What is most important to me? — A lesson from Solomon’s life
READ: 1 Kings 11, 12 ; Psalm 149 ; John 7: 25- 53
SCRIPTURE: 1 Kings 11: 4 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.
5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites.
6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.
OBSERVATION: Solomon was “wiser than any other man” in his time (1 Kings 4:31). Many great people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom (1 Kings.4:34; 10:1–13). Not only that, he had great wealth (see 1 Kings.10:14–29). In his days, silver was considered worthless (1Kings. 10: 21,27). Undoubtedly, they both were God’s gifts to Solomon. With this wisdom and wealth, Solomon should have been an ideal king. However, here we see a description of the fall of a great and wise king who had a great start.
Solomon might have established a worldly alliance through his marriages to protect his kingdom from any attacks or wars. However, he disobeyed God’s warnings that he gave through Moses (Deut.17:14–20). He did not renounce the Lord, but “was not fully devoted to the Lord his God.” At first, Solomon may have allowed his wives to worship their pagan gods. Gradually, they turned his heart away from the Lord. Eventually, he lacked in his devotion to the Lord. In his wisdom, he might have thought that religious syncretic practices were not serious sins against God. But God was angry with Solomon as he failed to obey the Lord’s commandments. Solomon’s life reminds us that we cannot serve two masters. Our worldly alliances and association with the ungodly people could turn our heart away from God.
APPLICATION: Solomon wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). Sadly, when he became weak and old, he disregarded the wisdom and the fear of the Lord. God does not see how much wisdom I have than others. Rather, he sees my heart that is devoted to him and his word. As the Bible says, I love God with my heart, with all my understanding, and with all my strength (Deut.6:5; Mt.22:37).
PRAYER: Father God, thank you for reminding me to love you and follow your words. Lord, help me to overcome any temptations that draw my attention away from you. Jesus, you are my wisdom. Help me to depend on you always. Amen.
- Arputharaj Samuel
( Tamil version of this devotion is posted here)