David vs Solomon: The BIG difference in their approach to God (and what we can learn from it)
On one side, you have David, the giant-slaying shepard’s boy raised to become a king.
On the other side, you have Solomon, the son born after a royal scandal destined from birth to be the “favorite heir.”
Neither one is born under situations that would be perfect for a king, but both become great kings. David is recognized for faith (before and after his scandals), while Solomon is remembered for his great wisdom and wealth.
Yet, there’s an issue, here: David had to fight for every territory he owned, yet he is not remembered for his possessions. He is remembered for everything but that. He is remembered as a soldier, a musician, shepard’s boy, Saul’s assistant. Most of all, David is remembered for his heart.
Solomon, on the other hand is remembered for his possiessions. We remember what he built (the temple) and who came to meet him (Queen of Sheba for his wisdom). But, we don’t remember Solomon for his heart.
If you notice, thoughtout the Psalms, the part of the Bible written mostly by David, there is an emphasis of love for God, a longing for God.
Psalm 116:1 I love the LORD
Psalms 63:1 O God, you are my God,
and I long for you.
My whole being desires you….
There isn’t a comparable verse for Solomon.
There is a prayer to God from Solomon in 1 Kings 8:22–61..but “love” is mentioned once.
In Eccelesiates, another book attributed to Solomon in his older years, there isn’t any great outpouring of love either.
This might explain the different responses David and Solomon had when they were confronted with their sins.
When David was confronted of his horrible sin of lust-induced murder, David broke down. We read in 2 Samuel 12 that he fasted for 7 days and was at the point that his officials thought he would hurt himself.
He write this in Psalm 51:
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
and in Psalm 143:
“My spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the time past;
I muse upon all your deeds;
I consider the works of your hands.”
Yet, the Bible records nothing from Solomon.
Here’s the account in 1 Kings:
Even though the Lord, the God of Israel, had appeared to Solomon twice and had commanded him not to worship foreign gods, Solomon did not obey the Lord but turned away from him. So the Lord was angry with Solomon…
I think the BIG reason behind this is because of how David and Solmon saw God.
It’s important to remember that BOTH David and Solomon committed sin related to lust. David wanted Bathsheba, a woman who could not have. Solomon learned forbidden knowledge, because of the women he had.
Yet, David immediately repents and does what he can to avoid lust in the future.
Solomon ignores the warning and dives further into it.
Now, the BIG reason, that separates David and Solomon is how they view God. David LOVES God. He writes about God constantly.
Solomon is more concerned about duty. The books attributed to Solomon focuses on duty. Proverbs is about what you should do. Ecclesiates is coming to terms with life’s unfairness and what you should do.
Because David LOVED God and everything God is and does, he felt sin was an abomination to God. Because Solomon focused on obligation, he felt sin was a breaking of the law of God.
That subtle difference can shed light on David’s and Solomon’s inner life…and also our lives.
Do we love God out of love or out of duty?
Ideally, we should do both. We should love God because He is love and that is our duty.
But sometimes, we get so caught up on one that we forget the other.
In focusing too much on duty, Solomon grew tired of the love.
Now, whether Solomon repented of his sin (which some suggest) in Ecclesiates is not the big issue.
The point is, do you love God out of love or are you only tied to Him by duty.
If you’re only tied by duty, be careful…as Jesus says, “the flesh is weak.”