Friday, May 25, 2012

Love can lead you astray.




Scripture

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,
(1 Kings 11:1 NASB)
from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love.
(1 Kings 11:2 NASB)

 

Observation


Solomon was the wisest man the world had ever seen, and yet, he was dumb when it came to love. He allowed his power to go to his head and instead of listening to God's instructions regarding marriage, he allowed himself to be seduced by women. Between his wives and his concubines, Solomon had about 1000 women, and they were from all over the world. This was indicative of the fact that Solomon had made alliances with other kings in the area and would reveal that he did not rely upon God, but upon his human skill to make those alliances. God would have taken care of him and of the Israelites without Solomon needing to marry the women from the other nations because God had given the Israelites instructions not to marry foreigners. Why? Because he knew that they would not worship him, but would turn the hearts of the Israelites away to foreign gods. And this is exactly what happened. In a desire to keep his wives happy, Solomon erected places of worship for foreign gods, and the adultery of Israel against God began!

 

Application


Throughout my ministry one of the more difficult things is counseling Christian young people who want to marry non-believers. They tell me that promises have been made that they'll come to church, or that the believing one will have freedom to do all they want spiritually -- but inevitably it becomes a very difficult journey. The problem is that the heart becomes divided. Instead of being able to focus wholly on God, both singly and as a unit, one discovers that part of the time the focus can be on God, but that the desires of the other person encroach upon living wholeheartedly for God. How do you make a spouse happy who has no desire to serve God? They will want to do things that you may not really want and yet, you compromise to keep the peace. Then comes the difficulty of raising children. Will they be children of faith, or not? Will there be a daily spiritual influence on their lives or not? Even Solomon with his great power and wealth could not resist the daily pressure to make his wives happy.


The reality is that any heart which is divided will have difficulty being faithful to God. There are many ways in which the heart can be divided, and it is not always through relationships. Any heart which loves other things more than, or as much as God can be divided. It seems that these days we find more and more things to fill our days and these can divide our loyalty away from God. Sports has become a new god in our day. We want to raise our children to be great athletes and society is providing us with everything imaginable for our children to gain experience to become "great." We invest hundreds and thousands of dollars in these sports and send our little children away on weekends to be on "travel" teams so that they can become the very best sportsmen. The reality is that very few children have the raw talent to become "super" sportsmen but by the time we have figured that out, we will have kept them out of church for weeks on end so that they can "travel" and play their sport. It all starts out like a good idea but in the long-run, we slowly, like Solomon, turn our hearts away from God.


The Israelites had been taught from the time of Moses the "Shema." They were to "Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One!" They were to never, ever, have any other gods before them. They were to teach this to their children as they walked and talked, day in and day out! Anything that distracted them from this one singular love of God was dangerous to them. Solomon allowed the love of women to lead him astray. Love can lead us astray. Our love of God must so permeate our very being that we would not desire anything to come between us and the Lord. May God help to keep and protect our heart so that we are not led astray by love.

 

Prayer


Lord, thank you for your incredible love for us. Please, help me each and every single day to not allow other "loves" or "desires" to take me in a direction away from you. Amen.

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