My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Friday, May 25, 2012
Love can lead you astray.
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)
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!
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.
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.