Spielberg’s Jaws scared me more than Tolkien’s orcs. I shudder to think about what Spielberg could have done to Jaws if the special effects capabilities available to filmmakers today existed back when he created his infamous killer shark. I probably would have never stepped in the ocean again. I’ve always felt safer with fantasy. In fantasy you can comfortably assure yourself that nothing like this could ever happen. But thrillers about killer sharks, spiders, and viruses are another issue altogether. Those shows leave me looking over my shoulder for a swarm of bees or some other menacing insect looking to colonize my home.
Here’s something else that scares me–something that has happened to others. Starting well and finishing poorly. Case in point: King Solomon. He amazes me–and sobers me. Here is a man to whom God granted the singular privilege of building His temple here on earth. Even King David was not allowed the honor of doing so. Solomon was spoken to by God, blessed by God, allowed to work for God, and saw God’s glory fill the temple. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. But for all that Solomon did, for all that He saw of God’s power and majesty, he didn’t end well. He spent the latter part of his life more in love with women than with God. I Kings 11 tells us,”4For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.” All this happened because he disobeyed God’s command to not take foreign wives. Why would he do this? Maybe he thought he was too strong to be tempted by their religions. What is clear, however, is that Solomon “clung to them [his wives] in love.” ( I Kings 11) At some point his love for God waned. Maybe it was never that strong. Only Solomon and God know.
I want to end well. My take-away from King Solomon’s life is to continue to pray like David did:
23Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139
“6So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. 7Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem.” I Kings 11.