Today’s Tasting: 1 Kings 10-11; 2 Chronicles 9
Solomon’s wealth brought him great fame throughout the known world. He succumbed to loving many women and married multiple women. “His wives turned his heart” (1 Kings 11:3 ESV).
The Lord had instructed not to intermarry with other nations because they would pull them into worship of their gods.
“In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the LORD’S sight; he refused to follow the LORD completely, as his father, David, had done” (1 Kings 11:6 NLT).
The acts of sacrificing and the expressions of worship to Jehovah God waned. Solomon yielded too many times to the temptation of his lovers and their gods. His love for these women and their gods grew stronger than his love for God and His kingdom. He paid an enormous price. The consequences of sin, rebellion, and disobedience affected his family, his kingdom, and even the world.
Forgotten, lay the tablets of stone in the Ark of the Covenant, which read, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Forgotten, the altar of sacrifice where the blood applied covered sin. Forgotten and neglected, the worship of the God of Israel. Worship of God grew cold and indifferent.
Today’s Nourishment: Perhaps the unknown enticed Solomon. Perhaps the fact of satisfying the flesh pulled in such a strong way that the cravings and gratifications became a stronghold.
The same things that enticed Solomon, we are warned not to love:
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world” (1 John 2:15-16 NLT).
Some versions use the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life in these verses:
Lust of the flesh, a craving for physical pleasure, or our passions out of kilter. Passions defined: intense and over powering emotion toward an object or person: physical and emotional indulgence. When something falls out of kilter, it becomes too heavy on one side. Our passions revolve around that on which we dwell, or when an object or person becomes all about what or whom we think, our cravings and desires. The enemy of our soul becomes the lust of the flesh.
Lust of the eyes, a craving for everything we see, or our perceptions out of kilter. Perceptions defined: becoming aware through the senses. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 27:20b NLT, “So human desire is never satisfied.” Some other versions state, “The eyes of humans are never satisfied.”
Then, in his old age, Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:8 NLT, “No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. “No matter how much we hear, we are not content.” In other words, the more we see the more we want to see. The world system becomes the enemy of our soul.
Pride of life, pride in our achievements and possessions, or our presumptions out of kilter. Presumptions defined: assertions that say something to be gained for self. James 4:16 NLT states, “You are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.” When we think, we are all that, we will soon find out that we are not all that. When we make our plans without considering the Lord’s plan, falling seems inevitable.
Our enemies, the world and its passions, the flesh and its perceptions, and the devil and his presumptions – any or all of these out of kilter causes our spirit man to become weak. So, build up your spirit man, “Now set your heart and mind to seek the Lord your God” (1 Chronicles 22:19 ESV). Setting our heart and mind to seek the Lord is what keeps us from falling into the trap of the love of the world, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
How easily it would become to be enticed fall! In our lives, arise so many distractions, so much to do, so much to take care of, and so much to maintain. The flesh would desire its way. Any of us may fall–we have not risen above a fall. The flesh ruled Solomon’s enticements. Solomon surrendered to the power of evil, and God’s protection lifted. Israel would suffer at the hand of those set up by God because of Solomon’s lifestyle.
Stop for a moment and ask the Lord if love for something or someone in your life has grown out of kilter to entice you away from loving and walking with God. Examine your heart. Ask the Lord to reveal to you what He already knows. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!
Tomorrow’s Delight: Proverbs 30-31