Thoughts About What We’re Reading…
Today, we conclude with our series of blogs regarding the life of King Solomon. Focusing on the question – how did Solomon lose his way?
Philip Ryken puts it like this – “the gifts of God never operate independently or automatically, but always according to the affection of our hearts.”
I am reminded that our talents and gifting can only be used for the kingdom of God when we are committed to His glory and not our own.
When our hearts turn from God, our gifts can be used to actually tear down His work instead of building it up.
In the beginning, Solomon’s heart appears to be in the right place. When Solomon asks for wisdom and an understanding heart in I Kings 3, his motivation was to rule the people well.
Even though he ruled his people well, Solomon’s lost path was a series of decisions made one at a time, step by step. It is a lifetime of choices that took him down the path.
By the time we get to 1 Kings 11, we are told in verses 1-3, “Solomon loved many foreign women”, “Solomon clung to these in love”, and “his wives turned away his heart”. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
The chapter goes on to say his wives turned away his heart toward other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God.
Somewhere along the way, Solomon lost his first love – his love for the Lord.
A sobering thought for all of us in ministry or service is the reminder that the gifts God has given us never operate independently or automatically, – they always work “according to the affection of our hearts.”
Our gifting and talents can be useful for the building up of the kingdom, but only to the extent that our hearts are committed to His glory.
Solomon’s story became a tragedy because his heart loved other things more than the living God. He did love God, it seems to a certain extent, but he had a deeply divided heart that also loved too many women and worshiped too many gods.
When our hearts turn away from God, our spiritual gifts will not prevent us from falling into grievous sin.
Mastering theology, serving the poor, giving to Christian work, teaching and serving at the church, —none of these gifts will protect us from spiritual failure if we love the world or love ourselves more than we love God.
Apart from the grace of God and the work of his Spirit, we could very well end up doing something evil that tears down everything we have built, as Solomon did.
People always seem surprised when well-known Christians fall into sin. Perhaps this is because they have been looking at their gifts rather than their hearts. But the heart is the most important thing of all.
When Solomon’s heart turned away from God, even his wisdom turned into folly.
Until next time… Keep reading!
Sources used for this blog: ESV Bible, NASB Bible, and excerpts were taken directly from the book – 1 Kings by Philip Ryken.