Chapter 13: How did this wise king fail?

Solomon was the king who had it all: untold wealth, power, influence, reputation, women, wisdom that was divinely ordained and given. How then does it end up that the kingdom falls apart on him?

Because he failed to obey God, quite simply. I wonder: how high a priority level do we place on obeying God? On the one hand, we don’t want to go overboard, and be too strict a follower of Christ… I mean, who wants to be one of ‘those people’ who are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good?! But we don’t want to live as if obeying God was nothing, either… we might get more trouble than we bargained for if we ignore God, right? So we’re left constantly trying to decide, how much, or how little do we need to obey. Truth be told, don’t we often have a mindset that says, ‘what’s the least I can get away with commitment-wise, and still be on good terms with God?’ Isn’t that where we usually live?

Solomon seemed to live there. It almost seems like he thought God wouldn’t care if he didn’t honor God completely, for he began to worship the pagan gods of some of his wives, as well as Yahweh, Israel’s God.  He figured that he could do that with impunity, because at least God was still part of his life; after all, he wasn’t turning his back on God, just including a few more gods in his heart. What was the problem with that? Everything.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5&6). 

Essentially, God wants us to ‘sell out’ to him. To turn towards him, cling to him, and walk with him. Such a commitment seems extreme to us, but why wouldn’t we want to trust in God with all our heart? Look at all he’s done to love us, up to and including offering his Son for our sins? If we are loved with a completely devoted, loyal, faithful love, why wouldn’t we want to love that lover back with a completely devoted, loyal, faithful love?

God doesn’t want a limited response from us, but an unlimited one. He doesn’t want us thinking in terms of how much/little do we have to give God to keep God happy; God wants us to be devoted to him because he is utterly devoted to us!! So, this week, what would it look like if we all ‘sold out’ to God? What would that look like? What do you think?

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