Read 1 Kings 9:1-9, 11:1-8
“Then the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, ‘Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of your father David I will not do it in your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. I will not, however, tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sale of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.’ Then the LORD raised an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was of the royal house of Edom.” 1 Kings 11:9-14
In 9:1-9 we read again words of a covenant, familiar words of the original, if you walk before/with me and do all I have commanded, then I will establish your throne forever; if turn aside, then I will cut off your throne. If/then – the freedom to choose is a gift; what I choose, how I choose to use the gift is important as with Solomon it has eternal consequences not only for myself but for my family, for those who God appointed me to lead and their families. I don’t say that from standpoint of self-importance but eternal consequence. If/then – this language is as old as God’s relationship with Creation, especially humankind who is charged with responsibility to keep and till the whole of the rest of creation in covenant with the Creator. Solomon, given wisdom and discernment by God, was (as we all are) given an If/then situation and choice. He chose to follow his own desires, which made him feel good, edified his ego but also separated him from God. If/then – God’s promises are sure. If we love God first, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength then our neighbor and ourselves as God loves, then will be in right relationship with God, able to walk with God in righteousness. If we love ourselves first, if we misuse God’s blessings upon us, if we abuse others then we will experience God’s anger. If/then – grace and truth, sometimes the truth hurts if we take advantage of and cheapen grace.