Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 7 – 9
Today’s Reflection: 2 Chronicles 9:13
Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold.
For those of you familiar with the last days prophecies in the book of Revelations, the amount of gold Solomon received in today’s text is very significant.
Revelations 13:18 – This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
Revelations 13 warns of the beasts, earthly entities that would (and will) persecute God’s people and have extraordinary power over the world’s affairs. This number 666 is a sign for our times. What could it have to do with Solomon and his time? Well Chronicles skips the end of the story. We have to go back to the first accounting of Solomon’s reign in the books of the kings.
After receiving the 666 talents of gold (1 King 10:14) and experiencing the heights of his fame, King Solomon began to marry foreign wives. Then he built temples to pagan gods and idols to please his foreign wives. Then he began worshiping and sacrificing to pagan gods and idols with his foreign wives. After God had made him the greatest king in the history of the planet, Solomon forgot Him and served worthless idols of wood, metal and stone for the sake of ignorant women. As a result God proclaimed He would tear the nation of Israel from Solomon’s rule, ultimately leading to the split between the northern and southern kingdoms, leaving only the land of the tribe of Judah to the descendants of King David (1 Kings 11:26-40).
So 666 was more than just a number for Solomon, it was a warning sign. As his wealth and fame increased, surpassing all of the kings of the earth, Solomon received a warning about the dangers of apparent absolute power. A caution of what he could become if he trusted in his riches instead of his God, if he placed his authority above God’s law. It was a warning Solomon ignored.
We too receive warning signs when shadows of the ambition and greed that led Lucifer to his downfall (Luke 10:18) appear in our lives. These warnings are not judgments or condemnations, they are warnings. But warnings must be heeded or they can become self-fulfilling prophesies of doom.
2 Kings 17:15 – They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them.