Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 11:1-12:19, Acts 9:1-25, Psalm 131:1-3, Proverbs 17:4-5
In yesterday’s reading, God promised to sustain Solomon’s dynasty forever if he followed Him faithfully and was obedient. God also promised to reject Israel if Solomon (1) abandoned God, (2) disobeyed his commands, and (3) worshiped other gods. Regrettably that is exactly what is recorded in I Kings 11-12.
- Disobeyed. Solomon married many foreign wives, starting with Pharaoh’s daughter, even though God warned against such marriages specifically because they would draw His people away from Him.
- Abandoned God. As an old man, he stopped following God, and
- Worshiped other gods. He built shrines for Chemosh and Molech, who are sometimes called detestable in the Bible for their practices of child sacrifice and temple prostitutes.
God was very angry with Solomon, but was still merciful in that He did not take the kingdom from Solomon during his lifetime and (this is very important) He did not abandon Israel to exile for many generations, even though they repeated this pattern again and again.
It was God’s desire for them (and for us) to repent and turn away from disobedience and idol worship and to return to Him. The way God is described in the Old Testament is first long-suffering and eager to forgive, but eventually will resort to anger and rejection if His people do not respond to mercy.