The Lure of Idolatry

For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. (1 Kings 11:4 ESV)

Solomon’s indulgence was women, about 1,000 of them. This was very extreme and how this was even possible is still baffling to me. God warned him about marrying foreign women because they would draw him away and have him worshipping false gods and idols. God’s commandment wasn’t about race; it was about the danger of falling into sinful practices by the influence of other people. The lure of idolatry was presented in what I believe were Solomon’s weakest moments, and he unfortunately took the bait.

Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 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” (1 Kings 11:11-12).

All the wisdom that God had given to him was practically cast aside. Now before we become too judgmental, we must consider the distractions in our lives that have caused us to neglect our faith and disobey him. What happened to Solomon, the wisest king ever, showed that even the smartest, most powerful person second to Jesus cannot be perfect and sinless. That is how flawed we all are in this fallen condition, and there is no way we can fix ourselves without God.

Of course, we know that we need to depend on Jesus. But after we acknowledge that, what can we do to put him above everything and everyone else? The answer is very simple but not all that easy: We need to spend more time with him and less time on everything else.

Oh, but you don’t understand! I am a very busy man and I cannot neglect these other duties. Well, okay. Then start small. Instead of reading news articles, read your Bible. Instead of watching sports, use that time to pray. Do you really need to log into Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram today? Don’t you realize the world is aggressively programming you with its agenda?

But what about hobbies? Well, it’s okay to have a favorite pastime. In fact, God wants us to have fun and laugh. What he doesn’t want is to be ignored. Here is what Paul had to say about that: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

In other words, if he isn’t closer to Jesus, then he just wasted his time. He understood that when we don’t have Jesus, then everything we do is just trivial. Our lives become meaningless unless we are chosen to be remembered by posterity, which really is only a short glimmer in history. The story of us will end abruptly with a period.

We are each given 24 hours in a day, we have the privilege to spend time on what matters most to us. Hopefully, there is significant amount of that dedicated in devotion to the Holy Trinity. It is in those precious moments when we get to know God better and that we are being transformed more into his likeness.

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