Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Fall of Solomon

“When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to follow other gods, and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” (1 Kings 11:4)

Solomon is a man of many superlatives:  wisest man in the world, richest man, most powerful, etc, etc.  Yet he did not believe God when God warned him that foreign wives would betray his heart.  His fall from grace is tragic.  When I read this story this morning, I was sad.  I thought:  “If this could happen to Solomon, it could happen to anybody.”  St Paul warns us to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. 

That which could snare your heart will unless you are fully armed and vigilant.  There is no mercy for the slothful or the presumptuous. 

The LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice” (1 Kings 11:9)

To him whom much is given much would be expected.  Much is given to Solomon:  wisdom, knowledge, power and wealth.  He had everything in superabundant proportions.  But he lacked only one thing.  He lacked a believing and obedient heart.  This is the great difference between him and his father David.  David trusted God in everything.  He was well aware of his human weakness.  Solomon was not.

The response to this scripture is:
“Blessed are they who observe what is right, who do always what is just.”  (Psalm 106: 3)

Do you notice the word “always”?  Always means that 99% will not be good enough.  99% of purity or honesty is not good enough.  What is needed is perseverance to the end, that is 100%.  Solomon persevered in the good way till he was old.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Stand your ground

“But Moses answered the people, “Do not fear! Stand your ground and see the victory the LORD will win for you today. For these Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still.” (Exodus 14: 13 – 14)

In Ephesians 6, St. Paul urges us to put on the full armor.  Nehemiah commands his fellow citizens rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem to be fully armed at all times.  The enemy may sneak in like the thief in the night.  Exodus 14: 13 – 14 is one of my treasured weapons of warfare.  I still remember the night I opened a Gordon bible in a hotel room and it fell to this passage.  I was in this midst of a professional crisis that could cost me my job.  I was very fearful.  The command, “Do not fear!” was very welcome.  What follows the command was music to my heart.  There is a promise of victory that will be brought about by the Lord.  Could this be true?  My enemies seemed formidable.  There was nothing I could do against them or even to protect myself.  But the promise of this powerful word of God finishes the job with:  “The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”  Strong faith is born in desperate circumstances.  My situation was desperate enough.  I decided to believe.  The Lord fought for me and I had such an unbelievable victory that people asked, “What happened? 

Victory comes from the Lord!

Today, I fight a different warfare.  The war is to have the peace of Christ reign over my health, family, money, job, tools, food and future.  I take two lessons from Exodus 14: 13-14:

  1.       Do not fear.
  2.        The Lord will fight for you.
  3. I  surrender all the war zones to the Lord and keep still.  Victory comes from the Lord!