From Now On

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

1 Kings 11:1-4
But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— 2 from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.

Last week, the title to my article was, “What would you request?” My question was in reference to the answer Solomon gave to the Lord when he was asked, “What do you want?” then promised to give him whatever he asked for. No doubt, to the surprise of everyone, Solomon didn’t ask for wealth, fame, or popularity, he requested wisdom so that he could lead the Lord’s people properly.
With that one request, Solomon became the role model for many after him. He indeed became the wisest man who ever lived. If the story ended there, Solomon would have remained the wisest man in the Bible. But that was at the beginning of Solomon’s reign as king. As the years went on, we see a stark change in Solomon’s behavior that is a clear indication that he no longer possessed the wisdom he requested.

Instead of following the will of the Lord, Solomon tried to satisfy the desires of his 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. He abandoned the path of righteousness and turned his heart away from the Lord. It was Solomon’s disloyalty and the turning of his heart away from the Lord that created his problems.

Solomon clearly could have and should have done better. This article is intended to use Solomon as an example on how to navigate the challenges of life and make good decisions throughout life.
When Solomon made his initial request of the Lord, he thought about the needs of others first. However, in his later years, his heart was turned away from the Lord and he changed his focus to his own pleasures and creature comforts.

Our challenge is no different. We must diligently consider the needs of others before we consider our own. We must develop a genuine concern for the welfare of others with unconditional love coupled with acts of kindness. Let’s not get it twisted by doing well while we are in the prime of life only to become self-centered and corrupted when we grow old. From now on, it is of the utmost importance that we exercise our gift of wisdom so that the blessings we receive become a blessing for others.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of both LaGree Baptist Church and the Evangelical Church of God, all in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on YouTube and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at www.smash

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