Solomon had it all–he was powerful, wealthy, intelligent. The Queen of Sheba pays him a visit, and she is wowed by all she sees–all that she’s heard about Solomon is true. But despite all that, he was living in a deficit, a weakness and drain he either didn’t seem to notice or didn’t take seriously.
2 The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. 3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.
4 In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been.
9 The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command (1 Kings 11:2-4, 9-10, NLT, emphasis added).
Solomon was a very smart man, but how did he get this so wrong? His father was DAVID. Maybe he didn’t think some rules applied to him. Maybe he didn’t really consider the consequences of his actions–it was in the name of love after all.
Self, take warning. Guard your heart. What places in my life have I not taken seriously that the Lord wants me to guard and submit to him?
In the New Testament reading, Jesus has a lot to say about the law, anger, adultery, divorce, vows, revenge, and love for enemies. Actions are birthed from thought, and thought provokes a choice.
28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28, NLT).
He knows the power of the heart. He knows how small choices of disobedience can take one so far off course, leading away from God instead of closer to Him.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless (Matthew 5:13, NLT).”
God has always given people choice. And thankfully, with that choice, He has also given guidance and warning because He is a loving father. The warning He gave to Israel was for the nation and for the individual. Jesus speaks to the body of believers: A word not just for a time, but for all time; a word not just for a body but every body.
Lord, I’m thankful for how much you love me. You are a father who loves and leads. I don’t want to take your word as a broad guideline for mankind, but as a tender counsel for my very heart.