Song of Sings 3-8 & 1 Kings 9-12- Stay close to God!!
I think that 1 King 11 is the saddest chapter in all our summer reading! How can wise, old Solomon be so stupid at the end of his life?!
Well, the chapter tells us exactly how that happened! His wives and concubines "turned away his heart" from the Lord. (1 Kings 11:3) 😟
1 Kings 11:9 stood out to me, "Then the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord commanded."
😫 I just wanted to cry when I read that!
There are so many practical life lessons that can be learned from Solomon! These are a few I thought of:
1. Wealth, prosperity, even wisdom, doesn't guarantee a committed heart to the Lord.
I read in Proverbs (amazing to think that Proverbs may have been written by Solomon!) where it says, "..give me neither poverty nor riches, but Gove me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord? or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." (Proverbs. 30:8-9)
Solomon! What happened to that wisdom you had???!
2.) You gotta stay reading God Word daily to keep if fresh in your mind!
God said as much in Deuteronomy 17:17-18: "And he (the King) must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.When he has taken the throne of his kingdom, he shall have a copy of. this law written for him in the presence of the levitical priests. It shall remain with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, diligently observing all the words of this law and these statutes, neither exalting himself above other members of the community nor turning aside from the commandment, either to the right or to the left, so that he and his descendants may reign long over the kingdom in Israel."
What happened Solomon? Why didn't you keep reading?! Ugg!
3.) Spiritual experiences aren't enough to keep you devoted to God. 😳
Solomon had real encounters with God! 1 Kings says that God appeared to him twice in his life! Those would be pretty memorable moments, I am sure! But, they weren't enough to keep Solomon devoted to God! It seems God doesn't want us to base our faith in him because of those "special" moments. He wants us to be faithful to him regardless of the special moments! Jesus says as much when talking with Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."(John 20:29)
Solomon! You got special, personal times with God! How did you forget them?!
4.) Turning away from God doesn't need to be a quick action, it can be a slow process like the "frog in boiling water". You may not even notice the turning away. For Solomon, he was slowly turning and it showed up in his old age. How sad!! He did not get to have the reputation that his dad had, "with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing all that I have commanded" (9:4) He did not get to say what Paul at the end of his life, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Tim. 4:7)
So sad Solomon!! I wonder where you are now? 😱
Those lesson points illustrate how Solomon is a good example of what we are all prone to do. I often tell my kids, "Don't make the same mistake as others, learn from their mistakes!". It didn't go well for Solomon to turn away from God. Make every effort to stay close to him your whole life!!
That's what I got out of the reading this week. How about you?