Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 11, Ezekiel 41, Psalm 92, Philippians 2.
“6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done.” 1 Kings 11:6
When I think of evil I think of ISIS.
I think of child molestation.
I think of Alabama football.
I think of abortion.
I think of the holocaust.
I think of racism.
In other words, when I think of what “evil” is, I think of really-really-really bad things.
And that is true. Evil is something that is really bad and sinful and wicked.
Which is why 1 Kings 11:6 frightens me. Look at it again.
“Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. . . ”
You (or at least I) would think the next phrase would be something like, “. . . because he killed 3,000 innocent babies.” Or, “. . . because he beheaded his sister.” Or, “. . . because he chose to worship Satan.”
But that’s not what the Bible says. The Bible is constantly realigning our assumptions and preconceived notions.
The verse says that Solomon did what was evil because “he did not wholly follow the Lord.”
Yeah, I know – right?
The Bible doesn’t say Solomon did evil because he completely turned from the Lord. It says he did evil because he did not wholly follow the Lord.
Evil, in other words – according to the Bible, means not fully following the Lord.
Before reading this text, if you were to ask me if I did anything evil today, I would probably have responded, “No. None that I can think of.”
But according to this text, I confess, I am one evil dude.
This brings to mind two realities:
#1. Not following the Lord fully leads to destruction.
Solomon was sent down a path that ultimately led to his undoing. It all started when he committed the evil sin of not fully following God. This is a reminder that wholly following the Lord is a command that is loving and good for us. Wholly following God is what we are made for. Not doing so, not only leads to our ultimate destruction, but halfhearted devotion will not make us operate properly. To put it in another way – following the Lord fully is a means by which we get our tractor’s cranked.
#2. Jesus wholly followed the Father for us.
I have blown it. Just like Solomon, I have committed evil. In fact, if the truth be told, I am often guilty of committing this particular evil. But I believe Jesus fully obeyed God at every level and in every way. He never didn’t fully follow God. When my trust went in Him, He took my halfhearted attempts and gave me His full hearted devotion. God doesn’t see my evil anymore. He sees His Son’s whole record of perfection. To put it another way – God doesn’t see Matt’s evil when He looks on me. He sees Jesus’ obedience in Matt.
What about you? How does the Father see you? Have you committed evil today? Where do you need to repent so you can now live the life you were created for?