I’m going to be honest. We’d all be better off in Bethany’s academic hands for today’s chapters, since they hold a pretty pivotal event of the Bible. But too bad.
These two chapters cover the divide of the kingdoms, which affects the rest of the Old Testament. They both have different relationships with God and eventually, different fates.
The narrative of Solomon ends with him being swallowed up in sin by his gigantic pile of foreign wives he’s accumulated. My commentary assumes that these marriages were the result of making treaties with many other nations. A business move. Politics. However, God has specifically commanded him against that. Solomon was not to be a typical king. Israel was not to behave like a typical nation. It got me thinking about all the ways I justify sliding into cultural norms that God has set me apart from.
The worst part about sin is that you never think it’s going to impact anyone else. I wonder if it ever occurred to Solomon that practicing polygamy would result in the biggest divide in the Bible.
God still expects obedience of his Word no matter what culture, position or society we’re in. There are no exceptions, no bending of the rules for your particular situation. Solomon had been warned, there were no asterisks.
“He must not take many wives or his heart will be led astray.” Deut. 17:17
“You must not make a treaty of any kind with the people living in the land. They lust after their gods, offering sacrifices to them. They will invite you to join them in their sacrificial meals, and you will go with them. Then you will accept their daughters, who sacrifice to other gods, as wives for your sons. And they will seduce your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods.” Exodus 34:15-16
Ask yourself today: what are you trying to bend the rules on? What does God say?