Bruce Forsyth was recently in the news voicing concerns that there could be a shadow side to Britain’s Got Talent with young performers facing too much early stress competing alongside older performers. Now if there was ever a great “performer” in the bible, leaving Jesus aside, then Solomon was one such. He was a man blessed with a vast amount of God-given “talent”. However, as I was reading through the story of Solomon, I began to notice a shadow side that seemed to run very much in parallel. Allow me to illustrate. Having built the temple, we are told it took him no less than seven long years. So wow, we say, “didn’t he do well!” However, the very next verse goes on to comment:
“It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.”
So which one was really his premier “performance”? A little further on, we read that he had in mind another construction project. This time it was one more palace, one exclusively for the use of his non-authorised foreign wife. This project gets justified with the idea that she must not come where the Holy Ark of the LORD has been. We can often operate with little awareness of our shadow side. It’s that place where sin hides itself away. Jesus spoke some very sobering words in this relation:
“He said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.’” Luke 16 verse15
“Didn’t he do well” as a question, if we’re honest, fits with all of mankind, but as a statement, only belongs fully and finally to Jesus.