Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sprinkle - Fight (6) Solomon

Preston Sprinkle explains in his book called Fight how Solomon took Israel further down the road of militarism.

Israel’s march toward militarism continues with King Solomon. Though he is often presented as a good king who fell away in his old age, the Bible views Solomon’s kingship much more critically. First Kings 3:3 sums it up best: “Solomon loved the LORD... only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places.” Solomon loves God, but he also has a thing for pagan gods.

Solomon commits not only religious idolatry but political idolatry as well (the two go hand in hand). Contrary to God’s law for the king (Deut. 17), Solomon has a massive standing army and stockpiled superior weapons beyond imagination—forty thousand stalls of warhorses, fourteen hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. One could say that stockpiling superior weaponry was the cause for much peace during Solomon’s reign. The same logic drove America to amass nuclear weapons during the Cold War. But the Old Testament doesn’t work like this. Solomon’s accumulation of warhorses and chariots blatantly violates Deuteronomy 17: 16, leading Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann to label Solomon’s reign “the quintessence of Canaanization in Israel.” In fact, the Bible makes clear that the peace during Solomon’s reign is not due to his military might, but to God’s covenant with David (1 Kings 11: 11– 12). Solomon’s military might serves only to condemn him Fight Chapter 5).

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