Fame, fortune and falling away!
Scripture reading for April 5th: 1st Kings 9-11
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.” Proverbs 27:21
Fame and fortune bring lots of praise from the lips of men. Everyone wants to be around a famous person and the rich have many friends. These blessings can easily lead our hearts away from faith in the Lord and a vital relationship with Him. God warned the Israelites that when they entered the promised land and settled down and became prosperous, they would be tempted to forget God. (Deuteronomy 8:10-13) In a sense, prosperity and fame can be a more difficult test than sexual lust.
After Solomon finished dedicating the temple and achieving all he had desired to do, God appeared to him a second time. God promised that He would hear the prayers said at the temple and watch over it. At that time God warned Solomon against turning away from Him and going after other gods. (1st Kings 9:6-9) God understood the test that Solomon would face as his fame and fortune grew.
As God blessed him and his influence grew, Solomon married many foreign women and took 700 wives and 300 concubines from among the nations. God had warned that His people’s hearts would be led astray to idolatry and they should never marry from the nations. (1st Kings 11:1-6) Even though God had appeared to him, Solomon’s heart was not fully committed to the Lord and he did evil in God’s sight! He built high places for these gods of his foreign wives further angering God. His life should be a warning to us in our age of prosperity of the dangers of idolatry.
Pray today for someone who has fame or fortune or who is in a position of authority and influence. Pray for God’s grace to protect and keep that person–that he or she will not fall away or lead others astray. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? (Matthew 16:26a)