Sunday, October 7, 2012

He Forgot Where the Ladder Came From - 1 Kings 11

Used by Permission:
Everything we do, every breath we take, every good or bad thing we have ever been able to do is a gift from God.  That is not to say that God "allowed: our evil," but rather than he allows all actions.  He loves us enough to give us freedom, and we generally choice poorly, or at least, I generally choose poorly.

The story of 1 Kings is an awesome example of the wisest person who has ever lived making some pretty heavy duty mistakes, because he forgot where his money, his wisdom and his very life came from.  He forgot God.

Let me lay it out for you, from 1 Kings 11-  Solomon was the king that asked God for wisdom.  At the point of the history where 1 Kings 11 happens, Solomon is very deep into one particular sin that God has warned him about.  He had 700 wives from the surrounding kingdoms.  When I was young I was taught that the 700 wives were the sin, but that simply is not true.  That was a pretty common thing for the oriental kings.  The problem was that God had told him NOT to marry foreign women.  That line two has been the cause of much problem in our history, because it seems to say one nation is better than another.  That misses the point too.  God tells Solomon not to marry foreign wives because they have foreign gods, and he will start to worship those gods.

Again, I was taught that this was an example of men giving women what that wanted, and that being a sin.  Again, that is not the point.  The bible is pretty clear about how husbands are supposed to love their wives, and the standard is pretty high.

Solomon wanted to make the kings happy, to make himself and his nation safe and rich.  He substituted his wisdom for God's wisdom. He made his wives happy by building temples and alters too all of their gods so his country would be safe, because if his wives were happy, their fathers were happy too.  He was wrong.

He forgot where his wisdom, safety and money came from.  He forgot how God had pulled him from darkness to light. He started to think he had brought himself to his high state.  He forgot who gave him the ladder that carried him to his present life.

So God took it all away.

Deciding who is really in charge is hard in our world.  We live in a world of short sound bites like, "If it is going to be, it is up to me," so if we wait on the Lord, we are perceived as weak and unwilling to "do what it takes," to succeed.  "Successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do," is another Solomon type word of wisdom.  Our world encourages us to take the world on with our own hands, make our own path, be in charge of our own destiny and fortune.  Remember how well it worked out for Solomon when he forget whose ladder it was that he was climbing to wealth and riches.

This is God's world, and we are his children.  Never forget whose ladder it is you are climbing.

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