“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.” — 1 Kings 11:4
Professional athletes are part of an elite group. Many people admire their abilities because most people can’t run as fast as someone who competes for a living. Only a small percentage of people stand over 6-foot-5 or can dunk a basketball in a 10-foot goal. The privileged status of pro athletes can be a blessing and a curse. In other words, that silver spoon is good only as long as it is used well.
For example, though Solomon had more wisdom than any other person during his lifetime, he didn’t always use his God-given knowledge in the best way. As a young man, Solomon became king, loved God supremely, and led the building of a great temple for God. Throughout his 40 years as king, he wrote scriptures of the Old Testament. However, his life didn’t always match his divinely-inspired writings.
As we look at Solomon’s life, we see a handsome, wealthy man with a tremendous background. His father was a great king who loved God, and Solomon followed in his father’s footsteps with outstanding prayers in the beginning of his kingdom. But it was not easy to keep that same commitment for a lifetime. When Solomon’s wealth, popularity and success grew, he made alliances with other countries to gain more wealth and married women who didn’t believe in the one true God. In so doing, he allowed his heart to be divided.
During his latter years, Solomon disappointed the Lord by his betrayal. “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. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites” (1 Kings 11:4-5). If we read the account of King David’s life, we know he also committed sins. In reality, all of us also disappoint the Lord daily by things we say, do and think.
When all is considered, Jesus stands alone as the only person who never sinned. When we read about Jesus, we see somebody whose words and actions always matched perfectly. Though we can learn from Solomon and others, Jesus is our ultimate example and our only Savior from our sins. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).
God doesn’t expect us to be sinless like His Son; He knows our nature. But have we devoted our hearts to the Lord in the midst of our sinful nature, or do we turn our hearts away? Do we use the gifts and talents He’s given us in the best ways to glorify Him? Are we growing in Christlikeness as we follow Him? These are the things we can focus on as we take steps of faith each day.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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