Misguided Affections 

1 Kings 11:40
“Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.”

It is almost eerie to compare the similarities between Solomon and Saul, and Jeroboam and David. As a result of personal sin, Solomon, like Saul, had the kingdom taken from him. While Jeroboam, like David, was chosen by God, to rise to the challenge and lead a new nation. Sadly, both men failed miserably. The root cause of Solomon’s sin is explained earlier.

1 Kings 11:1-2. “But King Solomon loved many foreign women… from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love.”

Solomon was responsible for introducing idolatry into the nation. He built temples, shrines,  and high places for Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh and Molech. These were the gods of the nations surrounding Israel. Along with the worship of these gods, came all kinds of lewd and licentious behaviors. The seeds dividing the nation were planted by Solomon, and quickly picked up by the people of Israel. In one generation, the once powerful nation of Israel, would be devastated by civil war that would lead to invasion, and ultimately collapse.

We read, although Solomon knew his behavior was unbiblical, he “clung to these women in love.” Love has been used throughout history to justify the sinful behaviors of men. A Christian will disobey the will of God, begin to date an unbeliever, and justify it as love. An unmarried couple will cross the line physically, move in together, using their love for one another as an excuse. A married man will leave his family because he is “in love” with his secretary, or a high school sweetheart.

Love is an important part of life, but misguided love will lead us away from the Lord, and into a world of hurt. The same God who instructed us that love is the chief grace, also warned us not to love the world, nor the things that are in the world. It is crucial that we examine our lives and be sure we are not using love as an excuse to sin.

Pastor Jim

 

What Went Wrong?

2 Samuel 6:16

“Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”


Looking back on the history of Israel, there are certain days that stand out above others. The day Abraham received the covenant, the day Israel was set free from Egypt, and the day Joshua led the nation across the Jordan. These are but a few of the nation’s highlights. I don’t think it a stretch to add the day the Ark of the covenant was delivered to Jerusalem. This was a day of national celebration, including music, dancing, feasting and sacrifice. It seems the whole city turned out for this festive celebration. There was, no doubt, a buzz of excitement in the air as people celebrated the goodness of God, and made public confessions of faith. It is with this as a backdrop,that we read these awful words, “Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”


Michal did not always feel this way. She was the princess, a daughter of Saul, who met David when he was a worship leader and a captain in the Israeli army. She let her feelings for him be known, and he risked his life on the battlefield to prove himself worthy of her hand in marriage. Their wedding day would be like a storybook romance, as the princess and the hero were married in the palace of the king. Sadly, the romance did not last. 


Webster defines the word despised as, “to look down on with contempt or aversion or to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.” The Hebrew word is used to describe the way Goliath viewed David. This couple, who had once been madly in love with one another, now hated each other with a passion and could not stand the sight of one another. The exchange they shared is beyond cruel. David takes a shot at her family, while Michal accuses him of flaunting himself before the young women. What happened? What could ruin such an amazing love story? 


While I am sure there are many variables, one thing stands out for sure. Long before this event, David allowed the culture, rather than the Word of God, to influence the way he treated his wife. Culturally, it was expected for a king to have many wives. This was a sign of prestige and power. Biblically, it was commanded that an Israeli king have only one wife. David chose a worldly pattern for marriage. 


Today, it is not only uncommon, but illegal, to have more than one spouse, but the world’s model of marriage is still equally as destructive. It seems, today, marriage is looked at as unnecessary, temporary, and designed to bring personal satisfaction or happiness. As a result, many Christians are choosing not to marry, while behaving as a married couple. Others, are tossing in the towel, because they are no longer happy or satisfied. It is time we look beyond the world, and into the Word for the model of marriage. We will find that God has given specific tools which will ensure we forever remain “satisfied with the wife of our youth.”


For a deeper look at marriage, read Ephesians 5:21-33, 1Peter 3:1-12 and 1Corinthians 7.


Pastor Jim 


Finding A Wife

Genesis 24:4
“You shall go… and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

2015/01/img_1321.jpgRelationships are a key part of life. Healthy relationships lead to a good life, and unhealthy relationships will make life very difficult. The most important earthly relationship is marriage, and who you marry is one of the most important decision in life (second only to receiving Christ.) Solomon wrote “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). Genesis 24 tells the story of how Isaac and Rebekah met. Their story is a bit different than most of ours because the marriage was arranged, but there are some vital principles to keep in mind for any relationship.

Genesis 24:40
“But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house.'”

First, it is important to remember God has a plan for you. Paul wrote, God has foreordained good works for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10); that includes who we will marry. Long before Abraham’s servant arrived at the well, the angel of the Lord was there preparing the way. To think God has forgotten you is bad theology, and often leads to bad decisions. When we forget God has a plan for us, we get impatient and begin to settle for less. Imagine if Adam had not waited on the Lord, he would have ended up with an ape.

Second, we are told where they met. Abraham was adamant that Isaac’s bride not be selected from the ungodly Canaanites. If Isaac was going to have a good marriage, he must choose a godly wife. As his servant went on the search, he selected a location where the young women gathered to draw water. I have been told, the three most important rules of real estate are location, location, location. The same is true of relationships. If Isaac was going to find a godly wife, he needed to look in the right places. Too often, people become lonely, impatient and discouraged. When they have not found the right someone, they lower their standards, and start looking in the wrong places. Remember, there are certain places that are off limits. Looking for a relationship with an unbeliever – off limits. Looking for a relationship with someone who is married – off limits.

Third, Abraham’s servant had a high standard. He was first taken by the beauty of Rebekah, but that beauty was soon overshadowed by her godliness. She revealed her godliness in her willingness to serve, and her great faith. Having never met Isaac, she was willing to trust the Lord and move forward with the relationship. Solomon wrote,

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised
.” Proverbs 31:30

Finally, while the servant is out searching, Isaac is at home waiting on the Lord. This serves as a vivid illustration: Isaac represents the believer waiting on the Lord, and the servant represents the Holy Spirit at work. Isaac finds his bride, not by seeking her, but by seeking the Lord. Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). One of the grave mistakes we make is seeking a spouse, instead of seeking the Lord.

Pastor Jim