Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Way for Doing Wrong

Solomon's a pretty smart guy; he's known throughout the world and throughout history for his wisdom. Even the Queen of Sheba came and discovered that the rumors didn't do him justice; he was wiser even than she had heard he was. But Solomon seems to have one glaring blind spot in his wisdom, and it's the same blind spot that most of us have:


There's no question in Solomon's mind about how he is supposed to live. He has the example of his father, David. And while David was not a sinless man, he is described as a man after God's own heart, which means that he was able to eventually see and understand something about his ways that brought him back to the depths of God's indwelling in him. He has the instruction of the Word, which he knows quite well. He knows what he's supposed to do and not do. He knows the traps that exist for him in the world. 

Yet, his own lust and love gets in the way. He falls for women outside of Israel and starts bringing them into his household. He builds for himself a storehouse of concubines, women of every kind to satisfy his flesh. He's got women who connect him to all of the kingdoms of the earth, political alliances sealed in his own bedroom - the way that things were done in the cultures that didn't fear God. 

We're tempted to think that this is perhaps his greatest sin. How could he? He knew he wasn't supposed to have women from other cultures, but he took them anyway. He knew he wasn't supposed to soil himself with the non-God-fearing, but he does it anyway. It's a direct order from God, and it doesn't seem to matter to Solomon. Solomon!

Except that it does. 

There's a point in the saga of Solomon where we see that he actually does understand what he's doing, and that point is this: he says that it is not right for his wife to live in the house that his father built because the house that his father built is holy.

A little guide for life: if you know something isn't good because it violates the holiness of God, then you probably shouldn't do it at all. 

But Solomon doesn't get rid of his wife. He knows she can't live in a holy place because the relationship is unholy and not pleasing to God, but he doesn't get rid of her. Instead, he just builds her her own place to live. 

And it's this that is Solomon's greatest sin, and often ours. It's not just that he does wrong. It's that he knows he's doing wrong and makes accommodation for it. He knows that what he's doing violates something holy, so he just moves it over a little bit and tries to put holiness side-by-side with fleshly desire. He justifies his sin by thinking he can just keep it in a separate box next to his "God" box and that it won't interfere with the rest of his life and maybe God won't even really care that much that he's doing it. 

See, God? See? I put my sin over here where it doesn't mess with my religious life. Pretty good of me, right? Pretty clever? 

Not really. It's not good, and it's not clever. It's sin. It's Solomon's sin, and it is ours.

What areas of your life are you building houses for? What are you thinking you can just keep separate from your holiness and not need to make it a big deal? What are you justifying so that you can keep on doing, even when you know it isn't pleasing to God? What do you need to just break up with, right now? 

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