An ounce of prevention…

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280If anyone in history had it made, it was Solomon.  Then this happened:

“The LORD was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.”

Unbeknownst to the king, there had been some things in the works “under the radar”, so to speak, for many years.  (One doesn’t generally get to the top of social food chain by making lots of friends; Solomon was, after all, a son of King David, a true man of war.)  All of these situations could have been avoided: two had been providentially held in check, (1 Kings 11:14-25), and the other was actually instigated by God Himself (1 Kings 11: 26-39).  All three were about to be unleashed because of the king’s negligent nonchalance toward the God Who had made him king in the first place!

This part of the story gives me pause to consider the phrase “ministering angels” found in Hebrews 1:14. Not the Hollywood kind, nor the kind on the Sistine Chapel. 

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Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/367113807100353594/

As C.S. Lewis puts it:  “…the chubby infantile nudes of Raphael;…the soft, slim, girlish and consolatory angels of nineteenth-century art. . .They are a pernicious symbol. In Scripture the visitation of an angel is always alarming; it has to begin by saying “Fear not.” The Victorian angel looks as if it were going to say “There, there.”

I can only imagine that these angels of God are holding back forces and events that we have absolutely no cognition of at this present time.  Not that everything which seemingly goes wrong is due to some sin in our lives, of course not,…

…but sometimes, it is.

I can easily take for granted the protective power of prayer; I can sOOoo000oo easily allow the “tyranny of the urgent” usurp that which is more relationally important, particularly with Him Whom I have chosen to call my Lord.  Both of these grease the way into worship of modern-day idols, directly or indirectly, without me even knowing it.

Another aside: if Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived (save One), and if he turned away from the One True God after some pretty awe-inspiring events, who do I think I am that this couldn’t happen to me? How easy it is for me to rest comfortably in the pew, remembering all those good times with Jesus, but no longer pursuing Him.  (If Bob did that, I would be somewhat put out, yes?)

“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.”

Some of the wisest advice ever written!

1 Kings 11:9; Jude 1:20, 21   Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Quote from C.S. Lewis.com

Author: dawnlizjones

Tends toward TMI, so here's the short list: guitar and banjo (both of which have been much neglected as of late), bicycling (ibid), dogs, very black tea, and contemplating and commenting on deep philosophical thoughts about which I have had no academic or professional training. Oh, also reading, writing, but I shy away from arithmetic.

11 thoughts on “An ounce of prevention…”

  1. I used to wonder whether or not Solomon returned to the faith. I found my answer in the book of Ecclesiastes. He wrote about how empty life is when we cut ourselves away from God, and he also reminds us that life indeed has meaning when we are right with God. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Another aside: if Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived (save One), and if he turned away from the One True God after some pretty awe-inspiring events, who do I think I am that this couldn’t happen to me?”

    We need only look around today..watch the news…see great men and women of faith falling prey to the wiles of the evil one. I am sure most of them considered themselves ten feet tall and bulletproof.

    Good stuff Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Solomon’s story was the death knell of the Old Covenant.

    A lot of Bible commentators tell us that the Old Covenant and its promises of “blessings for obedience” were a failure because the people couldn’t stick to it (and so the curses came, culminating in the exile). But that’s only part of the story. With Solomon, the Old Covenant actually succeeded for a while. Israel reached the height of its power and prosperity under him; they were ruling the roost. God had come through; he had proven his faithfulness to the people.

    And did Solomon (and thus the people) respond with gratitude and continued faithfulness? Nope. Their comfort bred apostasy. Despite being able to see the perks for themselves, they bit the hand that fed them, just as they had with every miracle God ever did for them, all the way back to Egypt.

    So in that sense the Old Covenant failed in the most thorough way possible, by proving to be not only mostly unattainable by flawed human beings, but incapable of generating true holiness even when it was attained. As someone else said above me, Ecclesiastes could be read as a repudiation of the Old Covenant: the blessings that it brought could not replace the blessing of closeness with God. And thus the New Covenant came, which carries almost the opposite promise (curses for obedience, in the form of persecution and “in this world you will have trouble”) but overcomes it with the Holy Spirit, which can give us peace in any circumstances.

    Garn, that was a whole blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

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