Saturday, June 18, 2011

Solomon's Folly + The Twinkie Principal


Reading through 1st Kings, Solomon enters history with his attempt to fill the "big shoes" of his father David.  He settles into his duties and sets to work on building the biggest, most magnificent architectural masterpiece the people of Israel had ever seen.


But first, Solomon seeks God and asks for wisdom.  God imparts genius.  1 Kings 4:29, "God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore."  That's a whole lot of Mensa, Solomon must have been smarter than Albert Einstein.  Now wise, rich and famous…he builds. 



Solomon builds the promised temple, the palace, his kingdom.  As he builds, he also fills his home with foreign wives.  He builds more wonders to other gods, on top of poles in the high places.  I find it interesting the smartest man in history isn't "smart" enough to follow God.  That is an interesting conundrum really.   As he grew older, he drifted away from God.  "His wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not devoted to the Lord, his God".  He was tempted, he listened to lust.  He fell into folly.  One day at a time.

Why does this story impact me?  I, too, have fallen into folly.  My daily journey is full of choices that either take me towards God or away from God.  When you lose your focus or have no set default, then there is the chance for wandering.  Folly attracts, invites, and romances.   

What wisdom can we gain from Solomon's follies?

Guard your heart.  God has rules in place for your protection.  He knows there will be distractions. He gives us His wisdom in the Bible.  Read His rules, read the playbook.  Know your King, study your Coach.  Our hearts were designed to belong to Him, don't give it away to idols.  Protect it.  It only takes a thought to get the spark of sin started.  Eph. 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  

Defend the default.  Don't let down your guard. Always know the answer to temptation.  "Just say NO"...."RUN"..."TURN AWAY”.   When your default is set, you don’t have to think twice. Set your purity-meter to 11 and to Eph. 4:27 “and do not give the devil a foothold.” 

Tackle temptations.  Don't tempt the taste buds.  I call this the "Twinkie principal".  If you love the taste of the delicious sugary, creamy-filled sponge cakes and know that you shouldn't eat them because they cause your hips to expand like spray foam insulation, then perhaps you shouldn't load your entire house with boxes of Twinkies.  In fact, don't even go down the snack cake aisle at the grocery store.  Don't listen to sin’s alluring din.  Don't invite trouble into your home, into your heart, into your soul.  Just don’t.  1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Make Margin.  Build yourself a fortress against whatever it is that is causing you to stray.  Seek God in building a strong heart against pleasures that cause sin.  Ps. 119:9-10 "How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word.  With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!"

Solomon exhibited a lot of wisdom, yes, but didn't consider all of the consequences of his actions when he set out to build his kingdom from the inside out.  He was driven by an appetite of pride, idolatry, and selfish pleasures.  Let his example be a lesson to us all.  We must check our choices, keep our hearts close to God and follow His path to achieve His best.  James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  

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