The Unraveling of a Legacy
“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” 1 Kings 11:4 (NIV)
I don’t think anyone wakes up and says, “I’m going to make a total mess of my life today. I plan to purposefully ignore all the wisdom God has ever given me, sin like crazy, and then ruin all I hold dear.”
No. I think the unraveling of a life starts slowly. Much like what happened to one of my favorite sweaters. It was the kind of sweater that snagged easily if I wasn’t careful. For the longest time, I was mindful of the delicate nature of this sweater, protecting it so I could make it last and enjoy wearing it time and again.
But one day I got in a hurry and pulled a huge snag in it. And instead of taking the time to properly repair it, I snipped the loose threads and hoped for the best. That decision started an unraveling process that ended the life of my beautiful sweater.
It’s a process that makes me stop and think about the life of King Solomon — a king who forgot to carefully guard his heart (Proverbs 4:23) and ended up making choices that led to the unraveling of his legacy.
Solomon started out well. He was a king who sought the Lord for wisdom. He built the temple and prayerfully dedicated it to the Lord.
But Solomon had an area of sin that became a snagging point for him in his relationship with the Lord.
Pay close attention to the word “however” in this verse: 1 Kings 11:1 tells us, “King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter — Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.”
This was a big issue because God had warned His people not to intermarry with those who didn’t worship the God of Israel. He knew their hearts would be led astray. (Exodus 34:12-16) You cannot enter into a love relationship with someone without that person affecting not only your mind and body but also your soul.
Sadly, this king who prayed during the temple dedication that the Lord would turn the hearts of the people of Israel toward Him (1 Kings 8:58) later clung to his forbidden wives and ended up with his own heart being turned away from the Lord.
“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (1 Kings 11:4).
I find it so interesting that this Scripture verse references Solomon’s father David. David was also a man whose heart had been led astray by his sinful desire for a woman. His snagging point was not so different from his son’s — leading David to commit sin upon sin upon sin. (2 Samuel 11) But instead of being labeled a man who did evil in the sight of the Lord as Solomon was (1 Kings 11:6), David was called a man after God's own heart. (Acts 13:22)
Because David’s response to his sin was quite different from Solomon’s response.
David owned his sin. He chose to repair the breach in his relationship with God using the thread of repentance — confessing his sins and placing his affection and his devotion firmly on the Lord once again. (Psalm 51)
Solomon continued in his sin. And his refusal to repent and realign his desires with the Lord's desires resulted in God declaring He would tear the kingdom away from Solomon during the rule of his son. Solomon’s legacy would not be all that God had originally designed and desired. (1 Kings 11:9-12)
Oh, sweet friends. God’s reminders to us in today’s passage should not be taken lightly. God isn't after our earthly accomplishments. And He doesn't want us going through the motions of devotion. He's after our hearts. God wants to be our soul's sole desire. And the minute we turn our hearts away from God is the minute our intimacy with Him and our legacy with others begins to unravel.
Let’s ask the Lord to reveal anything that holds our attention and affection more than Him. And then let’s take the time to repair those seemingly small snags — the ones that can have devastating consequences — by going to God in repentance. An act of humility that beautifully re-ties the knot between our heart and His.
Father God, You know the worthless idols I often cling to. Please forgive me, Lord. Help me guard my heart as I choose to release my grip on lesser things. I want to be found clinging wholeheartedly to You alone. You, Lord, are my soul's greatest delight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Jonah 2:8, “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them.” (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Has an area of sin or compromise in your life ever caused a snag in your relationship with God? What helped you fix your affections back on Him? Join in the conversation.
© 2019 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.