89 of 365 - FInishing Strong
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 1 Kings 11:1-3
Like his father, King David, Solomon starts off strong. He loves the Lord and people come from all over to take in his God-given extraordinary wisdom. Using David’s plans as given by God, Solomon is the one who oversees the construction of the magnificent temple, a beautiful and permanent structure where the Israelites could offer sacrifices and worship God. He is a strong, wise, and powerful king.
Over time, Solomon grows increasingly wealthy and builds an extravagant palace for himself. He collects many things, including wives. His downfall. As God warned, along with the non-Israelite wives came the false idols and gods they worshiped. Solomon looks the other way at his wives’ idol worship, and slowly they creep into his worship as well. Solomon turns his back on God in his old age, losing his fear of the Lord. What started off so well, doesn’t end so well.
Isn’t that how it sometimes is with us? We start off strong but slowly slip into the ways of the world and people around us, allowing them to influence us even if they go against the way God wants us to live. Often it happens slowly over a period of time, so we don’t really notice it happening. Stories like these remind us to always be aware of our actions and influencers, and most of all, to stay near to God. To finish strong.
Challenge: Ask God to show you where you might be getting off track and not even noticing it. Dedicate quiet time to really listen to what God may be telling you and then pray that He help you get back on track, walking in His ways.
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