So our pastor has been going through a sermon series called 'Something Better' in the books of Kings over the summer, and I have been doing my own additional reading in Kings along with him.
I know it can be hard to read through the Old Testament sometimes and wonder how in the world does it apply to your life right now, but if you have a little bit of imagination, you can see that the Old Testament is chocked full of great lessons, and DRAMA. Seriously, if someone were to take the OT and put it to music, it would put that famous 'daaaah-duh' jaws theme to shame.
This morning I was reading about Solomon and his obedience in building the temple for the Lord and what a great accomplishment it was for him. I Kings 8 wraps up the celebration and dedication of the temple to the Lord with Solomon offering sacrifices, and holding a great feast for Israel.
'Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.' (vs. 61)
I would think that this was a great spiritual high for King Solomon, right? I mean, you build a house for God, the king of all kings, to live in, and not only is he pleased, but he comes to dwell there! Um, awesome. Plus, God decides to bless Solomon with wisdom, and wealth. For real ya'll, this guy would have been the most ELIGIBLE bachelor ever!
And... apparently he thought so too.
Unfortunately, Solomon took a turn for the worse shortly after and turned away from the Lord due to his love of women and their foreign gods. And his sin had great consequences for Israel. In ch. 9, vs.1-9, Solomon was warned what would happen if he stopped following God; Israel would be 'cut off'.
Think about it. The future of an entire nation falls on your shoulders and is determined by whether or not you continue to follow God. It's one thing to worry about your own fate, but that of millions of people is quite a lot to ponder. You would think that this would be a sobering thought to Solomon, but it wasn't. I mean just a few verses earlier he was telling the people of Israel to keep their hearts wholly true to God. How could he have messed up so quickly?
Spiritual highs are great. Really, they are. But usually its the time right after when we really need to be on guard. If the wisest man in the world can fall as hard as he did, then surely I can. Ya'll, Solomon didn't receive his wisdom after he built the temple, or even after he screwed up. He received it before all that stuff happened. The wisdom was there in his head for the using. So what happened? Even sin can corrupt the wisest of us all, and when we sin, sometimes the worst of the consequences doesn't land on us but those we love. After Solomon died there was a long succession of evil kings, and Israel suffered for it.
'Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.' (Ephesians 5:15-16)
So guard your hearts and don't think you can survive on a spiritual high and not be touched. I dare say that Satan loves to get us when we think we are closest to the Lord. Now that I have a little one to care for, I hate to think that I would commit a sin so great that it would ruin her future, but unfortunately, I could.
Thanks for sticking with me during this long post. I wanted to share my quiet time today with you and give you a peek into what God has been teaching me and hope that it encourages you.