February 14, 2013

“So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done.” I Kings 11:6

Education is the answer to our society’s problems.

That statement is often explicitly made or it is implied without question when leaders wrestle with the difficult blemishes of human communities.  Our communities are awash in violence, unkindness, hurt, heart-ache, lost dreams, and crushed hopes.  Education is the remedy in which many will place their confidence.

If people are informed, then they will be able to restrain themselves.

If people have better decision-making skills, then they will make better decisions.

If people know the consequences of their actions, then they will make right choices.

If people know the help that is available to them, then they will choose not to participate in destructive activities.

 I am not opposed to education.  I do believe that we should inform and educate individuals on the ramifications of their actions.  However, I think that we should be realistic about how effective education can ever be.  Our society’s problems are not due to social-economic conditions nor are they due to a lack of information.  Our society’s problems are due to a heart problem.

Education cannot solve a heart problem. 

Solomon was the smartest man ever.  People came from around the world to listen to his wisdom.  God educated Solomon on the cause-effect of his actions:

“And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish you royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your Father, saying, “You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.”  But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all people.” (1 Kings 9:4-7)

That lesson seems pretty clear.  I don’t think that it is possible to misunderstand God’s lesson to Solomon.  Solomon was a smart man and he had a clear and concise lesson.  If education was the answer then Solomon would have made the right decision.   Solomon did not make the right decision.  “So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done.  Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem.” (1 Kings 11:6-7)

The man who was responsible for building the magnificent temple to Yahweh is at the end of his life building places of worship for false gods.  How can that be?  He is a person who knows better.  He is informed.  He knows simple cause-effect logic.  He wrote books on wisdom.  Yet, he makes these horrible decisions.

Education is always trumped by a rebellious heart.  Solomon proves that.

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Humans will always do what they love most.  Solomon loved women.  Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  That is a man who loves women.  That is a man with a serious problem.  We are told that Solomon clung to these women in love.  He loved these women more than he loved God.  He was more concerned about pleasing these women than being obedient and pleasing to God.  He was willing to sacrifice his throne and the entire kingdom of Israel to have his appetite for women satisfied.  He gave up everything for what he loved the most.

Solomon’s rebellious heart trumped all his intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge.

We should not be foolish enough to think that we cannot go down the same road as Solomon.  Jesus told us that the greatest of all commandments, “you shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37)  We must be careful of what we allow our hearts to love.

We should not miss what Jesus is teaching.  The most important thing that any follower of Christ should be doing is making sure that they are obedient to the most important commandment; the great commandment in the law.  If you are going to get any of the commandments right, then get this one.  It is the great one and it has to do with what you love the most.

I would imagine that Solomon, while he was building the temple in Jerusalem, never thought that he would do what he did on the high places.  He did not guard what he allowed his heart to love.  This is why we are told to examine ourselves.

We do what we love the most.  That is why the great commandment is to love God with all that we are.  When you love God more than anything else then following Christ is merely doing what you love.  We do what we love the most.

What do you love?  What do you love the most?

Is there someone who you love more than God?

Is there someone who you would compromise your faith to keep?

Is there someone who you want to please more than God?

Where are your affections?   Your heart will always trump your mind. 

Be careful of where you allow your heart to wander.

PRAYER: Lord, I know my heart and I know that it is prone to wander.  Father, keep me bound to you.  Lord, show me what I am allowing into my life that is drawing my affections away from you.  You are my all in all.  Lord, soften my heart so that I will seek you first in all that I do.     Amen


  1. Amen, God wants all our heart. I think how much He loves us that he would send the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct us and point our hearts directly back to Jesus whenever we go astray.

  2. JD, you have put your finger on the problem… we need a new heart. Fallen Adam’s nature in us has a heart of stone which could never keep God’s commandments, but God has a solution. It is called the NEW Covenant which is founded on the obedience of His own Son. In it He makes void the old because Israel broke it and makes one with all who would believe that is all based on HIM and His actions, not ours. He puts in us a new heart of flesh. He puts His Spirit within us. He becomes our spiritual Teacher. And He writes His new commandment on our New heart (See Jer. 31:31-34, Ezek. 36:26-27, Hebrews ch. 7 & 8, John 13:34, John 16:13, and 1 John 2:26-28). The old covenant had commandments written on stone for stoney hearts, but in the New Covenant through Christ it is all internalized by the power of HIS might and not by dependant on the weakness of fallen Adam, but rather on the spiritual might of the Last Adam within us. Understanding this after many years of reading the Bible has changed everything, because it is now an understanding that came first to my yeart.

    Below is a blog article that expands a bit on this revelation. Thanks for visiting our blog. May the Lord open the eyes of our understanding that we might see with our hearts what are our riches in Christ.

  3. If people involved with education today would understand this truth….the implication of this is huge

  4. Once again, great message. The media spews this ‘need for more education to solve societal problems’ mantra. You nailed it: our culture is suffering from a heart problem – a heart that has grown cold toward God. Thanks.

  5. This is so true! This post is definitely the oatmeal that sticks with you. Sustaining, filling and nurturing. No junk food here! We could all learn something from this. I know I did.

  6. Wow! What an awesome reminder to guard our hearts with diligence. You have an encouraging blog! God continue to bless you!
    Thanks for stopping by embracethecrookedline.com. I’m Humbled.

  7. Great wisdom … I agree, “your heart will always trump your mind.” We need to constantly guard our hearts and be aware of Satan’s schemes. Thanks for your teaching. And I appreciate your “like” on my blog,
    “Like Father, Like Child” at kdmanestreet.wordpress.com. God bless!

  8. So interesting… at the apex of Israel’s Kingdom, Solomon departs from God. Shows us that wisdom (and education) is not enough. Nothing can supersede the Spirit of God in keeping someone close to Him.

    Very nice post.

  9. This is a wonderful post. You have a way of teaching that is gentle and compassionate. May I offer a link to a post a recently wrote on the subject of Valentine’s day? http://samjoines.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/valentinesday/
    Thanks and God bless.

  10. Thank you for great posts. I enjoy stopping by each day. Everything you said here is so true — and yet it’s amazing to also realize that Solomon is an ancestor of our Lord Jesus. Jesus was born into a line of sinners, and He came to save sinners. Solomon’s waywardness seems awfully overwhelming and gross when one considers the blessings and events of his early life. But, we need to consider the blessings God has given us — and our tendency to still fall short. Like you pointed out, we have a love problem.

    Hopefully, we will come to live our love for Him as fully as He has loved us. — Margaret

  11. A great teaching at all times…particularly appropriate during the Lenten Season

  12. Oh JD, you cut to my heart. This message is all too true. My prayer is that I will let God change my desires from within.

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