The older I become, the more I find myself less impressed with human credentials. Educational achievement, financial portfolios, or professional alliances no longer tell me anything about a person. It is the condition of a person’s heart that is the most critical indicator of the quality of a person’s life. Someone can gain impressive personal credentials and professional accolades and have a heart turned away from intimacy with God.
Solomon was noted as the wisest and wealthiest man who ever lived. He was versed broadly in all fields of scientific insight. He could settle the most challenging of social disputes. World leaders sought out his counsel. With all the acclaim he garnered, Solomon had a point of weakness in his character. That weakness caused his heart to turn away from wholehearted devotion to God. His greatest possession, the condition of his heart, was given to the demands of his many foreign wives who asked him to worship their pagan gods, some of those gods were the most detestable false deities of the day.
Solomon’s downfall was disobeying the Lord’s command to Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods” (I Kings 11:2). At the beginning of his downfall, Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines, and they did turn him away from worshipping God alone. Painfully, I Kings 11:4 describes what happened to Solomon, “In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord His God.”
The words, “they turned his heart” are chilling. As I read those words, I asked myself, “Is there anything I have allowed to turn my heart away from a singular devotion to God?” Each day the most important thing any of us will do is to check the condition of our hearts and determine which way it is turning. Any movement away from intimacy with God, even the slightest direction change, must be confronted as our worst enemy and dealt with swiftly or the epithet of our life will produce a sad testimony like the painful end of Solomon’s life.