CONCERNING THIS THING

Today's devotion from 1 Kings 11.

When God offers instruction, it is usually because He knows the dangers and implications involved. For the people, God knew that even the best of kings would still only be a human, and He warned the people through Samuel. For the king, He knew that appetites, once whetted, could lead to destruction. In Solomon we have seen both of these worst case scenarios realized in forced labor and the effects of greed.

While he was able to say that there were no adversaries left early in his reign, his arrogance and unwillingness to heed God's words now leads to old enemies reemerging. Solomon had sealed his son's fate along with that of the kingdom. It was over. In that instant we are introduced to the wheels that were already set in motion. Hadad the Edomite, Rezon the son of Eliada, and Jeroboam the son of Nebat are named, but others will become visible in the years that follow.

Why? After everything the people had done and been forgiven of, after all the expense and energy God had invested in the David line and the kingdom, why would God tear it from Solomon? Because he liked women? Because he liked foreign women? No. It was a matter of faithfulness to God. Remember, Israel is not the ends, but the means. Salvation and restoration is the end game. The nation and people of Israel are just the human vessels God had selected for the task. Not even in all of his wisdom, wealth, or glory was Solomon greater than the plan of redemption.

This remains true today. No person or group is larger than God's plan. Just as Solomon had a place in that plan, so too did Hadad, Rezon, and Jeroboam. Who's place was greater? None. Our honor is not in our importance to, but our inclusion in God's plan. These latter names would play their roles in their own ways even if they were not Israelites.

This entire chain of events happened because Solmon refused to listen to and obey God's instruction. If Solomon in all of his wisdom could be lured away from God, how much should you and I without our divinely enabled wisdom cling to God and His word?