Many are under the false pretense that the older they get, the easier the Christian life becomes. I am by no means “old” at 32, but I feel like it was easier to serve the Lord in my teens than it is now. Before responsibilities, family, and work came along, I had a lot more time to pray, read the Word, and simply focus on the Lord.
I will never forget what Bro. Jason Gaddis said to me while I was interning at Southwest Baptist Church. He commented that he envied us getting to mow all day on Friday each week. The opportunity to think, sing, pray while doing the simple task of lawn care was appealing to him.
The reality is that age does not bring lesser challenges and struggles, but new ones. The vitality of youth and the vigor of adolescence are gone, but he temptation of sin still remains. Far too many Christians have lived faithfully most of their lives, only to fail in their final years of life.
Saul, David, Solomon, and a host of other examples started out great, and then had failure in their later years. In our text, Solomon when he was old, turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God. The same Solomon that showed us such a vivid example of worship, and asked for wisdom, is now worshiping some of the basest false gods ever known.
The vice of Solomon was his love for women. The affection, attention, and admiration they provided him no doubt drove him to acquiring 700 wives and 300 concubines! 1,000 women in Solomon’s life, and they were “strange” women. This does not mean they acted batty, but rather they were from peoples and lands God told Israel not to mingle with and marry. God did not hate these nations, but knew they would turn the hearts of Israel away from the LORD.
For Solomon it likely started out with just a few wives. No big deal, and he was not tempted by their false deities. Actually, he might have thought, “I am too wise and too in love with the Lord to ever be drawn to their gods… I instead will convert them.” Over time, he wanted more, and more, and more! He likely didn’t start out with an ambition of 1,000 women, but somehow, he ended up there. Day by day, month by month, year by year he let his guard down. 1 Kings 11:4 tells us, “…when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods…”. Solomon had been sold out to God in his youth, but in his old age he turned from God.
The consequences of Solomon’s actions were devastating. It didn’t just affect him, but the entire nation. For years the kingdom of Israel would be divided, and despot king after despot king would rule the northern 10 tribes. Solomon’s actions affected his children, his wives, his nation, and his life. The ripple effect really would be endless.
Regardless of your age, you are not immune to sin. Though the temptations of your youth may have assuaged, new enticements take their place. We would be wise to consider Paul’s writing to the Corinthians, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – 1 Corinthians 10:12
Learn from the mistakes of others who believed they were immune from the allure of sin, only to find it destroy their lives in their old age. If you are 8, 18, or 80 serve the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength. Do not allow your guard down, and do not think you are above sin. Walk circumspectly, and remember that your adversary, the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
Solomon struggled in his prosperity and old age… don’t you make the same mistake. Humble yourself, and realize it could be you… you are not above sin or temptation.
Daily Scripture Reading
1 Kings 10 - 11
1 Kings 11:9
“And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,”