Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Sin That Wrecked a King

My reading this morning focused on the time when Solomon became king. As I read about him, I realized that King Solomon is one of my least favorite Bible people, even though he was the wisest man who ever lived. 

One of his first actions was to make a political alliance by marrying the daughter of the Egyptian Pharoah. Granted, this was before God offered him anything he wanted. Solomon had not yet asked for wisdom, but a wife from Egypt? He didn't have to be the wisest man in the world to know that might not be a good idea.

In Deuteronomy 17, God told the people He would be their King, but He knew there would come a time when they would want a human king. (Leanna Paraphrase coming up) "If you're going to have a king, at least go by my rules about the king." 

God was very specific:

No foreigners could be king.

The king could not send to Egypt to buy horses.

The king could not have multiple wives.

The king was to work with a priest to make his own copy of the law and study it every day.

The king was to carefully obey God.

This section of the law did not say, "The king should not send to Egypt to get a wife," but it should have been obvious from what it did say. 

In his defense, Solomon was young. I don't know where his advisors were or why they didn't try to stop him, but the decision to begin his life of increasing disobedience was his alone. 

Solomon made an error at the start that set him up for a terrible fall. He married one pagan wife after another, and they led him astray. He sacrificed on the high places, even after the temple was built. He sacrificed to idols. 

He built a "high place" for Molech, and he worshipped the idol. His heart was turned away from God by his foreign wives. 

In case you've forgotten, Molech was worshipped with child sacrifices. The child was burned alive as an offering to the god. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, worshipped at the altar of Molech. It astounds me. (1 Kings 11:1-8)

His sin led to the splitting of the kingdom and the downfall of Israel.

Sin always carries a cost. No matter how much we want what we want, it doesn't come free. 

When I look back on my own life, I see how one bad choice led to another, and another, and many more. If I could redo my life, I'd choose better, but I can't. All that sin was costly to me, personally, and to those who love me (in terms of heartache as they watched). 

Solomon's first sin wasn't burning a child at the altar of Molech. That came later. It started, though, with one bad choice that led to many more. 

Today, let's take a careful look at our lifestyle and the choices we've made. Consider the price our choices have cost us, and what they will cost if we continue on the path we've chosen. Is that a price we want to pay? If not, let's ask God to forgive us, cleanse us, redirect us.

If Solomon had obeyed one simple command, he, and the nation of Israel, could have been spared considerable pain and sorrow:

"And it shall be with him (copy of the law), and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes." Deuteronomy 17:19 nasb

We may not have made the best choices in the past, but we can do better in the future, by the grace of God. If we do what Solomon was supposed to do, we will do better. 
In case you missed it, here's the link for yesterday's post: The Wonder Dogs, Wandering, and Getting the Best Snacks 

#sin #sinhasaprice #obedience