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Choose Mercy Instead

Read 1 Kings 11:1-13

King Solomon married many other girls besides the Egyptian princess. Many of them came from nations where idols were worshiped - Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from the Hittites - even though the Lord had clearly instructed his people not to marry into those nations, because the women they married would get them started worshiping their gods. Yet Solomon did it anyway. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines; and sure enough, they turned his heart away from the Lord, especially in his old age. They encouraged him to worship their gods instead of trusting completely in the Lord as his father David had done. Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the horrible god of the Ammonites. Thus Solomon did what was clearly wrong and refused to follow the Lord as his father David did. 1 Kings 11: 1-7 (TLB)

And why worry about a speck in the eye of a brother when you have a board in your won? Matthew 7:3 (TLB)

Teresa Todt lives in Illinois. Reading through the Bible recently, she came across 1 Kings 11 and the account of Solomon's involvement with foreign women who turned his heart to other gods. As Teresa read about Solomon's disobedience, she found herself judging his actions. How could Solomon turn his back on God? Solomon had built God's temple, and now he was worshiping idols!

But then the Lord reminded Teresa of her own sin. Like Solomon, she is not exempt from disobeying God and following her own path. Teresa finds it is often easy for her to condemn the actions of others while ignoring the areas slowly stealing her heart away from God. She has put other things before God, reading her Bible, and praying. She has to admit that she too had idols, even if they didn't look like Solomon's.

Judging the actions of others is something Jesus warns us about in Mathew 7:1, where he says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." As there were for Solomon, consequences abound for our disobedience. How thankful Teresa is for God's word that continually brings her back to reality and back to God's love, forgiveness, and grace! I don't know about you, but I am also thankful for God's Word.

Prayer: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth a it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV). Amen.


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