“Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, ‘You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God… For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord… Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.
“And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded.” 1 Kings 11:1-10
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Ah, the deceitful heart! With the emotion and flushing pulse of affection, it lures us into passions that nibble at and erode our senses and sensibility. It rose-colors the stain of rebellion by giving temporary pleasure, juicing our endorphins to taste sweetly the icing on the bitter bite. (Hebrews 11:25-26)
Beware the deceitfulness of sin! It can begin with the slick syrup of love, which feels so right, but wrongly seeps from disaffection and spreads wayward and out of control. It can slide through gates of practicality, liaisons that get us noticed, or ahead. (Many of Solomon’s wives were daughters of political allies.) It can get more slippery as we age, when filters weaken, excuses get easier, and consciences fail altogether. A half-heart for the Lord leaves too much room for pride, and unchecked pride swells out of bounds to overtake discipline, determination, and faithfulness with the abomination of idolatry.
We may deem some things ‘no temptation for me,’ but what other things are? Are we cocky to shun one area of intoxication, but trip in another? What do we regularly listen to, read, watch, discuss, or participate in that pulls our affection from our Savior and attention from His holy commands? Secrets and shadows entice us away from light. Beware the many hands that vie to allure our impulses, massage our egos, stoke our desires, and grip us captive in a number of sensual habits.
It’s vital we cement friendships with allies in faith and faithfulness, spurring one another on to stay wholly true to the Lord. When teased or titillated, boldly run to His throne of grace, and confidently seize His promises. Align every temptation against God’s word, look for His way of escape, and take it! (Hebrews 3:12-13; 4:11-16; 10:19-25)
Almighty, worthy Lord, fix within me a heart that wholly follows You, and craves only Your righteousness and glory.