Solomon Pursued Military Might for the Sake of Control (Ecclesiastes 4:13-16; 8:2-10)

Do you ever abuse control? When given more responsibility, do you exercise more and more authority over those around you? Control means “to roll against.” When seeking control, we roll our will against others. Pursuing the development of his own mighty hand, Solomon experienced control issues.

Israel’s king ruled over God’s people (see 1 Kings 1:35), whom he overtaxed and drafted into the military, as he steamrolled foreigners into forced labor (see 1 Kings 9:20-23). He constructed 4,000 stalls for chariot horses and collected 12,000 stallions and mares (see 1 Kings 4:26; 10:26). This cut against God’s desire (see Deuteronomy 17:15-16) for a theocracy where He would rule (see 1 Samuel 8:7). To keep control of his borders, Solomon also built strategic fortress cities (Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer) (see 1 Kings 9:15-18).

Solomon’s pursuit of control apart from God led to a life out of control. In his last will and testament, he reflected: “There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt” (Ecclesiastes 4:9b). However, when we surrender control to our Creator, we experience Christ the power of God is greater than our desire for control (see 1 Corinthians 1:24-25).

Are you lording it over others to your own demise? Whereas, you probably do not have a military army at your disposal, you most likely have enlisted many friends and acquaintances into a social one. This becomes convenient when relational challenges come your way. In your interpersonal conflict, beware of powering-up in relationships. Avoid rallying the troops around your selfish cause. Ask a trusted confidant: “Do I power-up on others?” Take their answers to God in prayer, surrendering all control to Him, as you experience the restorative power of Jesus Christ.

Episode 37: The Life of Solomon from mitchkrusetv on Vimeo.