“When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.” Proverbs 4:3-6
Solomon offers us a peek into his early childhood relationship with his dad King David of Israel. Solomon was the first surviving son of David with Bathsheba. His choice of words seems to favor his dad’s attempts to pass along to him some good instruction infused with a strong emphasis on gaining wisdom.
Something at first Solomon was apparently keen to do.
As far as the wisdom of Solomon goes, he was gifted a special amount in reward for his humility and lack of material greed. He was renowned for it. His attitude would change though because over the span of 40 years as the power of his position wore down his resistance to temptation his capacity for wise choices slacked.
“He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.” I Kings 11:4-8
His dad had suffered something similar, even though throughout his life he was said to have been in tune with the heart of God. It can happen to all of us and usually does when we finally achieve some sense of power in the little kingdom we rule over.
David had a few, okay several wives prior to Bathsheba and a mistress to warm him in his old age. Not nearly so many as Solomon who seemed to do whatever he did to some extreme. I suppose I am inclined to judge David more harshly than I should. Solomon once quipped, “Two are better than one, because… if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” Ecclesiastes 4:9-11
The Lord had warned the kings of Israel not to collect wives, even those of the household of other kings for the sake of international relations, because they would turn their heads away from Him. But, as we know so well,
“There is a way that seems right to a person – a king – but the end of it is the way of dying and death,” so “Keep your heart with all diligence because from it springs the water of life.”
Proverbs 14:12; 4:23 [rendition mine]
How we keep our hearts as dads makes a whole lotta difference when it comes down to the available content of good, unsullied things we will have in store to pass on to our children, particularly those passed on by example.
Grace today y’all