No Exceptions

 

“Now King Solomon loved many foreign women.” (1 Kings 11:1 NLT)

Solomon had a weakness when it came to foreign women. In all my biblical travels, I have never come across a single scripture that indicates God is keen on multiple wives, but it is is abundantly clear throughout the Old Testament that God is against Israel intermarrying with other nations. In case we missed it, the writer of 1 Kings points it out again. 

“The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway.” (1 Kings 11:2 NLT)

Not only did God say ‘no’ to foreign spouses, but He gave the ‘why’ as well. Brides and grooms from other nations would bring their God’s into Israeli households and turn the hearts of godly people. 

King Solomon believed he was the exception. (Don’t we all believe we are the exception?) He thought his devotion to the One True God could withstand the barrage of temptation within his palace walls. He was sorely mistaken.

“He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.” (1 Kings 11:3 NLT)

In his old age, Solomon finally caved to the pressure of 700 wives and 300 concubines. He worshipped other gods. We don’t know if he did it to keep the peace in his household or if all the years of pillow talk had corrupted his heart. What we do know is that bit of unfaithfulness always grows. Solomon’s sin creates a cataclysmic shift in the posture of his heart that proves fatal.

We are so much like Solomon. Perhaps not in our propensity for foreign wives, but in our belief that our sin is the exception. Yes, God said ‘no’, but did He really mean us? Can’t we keep our pet sin as a quiet side project? We forget that sin always create consequences; for this generation and the next. It is always better to take God at His Word and be obedient to it. 

Solomon’s big slip up was that he loved women more than God. If he could have seen it, early on, perhaps he could have addressed it. What about us? What do we love most? What battles for first place in our hearts?

In all his wisdom, Solomon didn’t take God at His Word. We read his story and realize the wisest thing we can do is believe and obey.

Dear Lord, please help us see Your instructions as clearly as we read Your instructions to Solomon. Guard our hearts against ‘exceptional’ thinking. We want to honor You in our decisions, actions and words. We want our posture to be ever positioned towards You. Amen.