Today's Devotions

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Showcase:Soaring

  • Right Where You Are by Sylvia Gunter +

    There are all sorts of friends. Read More
  • Embracing God's Mystery +

    One of the sad aspects of humanity is our jadedness, Read More
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Don  Carson

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/1-kings/11.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/philippians/2.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/ezekiel/41.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/passage/?q=psalm+92;+psalm+93

1 Kings 11; Philippians 2; Ezekiel 41; Psalms 92–93

IN FEW PLACES DOES THE WORD however have more potent force than in 1 Kings 11:1: "King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women."

In those days, the size of a king's harem was widely considered a reflection of his wealth and power. Solomon married princesses from everywhere, not least, the writer painfully explains, "from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, 'You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods'" (1 Kings 11:2).

That is exactly what happened, especially as Solomon grew old (1 Kings 11:3–4). He participated in the worship of foreign gods. To please his wives, he provided shrines, altars, and temples for their deities. Doubtless many Israelites began to participate in this pagan worship. At the very least, many would have their sense of outrage dulled, not least because Solomon was known to be such a wise, resourceful, and successful king. Eventually his pagan idolatry extended to the detestable gods to whom one sacrifices children. Thus Solomon "did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done" (1 Kings 11:6). Of course, David himself failed on occasion. But he lapsed from a life of principled devotion to the Lord God, and he repented and returned to the Lord; he did not live in a stream of growing religious compromise like his son and heir to the throne.

The sentence is delivered (1 Kings 11:9–13): after his death, Solomon's kingdom will be divided, with ten tribes withdrawing, leaving only two for the Davidic dynasty—and even this paltry remainder is conceded only for David's sake. Had Solomon been another sort of man, he would have repented, sought the Lord's favor, destroyed all the high places, promoted covenant fidelity. But the sad truth is that Solomon preferred his wives and their opinions to his covenant Lord and his opinion. During the closing years of his reign, Solomon had plenty of signs that God's protective favor was being withdrawn (1 Kings 11:14–40). Nothing is sadder than Solomon's futile effort to have Jeroboam killed—evocative of Saul's attempt to have David killed.

But there is no movement, no repentance, no hunger for God.

There are plenty of lessons. Be careful what, and whom, you love. Good beginnings do not guarantee good endings. Heed the warnings of God while there is time; if you don't, you will eventually become so hardened that even his most dire threats will leave you unmoved. At the canonical level, even the most blessed, protected, and endowed dynasty, chosen from within the Lord's chosen people, is announcing its end: it will fall apart. Oh, how we need a Savior, a king from heaven!

- See more at: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/loveofgod/#sthash.IJk9TNuH.dpuf

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

  • Storytelling

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • No Longer Alone with God

    This is the first of a seven part series by Dallas Willard, a USC philosophy professor who is closely associated Read More
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Favorites

  • Baptism, Communion, Repentance: The Essential U-Turn +

    Very few people admit to making u-turns when driving. Read More
  • The Wonder of Grace +

    Grace–that which brings us delight. Read More
  • Embracing God's Mystery +

    One of the sad aspects of humanity is our jadedness, Read More
  • A Model for Coming to God-adapted from Sylvia Gunter +

    Sylvia Gunter uses Psalm 35 to show how David asked God to contend, fight, rescue, defend, vindicate Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • The Mystery of Godliness +

    Longings after God My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, Read More
  • The Mystery of Iniquity by RC Sproul +

    It has been called the Achilles' heel of the Christian faith. Of course, I'm referring to the classical problem of Read More
  • The Mystery of the Trinity: One in Essence, Three in Person by RC Sproul +

    Do the three Persons of the Trinity truly exist? In this message entitled "One in Essence, Three in Person," Dr. Read More
  • Behold, I Tell You a Mystery by Baritone Coloratura· +

    Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, Read More
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