Yesterday we talked about Solomon who chose wisdom over wealth and how he was richly blessed. So inspiring! But this is unfortunately not how his life ended. But before his wisdom waned his reputation as a sage was widely known. Even the queen of Sheba came to test him with hard questions and she found all the reports of Solomon’s wisdom true.
What happened to Solomon? His success was too much for him. He felt entitled to break the law of God by amassing wealth and by marrying hundreds of pagan women. Solomon “clung to these women in love”. This devotional love should have been deserved only to God. Solomon let his worldly passions steal away his love for God. This story is not at all uncommon. This happens to any of us if we don’t keep God #1 in our lives.
In addition to Pharaoh’s daughter, King Solomon loved many foreign women, including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. These came from the nations that the Lord had commanded the Israelites about: “Don’t intermarry with them. They will definitely turn your heart toward their gods.” Solomon clung to these women in love. He had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred secondary wives. They turned his heart. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods. He wasn’t committed to the Lord his God with all his heart as was his father David. Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the detestable god of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes and wasn’t completely devoted to the Lord like his father David. On the hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a shrine to Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and to Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.The Lord grew angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from being with the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.The Lord had commanded Solomon about this very thing, that he shouldn’t follow other gods. But Solomon didn’t do what the Lord commanded. The Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done all this instead of keeping my covenant and my laws that I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. Even so, on account of your father David, I won’t do it during your lifetime. I will tear the kingdom out of your son’s hands. Moreover, I won’t tear away the entire kingdom. I will give one tribe to your son on account of my servant David and on account of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” (1 Kings 11:1-13, CEB)
Solomon did not live according to God’s will. He did what pleased him. God had given him blessings upon blessings and he used them in vain. Solomon did not love God above everything, he loved himself more. He was more interested in the gifts than in the Giver. Solomon did not have the same passionate love for God than his father David had. Solomon also did not repent when he had sinned. God wanted obedience. Solomon chose his obsessions. God punished Solomon. His life ended without much glory.
But Solomon was so wise! How could that happen to him? Wisdom needs to be practiced. It does not matter how much we know if we don’t apply that knowledge into daily living. It does not matter how brilliant we are if we can not discern what’s right and wrong and then act on it. It does not matter how much theoretical knowledge we have if we don’t practice it.
It does not matter how much you know of God….
if you don’t have an active relationship with God.
It does not matter how much you talk about your faith…
if you don’t practice it.
It does not matter how much you used to spend time with God…
if you don’t do it today.
Because we can’t fight against our obsessions alone. We need God.
We can’t live outside of God’s care and stay clean.
We can’t choose disobedience and assume God will still bless us.
We can’t amass sex, power, and money without consequences.
We can’t live without God. We need him.
But we can be certain that….
if we want to follow God with everything we got, God will bless us.
if we daily choose obedience over obsessions, God will help us.
if we apply God’s wisdom into our lives, God will lead us home.
I don’t know about you but I will – by God’s grace- choose obedience over obsession.
Day after day.
God help me!
Help us to live simply,
and serve you dearly.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What in your life tries to pull you from God?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you choose obedience day by day!
Giving thanks today for
#351 God’s grace is more powerful than any obsession
#352 God’s protective care
#353 God’s law
#354 wisdom in simplicity
#355 wisdom in fidelity
#356 wisdom in service
#357 empowering grace
#358 applied faith
#359 lived faith
#360 shared faith
The winner of the Common English Bible softcover edition is his firefly! Congratulations!
Do you want to win a copy of the Common English Bible softcover edition? Just leave a comment and mention that you’d like to win. The winners will be announced on Wednesdays! All these CEB giveaways are possible because I am participating in the Common English Bible Blog tour from Ash Wednesday all the way to Pentecost. This means that I will mostly be using the Common English Bible (CEB) on my blog posts. Let’s check out this fresh new Bible translation!
Image courtesy of ochristian.com. Linking up today with Wordfilled Wednesday.