Daily Readings and Thought for August 16th. “AND THE LORD WAS ANGRY”
What makes God angry? An easy question? This heart examining question was prompted this morning by our chapter 11 in 1st Kings. From v. 9 we read, “And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him … But he did not keep what the LORD commanded.”
A vital lesson for us – for all those who have read and absorbed into their hearts and minds the words and actions of the Creator of all things. We recall the principle Jesus bluntly stated, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required. [Luke 12 v.48] Ponder how much has been given to you and to me in being privileged to see the “light” of the meaning of life in the increasingly dark and godless world that surrounds nearly all of us.
As a result of Solomon’s failure in later years, our chapter today reveals how “the LORD raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite.” [v.14] Other adversaries are named, “God also raised up as an adversary to him, Rezon … He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon” [v.23,25]
It is worth noting that the Hebrew word translated ‘adversary’ is actually ‘satan’ in the Hebrew text. But ‘adversary’ is what ‘satan’ means; we remember what we read 3 days ago, how Jesus said to Peter “”Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” [Mark 8 v.33] We must ‘set our minds on’ the things of God – so has become our established way of thinking? Peter went through the experience of denying his Lord – until that became his established way of thinking.
Our Kings chapter states in its early verses (v.4) that “when Solomon was old … his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God” [v.4] as David’s his father had been. A warning for us – perhaps most particularly for those who become highly thought of – as Solomon became. May it never be said of you and I, “and the LORD was angry” because our hearts are turning away – maybe being distracted by the intense varieties of ways of living that surround many of us – as TV in particular constantly illustrates. Let us aim – more than ever – to set “our minds on the things of God.”