Fluctuating Spirituality

My family and I enjoyed a week of vacation in Canada last week. It was nice to get away from obligations and daily routines. It is good to be back and in the groove this week. Thank you to Doug Gregg for helping us reflect on fathers this past Sunday. As we look toward the coming Sunday, we prepare to reengage the life of Solomon.

We move this week into the third chapter of 1 Kings. In some ways, this week’s sermon is a summary of Solomon’s life. While we have just started our study, we get a glimpse of a pattern that will continue through the entire story. This short text highlights two problems that seem to plague Solomon every step of the way. The first problem has to do with women. In the first verse of our text, we read of Solomon’s marriage to Pharaoh king of Egypt. This will not be his only wife. Nevertheless, this marriage foreshadows an ongoing problem for Solomon. He chooses the wrong women. Over and over again, Solomon ignores God’s prohibition against pagan wives. Perhaps his intention was political alliances that would insure peace for his nation. Maybe he simply enjoyed the exotic nature of foreign women. Either way, he was ignoring God’s law. Secondly, this text reveals another violation in Solomon’s life. His wives lead him toward the wrong sort of worship. We find Solomon offering sacrifices to pagan gods. The third verse of chapter three encapsulates Solomon’s span.

(1 Kings 3:3 NIV11-GK) Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

Do you see the spiritual fluctuation in this verse? On the one hand, Solomon seems to be following God. Yet he is participating in pagan worship practices. Solomon is far from perfect. The author of 1 Kings offers an honest assessment of Solomon’s relationship with God. He lets us know up front that we are dealing with a man of ups and downs.

Join us on Sunday as we continue our study in the life of Solomon. We will take a deeper look into these three short verses (1 Kings 3:1-3).