Friday, October 2, 2015

all the king's horses and all the king's men

The Word for today:
1 Kings 10:13 -- 11:43
mark these:
1 Kings 11:7-11 --
On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.
Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD's command. So the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.
Deuteronomy 17:16-17 --
The king must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself. He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne he is to write a copy of this law and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left.
It's not pretty, what comes next. The great king comes unraveled and his kingdom is torn into fragments at the hand of the LORD God.
What happened?
Disobedience, plain and simple, is what happened.
God said, "Do not acquire great numbers of horses." Solomon acquired great numbers of horses.
God said, "Do not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold." Solomon accumulated large amounts of silver and gold.
God said, "Do not marry foreign wives who will entice you to worship their strange gods." Solomon collected 700 wives and 300 concubines, who enticed his heart to worship idols.
Sometimes we can romanticize Bible characters. Solomon and Samson come to mind. We look for deep-seated and complex ingredients in their souls as we seek to understand how two such gifted men fell.
Sometimes we can romanticize ourselves, as well. We look for deep-seated and complex ingredients in our souls as we seek to rationalize and justify our actions.
Stop it. The answers are not complex. Disobedience, plain and simple, is almost always at the core.
Solomon put himself above the law. I have, too. Have you?
I can't be certain, but I think I shall see Solomon one day. I think he's just another child of God gone astray.
Jesus said to receive the kingdom like a child (1). No need to make it complicated.
When, as a child, I did something my father told me not to do, my brother would always tell me, "You're in trouble now, Franklyn." And I was.
So I'll say the same to you, brother or sister in the family of God. If we do something he tells us not to do, we're in trouble. Guaranteed trouble.
Blessings are guaranteed in the Bible when we follow God's guidance.
Trouble is guaranteed when we depart from his guidance. A child of God will not get by with disobedience.
When we think we're too smart for all of this; when we see our relationship with God as so sophisticated, so unique that His elementary laws must have been written for somebody else...
Watch it. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, but to God he was just a disobedient brat who needed some of God's guaranteed discipline. God, ever faithful, delivered.
And all the king's horses, and all the king's men
Couldn't put Israel back together again.
(1) Luke 18:17

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