Welcome to “Bible Ponderings #6” which finds me in 1 Kings 11 in the chronological reading plan. Every few weeks or so I hope to toss out there what I’m currently reading and invite you to ponder with me!
Ever noticed how an imperceptible change in course can lead to a widely different outcome in the destination? In aviation, it’s called the 1 in 60 rule. Basically, for every one degree you’re off course, the plane will miss its target by one mile for every 60 miles it flies!
“Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.” (You can read the whole account in 1 Kings 11:1-13)
Wow. King Solomon had completed building the temple for the Lord and had made a wonderful prayer of dedication in the presence of all the people back in 1 Kings 8: 22-25. Solomon knows the deal…there’ll always be a descendant of David on the throne of Israel as long as Israel obeys God and walk in His ways, worshipping no other gods.
Who was the wisest guy on the planet? Solomon!
Who gave us the wisdom of the book of Proverbs? Solomon!
“…the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.” 1 Kings 11: 9-11
Any missed destination starts with a one-degree deviation. Imperceptible at first.
Perhaps it started with the whispering of Solomon’s first wife? “Let me worship my god my darling, it won’t be any bother to you, I promise.”
Considering Solomon ended up with 700 wives, and 300 concubines, that sure adds up to an awful lot of potential wife pleasing!
Gradualism is a dangerous thing. A little compromise here, a little compromise there, and before we know it we’ve built a “high place on the hill that is east of Jerusalem.” If my geography is correct perhaps that high place was even in sight from the mount where the Temple of the Lord sat?
That makes me ask myself, and perhaps it’s a question we could all ask ourselves, have I got anything in plain sight that I have compromised on that isn’t pleasing to God? What could be the change in my destination if I continue to allow it, pursue it, or tolerate it?
Something to ponder!