DAY 246 - BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR -THE UNITED MONARCHY
Reading: Deuteronomy 17: 17; 1 Kings 11:1-40
Just when things were looking at their best for the Kingdom of Israel, the heart of Solomon changed towards the LORD and he began to serve other gods. He became half-hearted in the service of the LORD and served his wives’ gods. He had so many wives, something that was forbidden by God, and they came from the surrounding nations and served other gods like Ashtoreth, Chemosh and Milcom. As a result Solomon turned from following the word of God wholeheartedly.
God’s response was to pull the kingdom from Solomon’s hands and to allow dissidents to rise up against him (i.e. Hadad, Rezon and Jeroboam). The seeds of the divided kingdom had been sown because Solomon turned from serving the LORD wholeheartedly. Ahijah the prophet told Jeroboam “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you (but he shall have one tribe for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments, as did his father David” (1 Kings 11:31-33, NKJV).
The only thing that stopped God taking the entire Kingdom away from Solomon was his covenant promise to David. From now on in the Bible story, we are dealing with two Kingdoms - the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah.
Dear Father, we are concerned to see Solomon the wise king going off the rails and becoming half-hearted in his devotion to you. Help us to be wholehearted in our love and devotion for You.