A Wrong Turn

There are things in this life that we are meant to enjoy. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 5:18: “Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.” But at what point is enjoying life not good for us? Unfortunately Solomon’s life also shows us what not to do.

1 Kings 11:1-13 shows how Solomon was drawn away from God by his weakness. Verse 1 tells us that Solomon “loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh.” The key here is that these women were “from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, ‘You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods (2).”

Even though Solomon knew God’s instruction — even though God gave him wisdom (1 Kings 3:12) — he still let his weakness draw him away from God. As a result, “the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel (9).” God “had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded (10).” Because of Solomon’s disobedience, God told him, “I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant (11).”

God created many things for us to enjoy in this life. Yet if the things we love cause us to turn our heart from God to other gods, then they become a problem. When we turn to the other gods of this world, it can cause us to disobey God’s commands.

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