The Unraveling of a Legacy

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 12 | Plan: 1-2 Kings

Today's Reading: 1 Kings 11:1-25

1 Kings 11:4 (NIV) "As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been."

I don't think anyone wakes up and says, "I'm going to make a total mess of my life today. I plan to purposefully ignore all the wisdom God has ever given me, sin like crazy and ruin all that I hold dear."

No. I think the unraveling of a life starts slowly. Much like what happened to a beloved sweater I once owned. It was the kind of sweater that snagged easily if I wasn't careful. For the longest time, I was mindful of the delicate nature of this sweater — protecting it so I could make it last and enjoy wearing it time and again.

But one day I got in a hurry and pulled a huge snag in it. And instead of taking the time to properly repair it, I snipped the loose threads and hoped for the best. That decision started an unraveling process that ended the life of my beautiful sweater.

I believe this is where we find King Solomon today. Forgetting to carefully guard his heart (Proverbs 4:23) and making choices that will lead to the unraveling of his legacy.

Solomon started out well. He was a king who sought the Lord for wisdom. He built the temple and prayerfully dedicated it to the Lord. He was a greatly accomplished man, with a palace brimming with riches and a heart so overflowing with wisdom that people from all over the world sought an audience with him. (1 Kings 10:23-24)

But Solomon had an area of sin that became a "snagging" point for him in his relationship with the Lord.

Pay close attention to the word "however" in this verse: 1 Kings 11:1 tells us, " King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh's daughter — Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites."

Solomon's love for many foreign women was an issue because God had warned His people not to intermarry. He knew their hearts would be led astray. (Exodus 34:12-16) You cannot enter into a love relationship with someone without them not only affecting your mind and your body, but also your soul.

Sadly, despite all the wisdom Solomon had been given, he still gave in to the sinful desires of his heart. This king who prayed during the temple dedication that the Lord would turn the hearts of the people of Israel towards Him (1 Kings 8:58) clung to his forbidden wives and ended up with his own heart being turned away from the Lord.

"As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been." (1 Kings 11:4)

I find it so interesting that this Scripture verse references Solomon's father David. David was also a man whose heart had been led astray by his sinful desire for a woman. His "snagging" point was not so different from his son's — leading David to commit sin upon sin upon sin. (2 Samuel 11) But instead of being labeled a man who did evil in the sight of the Lord as Solomon was (1 Kings 11:6), David was called a man after God's own heart. (Acts 13:22)

Why?

Because David's response to his sin was quite different from Solomon's response.

David owned his sin. He chose to repair the breach in his relationship with God using the thread of repentance — confessing his sins and placing his affection and his devotion firmly on the Lord once again. (Psalm 51)

Solomon continued in his sin. And his refusal to repent and realign his desires with the Lord's desires resulted in God's declaration that He would tear the kingdom away from Solomon during the rule of his son. Solomon's legacy would not be all that God had originally designed and desired. (1 Kings 11:9-12)

Oh, sweet friends. God's reminders to us in today's passage should not be taken lightly. God isn't after our earthly accomplishments. And He doesn't want us going through the motions of devotion. He's after our hearts. God wants to be our soul's sole desire. And the minute we turn our hearts away from God is the minute our legacy begins to unravel.

Let's ask the Lord to reveal anything that holds our affection more than Him. And then let's take the time to repair those seemingly small snags — the ones that can have devastating consequences — by going to God in repentance. An act of humility that beautifully reties the knot between our heart and His.

Prayer: Father God, I don't want to forfeit the grace and mercy that could be mine, all because I refuse to let go of the worthless idols I too often cling to. Please forgive me, Lord. Help me guard my heart as I choose to release my grip on lesser things. I want to be found clinging wholeheartedly to You alone. You, Lord, are my soul's greatest delight. And I declare today that I don't want my legacy to be one of ruin, heartbreak or destruction. I only want what You want for my life. In Jesus' name, amen.

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