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Solomon Turns from the Lord

(1 Kings 11:1-13)

Lesson 13 -- fourth quarter 2000
November 26, 2000

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

Does love make it right?
What does God mean when He says "Surely"?
Can it happen to you?

Love between a man and woman is a wonderful thing. Most people are all for it, though few folks can accurately define or even describe it. "Love makes the world go around," you know. Love makes life worth living. Love this; love that. You just can't beat love, can you?

Sure you can! Righteousness and holiness beat love. That doesn't do much for the feelings, and it certainly doesn't sound very romantic. But that's the way it is. Interestingly, though, righteousness and holiness make man-woman love all the more wonderful. So they don't merely beat love, they greatly enhance and magnify it.

Too many folks opine that love not only covers a multitude of sins, it somehow makes sin right. (This fallacy even seems to afflict Christian people.) But looking at Solomon's life ought to disabuse us of this false notion. Just because he loved many strange women did not make that love right.

Various times God specifically forbade His people from taking the heathen in marriage. One of those times is Deuteronomy 7:3 -- "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son." No matter that Solomon may have had passionate feelings of love, no matter that he may have made sincere commitments of love -- that love did not make it right. That love was wrong.

What about you? Are you in love (whatever that is!)? Don't make the mistake of assuming that love is its own justification, its own validation. I'll say it again: Just because you love someone doesn't make that love right. Perhaps the object of your love is an unbeliever. Pursuing your love is wrong, no matter how right it may seem. Or perhaps the object of your love is a Christian, just not approved by your parents. If you are yet under your parent's authority, pursuing that love is just as wrong, without regard to how right it feels.

Please do not let love distract you from righteousness and holiness!

God told the Israelites at various times to not enter into marriage with the heathen, "for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods" (1 Kings 11:2). As humans we are inclined to use expressions of certainty and assurance quite glibly: "Sure" this and "Certainly" that and "You can count" on the other. Our track record leaves us lots of room to doubt any human certainty. But when God says something will surely happen if certain conditions are met, well, something will surely happen when those certain conditions are met.

When God says "surely," that is surely what He means! He doesn't mean "perhaps" or "you just might worm out of it if you're good enough at it" or anything else like that.

Do you believe that? Do you think Solomon believed that? I believe it. But sometimes I wonder how convincing my life is of that belief!

Solomon must have thought that it just couldn't happen to him. Perhaps he thought that someone so wise and so blessed by God as he could keep his heart from going astray. But God said "surely" and that included even Solomon. Even me. Even you. Yes, it can indeed happen to us. Beware!

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