Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

“Compromise with the world”

1 Kings 11v4 “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God.” (NIV)

One of the saddest stories in the Bible is that of Solomon. He started well when he asked the Lord for wisdom rather than riches or power. He continued well as he built the temple in Jerusalem for the Lord and spoke great words of wisdom (see the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes).

But as he grew in wealth and power, he began to compromise with the world – he began to worship the world’s gods and follow the world’s practices. The gods were a set of things that were believed to control your fortune, happiness and wellbeing. Of course, Solomon didn’t stop worshipping the LORD – oh no – he was just no longer “fully devoted” to the LORD. It wasn’t a rejection, but a compromise.

For us today, we are so easily compromised from being fully devoted to the LORD by the “gods of this age”:

  • Consumerism – continually wanting more, new and better.
  • Materialism – putting the material things before the spiritual and relational
  • Status – seeking to appear good to ourselves and others, or to be of a particular group
  • Wealth – seeking security and financial security
  • Sex & Pleasure – seeking our own happiness, rather than the happiness of others

These “gods of this age” are a distraction from who I am in Christ – a child of God. My identity and wellbeing are not based on the above worldly gods at all: they are literally a dead end. Paul writes in Galatians 5v6 “The only thing that counts is faith [in Christ Jesus] expressing itself through love.” This verse fits so well with Solomon’s context as Paul continues, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”(v7)

May we each:

  • Be aware of our natural desires,
  • Pray “Lord lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” and
  • Find the victory by the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us. Paul says a few verses later, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5v16).

With love and blessing,