If you want a powerful image of what it looks like to living in tune with The Father’s Song and in perfect step with the Spirit, watch an episode of Dancing With the Stars. The dancers must be in perfect step with one another; but even more importantly they must be intimately familiar with the music. Every note, beat and break must be exhaustively rehearsed and every step, stride and strut perfectly choreographed and timed to precision.
One thing is for sure: These dancers are completely absorbed in and focused intently on the music that is moving them so purposefully and elegantly across the dance floor.
Now, contrast this image with another one. Step into your local bookstore, Dentist office, hotel lobby or elevator and you will likely hear soft, inconspicuous background music setting the mood. Background music serves a completely different role than the music on Dancing With the Stars. Rather than being swept up, taken over and moved to and fro by elevator music, it’s intended purpose is merely to provide a splash of ambience and atmosphere. It holds little influence or power, it simply adds a touch of sound to fill the silence.
By the time we reach David’s son and successor to Israel’s throne, King Solomon, The Father’s Song would seem to be serving more and more as background, elevator music in these bumpy narratives. Solomon, in particular, is a case in point. He is clearly endowed by God with great capacity for wisdom, composing some 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. He is credited for writing the Song of Songs, the Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. “People from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him” (1 Kings 10:24 ). Yet, if we look at the lifestyle he led and personal choices he made, it seems fair to conclude that Solomon wasn’t focused intently on nor swept up in the rhythms of The Father’s Song. His mixed legacy leads one to believe rather that he merely let The Father’s Song provide some pleasant, religious and inspirational background music in his life.
Solomon’s life, much like David, was a tale of conflicting tunes. He was a God-fearing man on the one hand, leading the building of the Holy Temple. “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore” (1Kings 4:29). He spoke 3,000 proverbs and his songs numbered 1,005. He was blessed extravagantly by God with abundant wealth and political success. 1 Kings states that he owned 12,000 horses with horsemen and 1,400 chariots. On the other hand, his downfall came in his old age. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He had taken many foreign wives, whom he allowed to worship other gods. He even built shrines for the sacrifices of his foreign wives. Within Solomon’s kingdom, he placed heavy taxation on the people, who became bitter.
I picture King Solomon living a lavish and luxurious life, constantly busy writing wisdom books and philosophical treatises, leading building campaigns and conducting international business with foreign neighbors, all while The Father’s Song faded ever more into the background of his busy life.
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (1 Kings 11:4).
His heart was captured by foreign songs and his life grew more and more out of sync with The Father’s Song.
Whenever I write, I like to turn some classical music on quietly in the background of my study to help set the mood. It does not inform my thoughts, influence my emotions or move my body. It merely provides an aura of sophistication and fills the empty silence.
The question that keeps me on my toes is this: Does The Father’s Song guide and direct the steps and inform the main movements and decisions of my life? Or is it just background elevator music adding a touch of spirituality and a religious flavor to an otherwise self-directed life?