TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 1:3 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Yesterday, I wrote about God’s conversation with Solomon and our role in what God does. But I’ve got to be honest… Solomon is one of my least favorite people in the Bible.
He starts off so good, but he makes so many stupid decisions! He asks for wisdom, and the wisdom God gives him is so legendary, we’re still talking about it thousands of years later!
But for being so smart, Solomon is so dumb.
And if I’m being truthful, a big part of why I don’t like him is that I see too much of myself in him. It’s not that I think I’m oh-so-wise… it’s that I too can do really stupid stuff.
I’m 45 years old, and sometimes, I look back on choices I made in my 20s and think, “What on earth was I thinking?” A single different choice could have been like one of those books you read in elementary school — you come to the end of a chapter, and you choose where the character goes next. It completely alters the plot of the story. Of course, life isn’t like that. We don’t get to re-read the book and make a different decision.
It’s not that I’m not happy. I am. I love my life and where I am. But, like most people, I have some regrets. Just as Solomon eventually did.
But the way I relate most to Solomon is his willingness to be distracted from his devotion to God. In 1 Kings 11:3 and 4, we learn that “his wives led him astray” and “his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God.” In verse 9, it says, “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.”
It was an expensive choice. And a stupid one.
Unlike the rest of us — God TOLD Solomon what would happen if he followed Him. He told Him that He would be successful. Have riches. Be revered. He would have it all if he would just stay right with God. Moreover, He told Solomon what would happen if he DIDN’T follow Him.
Despite the warning, Solomon allowed relationships to distract him. And look what the cost. The kingdom was split.
Yet, we know the rest of the story, which is a story of God’s great goodness and redemption. Though Solomon made costly mistakes and God was well within His right to say “Forget it,” He remained faithful to His promise to King David. Indeed, we have a King of Kings, straight from David’s own lineage, alive and well and sitting on the Throne, just as God promised would happen (2 Samuel 7:16, Isaiah 9:6-7, Daniel 2:44, Matthew 1:1)
While we may not experience a direct vision from God, His words to Solomon are ones we can personally take to heart too. When we walk with God, we can rest assured in the blessings of His favor, strength, and love. But when we don’t – God loves us enough to let us choose and even experience the consequences of our choices.
We all have the same choice Solomon did. We can either follow God with our whole hearts or let other things distract us.
Unfortunately, I allowed distractions in my life for a very long time. And it cost me an 18-year prodigal journey where I had to learn things the hard way. And though I’m back in an active relationship with my Heavenly Father, I am still tempted by distractions. We can’t ever assume we are immune to them.
Yet, just as God was faithful and the lineage of David endures, He is faithful to us. Zechariah 1:3 tells us, “Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: ‘Return to me,’ says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.’”
When we get distracted, He is always ready to welcome us back. And as grateful as I am for that, doesn’t that visual just break your heart? The idea of abandoning the One who loves you more than anyone else can love you… And He waits. Always wait.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His grace and mercy that always welcome us home when we return. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you learn from the mistakes of Solomon — to not allow others or things to distract you from walking with God every day.
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