In One Generation
I can't believe July is almost over! I have had a much-needed break from actual writing or editing, which has been wonderful. Instead, I have been digging into Solomon's life and doing a lot of research reading. I love that I get to read and call it work! Of course, some texts are drier than others and it actually is work to get through them, but for the most part I find research fascinating. I had a luncheon interview with a writer friend from church this week. She is doing an article for our church newspaper, and she graciously allowed me to talk about Solomon. A part of writing not talked about much is the part where we process the information that is overloading our brains. To do that, I like to tell others what I've learned. Sometimes verbalizing the information gives me fresh insight into something I missed before. Of course, there is the risk of just sounding like a history geek. It's worth the risk when you get to talk about something you love. :)
Solomon is such an enigmatic character - hard to understand and figure out. I keep asking, "Why? and How?" How could he stray so far from God's truth? Especially after the Lord appeared to him and specifically warned him not to worship other gods - he did it anyway! Why? What was the draw? How could a man who loved the Lord in his youth fall away in old age? (And by today's standards, he was not that old when he died - maybe 59!)
The saddest thing I noticed that was a result of Solomon's fall was how it affected the next generation. His son not only lost half of the kingdom, the people turned to the worship of idols throughout Jerusalem. In one generation the worship of Yahweh dwindled, even with His magnificent temple on Mount Moriah standing as a shining reminder to them all. They replaced the living God with the worship of Molech and Chemosh and other detestable idols who demanded human sacrifice.
I don't get it. Except for the fact that the idols probably gave the people some sort of excuse for their sin or a way to prove themselves, to DO something to earn the gods' favor. Easier to do something than to admit that we can do nothing to earn grace. The worship of Yahweh required humility and repentance. Maybe that was the difference. I'm still figuring it out.
It's kind of a sobering thought though at how quickly truth can slip from our grasp. If we don't live in light of the truth in our daily lives, our children will notice. And if we aren't genuine in our faith, letting it change us on the inside and reflect God's love to those around us, why should the next generation accept what we believe? Our example holds a greater power than we might think. And the more influence a person has (as in Solomon's case) the greater his reach. As the leader is, so goes the people.
In one generation.