Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 28, 2015

“But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Kings 11:1-13.

“1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.”  Solomon held fast to these in love.  3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.  4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods;  and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.  5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done.  7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. 8 Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods;  but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded.  11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.  12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.  13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”  1 Kings 11:1-13.

——————-

Despite all the wisdom that God gave Solomon (“Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.  For he was wiser than all men, …  1 King 4:29-31), Solomon’s “heart was turned away from the LORD”.  “Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done.”  Verses 6 and 9.

Despite all the riches and honor that God gave Solomon (“behold, I have done according to your words.  Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.”  1 Kings 3:12-13), Solomon turned away from God.

Today’s Scripture should make us question whom we trust.  

Do we trust ourselves and our own free-will, our own wisdom, our own goodness, and our own steadfastness?  

Or, do we trust God to preserve us? 

If Solomon did not stay faithful to God, despite all his wisdom and all the blessings that God gave him, what makes us think that we can do better than Solomon? 

Other doctrine clings to its free-will, wisdom, ability, and goodness.

But, Reformed Doctrine clings to God and God’s “Preservation of the Saints” also known as “Perseverance of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.  FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints – Canons of Dordt.

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