7-5-4 Solomon's Attitude To Being King
The promises to David involved the establishment of Solomon’s throne.
But God had declared clearly enough that this depended upon Solomon’s
personal spirituality. But he wilfully failed to see this, deciding that:
“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established
in righteousness” (Prov. 25:5). He externalized righteousness, believing
in a form of guilt-by-association, which the righteous would avoid. He
redefined righteousness not as anything personal, but a separation from
sinners. And there is no lack of evidence that our community has in places
and at times fallen into some similar form of legalism. Solomon is described
as having placed a “heavy yoke” upon God’s people (2 Chron. 10:4). The
Lord alluded to this when He said that He places a light yoke
upon men, in contrast to the heavy yoke of the Pharisees. The Lord clearly
read Solomon as a legalist. And also as someone who, although a type of
Him, was also an anti-Christ in his legalism and harshness.
Solomon was so sure that he was acceptable with God by reason of being
David’s son, that he ended up playing God. He did this by assuming that
his feelings were actually those of God. When he says, with reference
to himself, that “the wrath of a king is as messengers [angels] of death”
(Prov. 16:14), he meant that his feelings of anger would, he thought,
be implemented by the Angels. He assumed, with reference to himself, that
“a divine sentence is in the lips of the King” (Prov. 16:10). He was infallible,
because of who he was, because he ‘knew the truth’, and had been raised
in it, and was ‘to the manner born’. So he thought. And thus he ended
up appropriating to himself language relevant to God alone: “In the light
of the King’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the
latter rain” (Prov. 16:15).
Solomon evidently considered that the promise to “establish [his] throne”
was more conditional upon him ridding himself of association with sinners
than personal righteousness: “Take away the wicked from before the king,
and his throne shall be established in righteousness” (Prov. 25:5). His
concept of righteousness was not God’s. He forgot all about personal holiness,
and instead focused upon not being guilty by association with sinners.
And he thought this would justify him as righteous. The same error has
been made so many times since. For how often has it happened that brethren
who have had the most to say about separation from “the wicked” reveal
personal lives which are anything but righteous. Solomon's attitude to
being king was similar.