The Bible Speaks
“his (Solomon’s) wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God.” 1 Kings 11:4
Dan Cathy, CEO and son of Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A Restaurants, created a firestorm in 2012 when he stated in an interview with Baptist Press that he and his corporation supported traditional marriage. He also stated, “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” I find it interesting that Chick-fil-A, started in 1946, has never wavered from closing on Sundays and following biblical principles while at the same time the owners, the Cathy family, has also remained true to their marriage commitments, never wandering from their first loves. Could one be linked to the other?
In today’s text, we find King Solomon turning away from God to follow after the false gods of the peoples around him. The Bible tells us that what brought about his falling away was the adding of many wives who persuaded him to turn away from the only God to worship other gods as well. God had warned him twice about heeding the warning to kings (see Deut. 17 especially v.17) but Solomon didn’t listen. He did not guard his heart, letting it wander after others who would lure him away from the faith. The outcome was a kingdom, formerly at peace, becoming a kingdom at war: a united kingdom becoming a divided one shortly after Solomon’s death. Tragic!
Solomon’s heart is the same as every other man and woman under the sun. It is prone to wander in marriage as well as in the faith. I have been married for 34 very happy years, but the greatest reason for our solid marriage is not that we are the perfect couple; it is because we have chosen to guard our hearts from anyone and anything that would come between us. Because your heart can be stolen, you must choose to guard it from those who would steal it away. You cannot entertain any relationships with the opposite sex and you cannot allow anyone or anything to keep you from wholehearted devotion to the Lord. Both operate on the same principle.
The Bible speaks of Solomon who had one wife and one God but when he began adding wives he also added gods who turned his heart from the Lord. Jesus said: “No man can serve two masters…” and the first commandment of the ten says: “you shall have no other gods before Me.” The God who made us knows what can lure us away from Him and so He warns us to guard our heart: in marriage and in faith. Guard it friend, or someone will steal it and it will be twice as heart to get it back!
The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor at Turner’s Chapel.