Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday, May 16th: 1 Kings 10-11; Matthew 8:18-34 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 10-11; Matthew 8:18-34

In our OT passage the Queen of Sheba rightly sees that with a king like Solomon, the people couldn't help but be happy.  How much more should we be joyful, who have a much greater King than Solomon!  When we are not happy, or do not feel priviledged or favoured, it is because we have forgotten who our King is, what His kingdom is (and will be) like, and the priviledge of belonging to it.  We may not be guaranteed earthly wealth, but the treasure awaiting us in heaven will make all earthly treasure pale in comparison.  We must never forget how priviledged we are to serve a King such as ours!  This doesn't mean our circumstances will always be wonderful, happiness due to circumstances is only superficial anyway.  It means we can always be joyful, no matter our circumstances, because of who our King is, and because of our faith in His coming perfect and eternal kingdom.

Unfortunately, Solomon begins to forget this himself, despite all his wisdom.  The Bible never shies away from brutal honesty about the lives of its greatest heroes, and Solomon is no exception.  Yes, he was wiser and richer than anyone in the world, but he allowed his wives and their idol worship to turn his heart away from being fully devoted to God.  And by the time of his death, he had managed to seal the doom of his kingdom due to his own foolishness and sensuality.

How could such a wise man become so foolish?  How could He become so careless of the Lord's favour and God's law?  It is clear from the rest of the OT and NT that Solomon was repentant and died a believer, but how tragic is the second half of his reign!

There are a few reasons for this deterioration in Solomon's spiritual life.  First, he became willing to compromise with secular culture when he married more than one woman (against God's specific command to kings), and specifically married Canaanite women, all for political advantage.  We need to remember not to allow the ordinary thinking and behaviour of our culture to become acceptable to us as believers. We cannot compromise on things the Bible clearly forbids.

In Solomon's case the lure of the culture was strengthen by the lusts of the flesh.  The sin of promiscuity has many serious consequences - Solomon (and his children) did not escape them, and neither will we, if we give in to temptation.

And, like the lyrics in the Casting Crowns song, it was a slow fade.  Solomon didn't go from righteous living to idol worship in a day.  It happened in small steps, one after another, each one getting progressively worse.  What started off as amassing horses and wealth against God's law, eventually became full out idol worship.  First horses, then gold, than many wives, then idol worship.  It was a slow fade.  We need to be so careful that we don't start justifying small sins to ourselves and allow them to lead us so far in the wrong direction that we no longer know where we are.  Our spiritual lives are subject to the law of decline - if we want to remain spiritual strong, we need to be proactive about it!

In our NT passage we see very clearly that Jesus does not promise earthly riches to those who follow Him.  There is no prosperity gospel in the NT.

I always love the stories of Jesus calming the storms - it would have been absolutely amazing to be there and witness such an amazing miracle.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Kings 12-13; Matthew 9:1-17


Nathan Reimer said...

Most of my thoughts, after reading this scripture, were mentioned by Tammy. For me, knowing that if a man as wise as Soloman can slowly fall into sin and away from God, without even thinking of it, how much more carefull I need to be to not allow little things to accumulate in my life that will lead to me turning from God.

Pamela said...

3 He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

I can't even imagine the family drama that went along with this ...

12 Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.

Consequences run deep for sin but so do promises of God.

25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

We are all perishing. Only He can save us.