Saturday, June 21, 2008

Heart Grew Cold

June 21: 1 Kings 10-11 & 2 Chronicles 9

1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. 3 He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 4 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. 8 And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.

9 And 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 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. 11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 12 Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.”
1 Kings 11:1-13

Heart Grew Cold

We love stories with happy endings, and we particularly like stories about the rich. If 1 Kings 11 was not in our Bible, we would have perceived Solomon, the wisest and richest man alive, to have lived happily ever after. Did Solomon's wisdom and riches keep him from turning his heart away from the Lord?

Unfortunately, they did not! Against the commandment of God, Solomon took for himself wives from other nations, and those wives turned his heart away from God to serve their gods and idols. This was Solomon, the man to whom God appeared twice! In spite of God's warning against this very thing, we find that his heart grew cold.

Do the morals of our leaders matter; can we separate one's morals from their leadership abilities? That has been an interesting debate in recent years; but their really is no debate. What happened to the kingdom of Solomon because his heart grew cold and went after foreign gods?

Israel was divided; ten of the tribes were torn away from the descendants of Solomon. Can our countries continue to expect the blessings of God in the face of the kind of leaders we choose? As we watch morals seriously decline in our countries, should we be surprised by the increase in catastrophes? God is a righteous and holy God who demands righteousness and holiness from his people.

What about our personal lives? Is it possible for us to get so wise that we could never fall from the Lord? As Solomon's heart grew cold, so could ours.

Guard your heart! Spend time in fellowship with God, praying, reading His Word, and meditating on what you have read. Make Christ preeminent in your life, and do not spend a day without a special time of fellowship with Him.

God Bless You,

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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