God’s Purposeful Heart

Recently, I have had several conversations with people of all ages that have ended with a realization that God has told us things with purpose. He has a reason for saying what He says to us.

As I was in Bible Study this week, we dove into some interesting scriptures that brought me back to this thought process.

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded. So the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” 1 Kings 11:1-13 (NASB)

I learned this week that many believers had not studied the Old Testament. It seems scary and overwhelming to us for many reasons. I want to encourage you not to be afraid of it, and I pray you to see today that just in these passages alone, God has so much to show us and say to us in the Old Testament.

First of all, I believe God made one woman for Adam with purpose as well, but that is not our focus today.

Here you see that God warned Solomon to avoid marrying any foreign woman. He said even associating with them was dangerous and that they would surely turn his heart away from God and towards their gods and idols.

I was looking back at where Solomon started. God chose Solomon to be King after His Father David had died.

Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” 1 Kings 3:3-5 (NASB)

Solomon loved the Lord. His heart was towards Him, and he followed God’s statutes, except for this one thing. He sacrificed and burned incense on the High Places. God gave them specific directions about where to make their sacrifices. My Life Application study bible says, “It took the offerings out of the watchful care of Priests and Ministers loyal to God and opened the way for False teaching to be tied to these sacrifices.”

Here we see again God gives Solomon direction and warns of what would happen, and he does it anyway because that is what He wants to do. It is what His flesh desires; in his disobedience, he begins his downfall and walks away from God.

I think back to many moments in my life where I would sense the prodding of the Holy Spirit, and because it wasn’t what I wanted to do or was uncomfortable, I didn’t do it. I remember reading scriptures and knowing things, but I would run the other way when confronted with them.

God warns and prepares us with purpose. He says what He says with a good reason. He does what He does intentionally for our good and for His glory.

Solomon’s compromises and “I’ve got this” attitude led to his demise and destruction.

God’s love and mercy are great, yet He is a holy and just God. You see His mercy in how He carried out His discipline.

But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD forever.” 1 Kings 2:45 (NASB)

Here you see how God honors His Word to King David. God said that the throne of David would be established forever. God waited to take away the Kingdom until King Solomon passed away, and then He still gave one tribe to Solomon’s son, not for Solomon but for the sake of David and Jerusalem.

God honors obedience. He is a man of His word! I am beyond thankful for His faithfulness!

As I let these scriptures marinate in my heart, I am prompted to ask myself some questions.

Are there things I have allowed to slip into my life that could draw me away from God?

Have I been rebellious in my heart in any way?

What do I need to do to make these things right?

These can be challenging questions to ask ourselves. The things God asks us to do sometimes are hard. It is challenging to look into our own hearts and see where we have not listened to or obeyed God. If I am honest, it can be scary too. I get afraid of what God will ask me to do to fix it.

Solomon shows me that you can have a genuine heart and love for God and still drift or fall away from God.

As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Matthew 24:3-13 (NASB)

Jesus warns us to be careful that no one misleads us. As time moves forward and we get nearer to the end, many will fall away, and their love will grow cold.

But the promise is that the one who endures to the end will be saved.

I want to endure to the end, just as Jesus did for me. I desire for my heart to be right with His.

I am thankful for God’s ways of preparing us and for the warnings He gives us. I pray we have ears to hear Him, eyes to see Him, and a soft heart towards Him, ready to be obedient.