Read 1 Kings 9

Highlights:

Two paths before Solomon and their consequences (I Kin. 9:2-9); Solomon's fame and his shame chapters 10 & 11. Solomon ignores qualifications (Deut. 17:14-20) and eventually forsakes the Lord and worships idols (I Kin. 11:4-10).

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father (I Kings 11:4).

Solomon had disobeyed God when he took wives that were not of the nation of Israel. God had strictly forbidden His people to intermarry with those of other nations. He commanded them to stay separate. We too are commanded; Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (II Cor. 6:14).

Solomon married women that served other gods. Over the course of time their worship corrupted Solomon's heart. He began to look towards these other gods just like his wives.

Some would say that Solomon still loved and served the one true God. This is, however, not possible. The Word of God is very clear on this subject. No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Luke 16:13).

Over the years, there have been many who made the same mistake that Solomon made. They married an unbeliever. The majority do this in hope of the lost person turning their heart and trusting in Jesus.

This could happen. But, usually, one of three things is likely to happen. First, the Christian goes through life joined with an unbeliever. This will cause issues because they have different outlooks on life. They may disagree on how to raise children and other important life issues. Second, these issues could lead to divorce. Third, the believer begins compromising their beliefs. This can lead to the believer falling into a backslidden state.

This is why it is so important to be obedient to the Word of God. Obedience keeps our life on the right track. By staying on God's track, the blessings of God come our way. This could include a godly mate. So, if you are unmarried, pray that God sends you one who belongs to Him. If you are in a situation married to an unbeliever, pray for their salvation everyday and live a Christ-like life.

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy (I Cor. 7:14).

Thought for Today:

Earthly riches can never satisfy as much as obeying the will of God.

Christ Revealed:

By David who lived to please the Lord in integrity of heart (I Kin. 9:4). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52).

Word Studies:

9:13 Cabul, displeasing, as worthless; 9:15 levy, tax in the form of forced labor; 9:22 bondmen, slaves, forced laborers; 9:24 Millo, a mound of earth raised as a fortress just north of Mount Zion and outside the original city of David; 10:2 train, royal attendants; 10:5 there was no more spirit in her, she was breathless, overwhelmed, amazed; 10:19 stays, armrests; 10:26 bestowed, stationed; 11:1 strange, foreign; 11:5 abomination, horrible, detestable idol; 11:31 rend, tear.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts: sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Government Official: Rep. Keith Rothfus (PA) • Country: Bulgaria (8.2 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Bulgarian and ethnic languages • Newly opened to evangelism • 85% Eastern Orthodox; 12% Muslim Sunni; 1% Shi'a Muslim; .6% Catholic; .27% Protestant; .1% Armenian Gregorian; .03% Jewish; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Wives, pray for a quiet, loving spirit to win your husband to Christ (I Pet. 3:1-2).

Optional Reading: Acts 26

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:34