June 23. I Kings 11;1-13, 41-43
And now we come to the end of Solomon's life and his fall from worshiping the one true God only. Deep Sigh. I doubt he set out to walk away from God. I suspect he had sound political reasons for the alliances he made through marriage with women who worshiped other gods. But the end result? Disaster. And, like most sinful choices, the disaster did not reside with him alone but with all the people over whom he had authority. Solomon would be the last of only three kings of a united Israel. Shortly after his death, the kingdom divided. Oh the consequences of sinful choices! Oh the responsibility of leadership! Yikes. I get very sad about this. Yet, I am glad we can read about it because it is a warning to me, now 62 years old, that I could still walk away if I am not carefully focused on Jesus. I suspect you are like me. You want to finish well. We will read Ecclesiastes next week and we will see Solomon's depressed heart in parts of it. You see, when you leave the one true God and start following lesser things, life has less meaning, doesn't it? But even in Ecclesiastes, we see his heart start to swing back toward God once again. It gives me hope that perhaps at the very end of his life he repented and returned his heart to God alone. One can hope. Right?
My verse: I Kings 11:9 "The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice."
My response: You, Lord, do not share Your glory. Nor should You. You are the only true God and it is understandably abhorrent when any false god is lifted high - when it not a god at all. I hear the anguish in the words "the God of Israel who had appeared to him twice." Solomon heard You, saw parts of Your glory - not just once, but twice. He know You were real. And yet he walked away. Oh the heartbreak. What is wrong with us humans that we would choose to please people over the living God? And yet we do, even today. Father, I want to end well. However many years I have here on earth - and You alone know that number - I want to live them all for You. Thank You for the warning inherent in the story. And keep me close to Your side, please.