King David wrote a coronation psalm for his Solomon as he ascended the throne in Jerusalem. The opening words say, “Endow the king with Your justice, O God, the royal son with Your righteousness. He will judge Your people in righteousness, Your afflicted ones with justice” (Psalm 72:1-2).
David was calling on God’s blessing on his son, but He was also reminding Solomon that he couldn’t rule without God’s help. David’s singular focus was for God to receive all the glory. He closes the coronation psalm like this: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, Who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen” (vv. 18-19).
Solomon started out well. “Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great” (2 Chronicles 1:1). Even when God gave Solomon the option to ask for anything, he choose wisdom “to govern this great people of Yours” (1 Kings 3:7-9).
David strongly impressed on Solomon that obedience to God was the key to God’s blessing on Solomon and on the nation of Israel. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to Him, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” (1 Kings 2:2-3).
But there is an ominous word that creeps in very early on in Solomon’s reign. Just one word that foreshadows the downfall that is to come—
Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, EXCEPT… (1 Kings 3:3).
As you’ve probably heard, Solomon’s many foreign wives began to lead him astray from “observing what the Lord your God requires” and eventually became his downfall. But it began right here with the EXCEPT.
It’s all or nothing.
I cannot pick and choose which words from God I’m going to follow and which I’m going to “except.” If God says I must do it, then I must do it!
The EXCEPT will lead to my downfall just as surely as it did for Solomon.
Heavenly Father, may I be so sensitive to the prompting of Your Holy Spirit if I’ve let any EXCEPTs creep into my life. Reveal them to me so that I may repent, show myself a man, and follow You wholeheartedly.