gasp* disobeys God’s instructions and takes matters into his own hands.
God then has Samuel prophecy that someone else will take over as king. Saul was scared to death of this possibility and starts to lose his mind…cue sweet David, the harp playing, praise and worship singing shepherd, son of Jesse. Fast forward, King Saul is fighting the Philistines and you-know-who is taunting them…Goliath. David slings his stone and wins the battle, but Saul is crazy jealous and wants David dead as a result. David is on the run, (Side note…check out the Psalms! Several were written by David while he was dodging Saul!)
Saul ends up taking his own life, and David is named king. David was a "man after God’s own heart" and strives to lead well. But he was human, and humans mess up. David liked women. A lot. Do you know the story of Bathsheba? Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, one of David’s best commanders. David ended up getting her pregnant while Uriah was off fighting David’s war and David came up with a plan to have Uriah killed in battle to cover his tracks. Awful. But Bathsheba and David have our Solomon together.
The thing about David that really sticks out to me is that David wasn’t a man after God’s own heart because he didn’t sin; he was a man after God’s own heart because he kept coming back to God in repentance. I find so much comfort in that alone.
Eventually Solomon takes over the throne. He is granted tremendous wisdom. God gave him great insight and knowledge. Much of the Proverbs are truths given to Solomon from God. Solomon is a big deal and people seek his advice from far away places. But, he’s human. Solomon begins taking many, many wives from all different cultures (lust is a powerful thing, and Solomon got it honest from his dad, David!) and this upset God very much…so much so that He causes the whole kingdom to split into two as a result of Solomon’s disobedience.
Why is all that important? I love linking things in the Bible so this all is very exciting to me! If you want to explore more into these people’s lives and what God was doing, it can all be found in 1 & 2 Samuel, and 1 & 2 Kings.
Also, there is a theme to all of these humans and their downfalls…did you catch it?
Our verse this month emphasizes the importance of our words.
“The tongue has the power of LIFE and DEATH, those that love it will eat its fruit.”
God isn’t kidding when He tells us things like this…it is so very important to be aware and diligent about what is coming out of our mouths. You can use this power for good, or for evil. That part is up to you. I pray that each of us can be obedient to the call upon our lives from our Father, saying and doing what is pleasing to Him.
But remember this: repentance is key when you fall short. Confess it, ask for forgiveness and rest in knowing God sees His perfect Son when He looks at you, not all your sins and mistakes. Praise God for that!