King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. (1 Kings 10, 11)
At their first meeting, God had asked Solomon what he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom to be a great king for a great God … nothing more, nothing less. This answered so pleased God that he gave him that and much, much more. God withheld nothing from Solomon.
But good things always come with His loving warning and God counseled Solomon:
“Sol, you need to keep your eyes and your heart following me. There are some things out there you may want that will surely turn your heart away from me…”
Solomon had everything he needed. He lacked nothing. And yet he came tumbling down.
God gives… and we fall on our knees.
God anoints us and calls us his own… and we feel His high favor.
God lavishes us with gifts… and we yawn a little.
God sends new mercy each morning … and we start looking for something more.
But then God says, “No” or “Not yet” and says, “You have all you need in me.” And we start rolling our eyes. And we add a touch of mumbling, or maybe throw in a tear or two for good measure. “Surely there’s more, God!” we cry. “Surely this isn’t it? What about that fruit over there? It looks good. Surely you wouldn’t withhold anything from me, your beloved, would you?”
… And then slithers in the “howevers” and the “neverthelesses,” as sneaky as Eden’s evening chat, all wrapped snuggly in a snakeskin that cunningly suggests, “Surely God didn’t mean…”
and we take the apple again,
and we try hiding ourselves behind fig leafs again,
and we fall to our knees again – as it should be..
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:25-26)
Honestly Jesus, we are nowhere without your love.
Lord, no one – not any of your children – are exempt from warnings and from ‘No’s” and from straying from your love. Everyday, we are blessed. Every moment we stand forgiven as we turn to you. I pray now, that you keep us in the palm of your hand, the tight hold of your loving hug, the peace of ones whose minds are stayed on you.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.