“After Fifty Years, You Ask A Lot Of Questions…” (1 Kings 11:1-3)

“This is a great restaurant, thanks for recommending it!”

My wife and I were dining with our close friends. The restaurant was a new one with a great pedigree and we were fortunate to get a reservation. I enthusiastically nodded. “You’re welcome! Yeah, I found these two foodie bloggers who gave a detailed review of some dishes we should order.”

“Let’s do it!”

The recommendations did not disappoint and as we were enjoying these culinary creations, my friend commented, “Wow these bloggers were spot on. It’s incredible how much these foodie bloggers write. Who has time to write all these reviews?”

Thoughtfully pausing a few seconds, he said, “Oh wait. I do. I’m retired!”

My friend smiled and declared, “After fifty years, you ask a lot of questions, and you end up answering them yourself!”

I collapsed in laughter. Too funny! I have found myself doing the same thing. It is interesting how some behaviors slowly creep into our lives until they become a part of our daily activities. I cannot recall the first time I did this but it is now so frequent that I do not even notice it as an aberrant behavior. How does this happen? The Bible provides some insight with this sad tale of one of the wisest men who ever lived, King Solomon. 

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The LORD had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the LORD. 

1 Kings 11:1-3 (NLT)

King Solomon began his reign with very good intentions. One of his early prayers to God was to ask for wisdom and understanding to judge and govern the people. God was so pleased with his request, He not only granted his prayer but blessed him with unimaginable wealth and fame. It was a very promising beginning. Yet, even in this earliest period, some disturbing behaviors emerged. His first wife was a foreigner, an Egyptian, a marriage of political convenience. He did not stop there and repeated this hundreds of times, justifying his actions as stabilizing and protecting Israel through these political alliances with neighboring kingdoms. Slowly, as God warned, these many foreign wives turned his heart and he began to worship the gods of his wives and concubines. The Bible does not tell when Solomon first did this but by the end of his life, his actions were part of his regular behavior.

It is true that at a certain age, one begins to ask a lot of questions and may end up answering them yourself. Recognizing this behavior is the first step to correct it. Like our dinner conversation, the consequences may be insignificant. However, one always needs to re-examine one’s behaviors in the light of God’s Word to ensure that we are obeying God and not man.

Amen.

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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