1 Kings 11:14-25
And the LORD stirred up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.…
I. CHASTISEMENT IS MERCY. Though the judgment was kept back, Solomon was meanwhile made to feel the rod of correction. We may be forgiven and yet chastised - yea, chastised because we are forgiven. "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth," etc. This, too, was mercy, for -
1. It was fitted to lead him to seek God in truth. It is easier to feel and confess our folly and sin in adversity than when all is well with us,
2. It revealed to him the kind of harvest he had prepared for his child. He was now reaping the fruits of his father's fierce vengeance (see ver. 15). The story recorded on the page of Scripture was then on Israel's lips and in Solomon's thoughts. When God visits for sin, the iniquity of the past is remembered. Sins are seeds that produce harvests of trouble for those who come after us; and Solomon's reaping the fruit of his father's deeds must have set before him the legacy of judgment he was bequeathing to his own son. And yet Solomon does not seem to have been benefited. Are we reading the lessons of our chastisements?
II. OUR ENEMIES ARE GOD'S INSTRUMENTS.
1. When they assail us it is of Him. The Lord stirred them up. They had been adversaries before, but they had hitherto been powerless to harm Israel (see ver. 4). But now in Solomon's fall the day of their opportunity came. Our foes are held as in a leash by God. Without His permission they can attempt nothing: when they are loosed it is of Him. They serve Him and in the truest sense serve us. In the midst of evil deeds and evil speech let us look past all to Him.
2. God's restraining hand is still upon them. Though Hadad and Rezon attempted more, they were not permitted to succeed. So far as they may serve us they are allowed to go, but no further. - U.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.