December 18, 2015
READ: 1 Kings 9:1-9
If you will follow me with integrity and godliness . . . I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever (vv.4-5).
It started out with my friend doing a little drinking with friends—hitting a bar after work. But then the heavier drinking began and poor decisions ensued as his abuse of alcohol escalated. His weak relationship with God became nonexistent. Today, my friend’s marriage is in shambles and his relationship with his kids is strained. It’s been hard to see him slip into the abyss by degrees.
Similarly, Solomon’s life spiraled down due to poor choices. He started out well, making a “wise” request after God asked him, “What do you want?” (1 Kings 3:9-10). But he was soon seduced by degrees into choices that weren’t pleasing to the Lord. Solomon’s slipping into the abyss didn’t come without warnings from God, however. In fact, the second recorded time God spoke with the king, He told him: “If you will follow me with integrity and godliness . . . , I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever” (9:4-5).
Solomon had enjoyed a strong, covenant relationship with God, but he was still required to live in a way that pleased his Creator. Obedience would bring blessing. Disobedience would bring disaster. Sadly, as he aged, the king allowed the seduction of the pagan culture to draw him away from worshiping the one true God (11:4). The holiness of the temple Solomon had built for the Lord wasn’t reflected within the king—in his “temple,” his body (1 Corinthians 6:19). And the results were devastating for him and his people (1 Kings 9:6-7).
The tales of Solomon and my friend provide sobering lessons. If we allow the world and its ways to replace our heart for God, we’ll die spiritually by degrees. Instead, may we renew our love for Him as a response to His own love for us.
365-day-plan: Hebrews 12:1-13
Read Psalm 89:24-37 and see what our holy, covenant-keeping God requires of us.
How are you being seduced by a sick culture these days? What can help you follow God in true love and obedience?