It’s Not Love

Remember when you were in middle school or even high school and you found “the one?” That soul mate that you were sure you would marry as soon as you could. For some, that actually happened. However, for the vast majority of us, it was over as quick as it started. What is often revealed is that we struggle to differentiate between love and lust. We are certainly not alone in this. Solomon would be example “A”, and there would be no need for example “B.” Today’s text is certainly a Divine warning against superficial relationships, and how a believer should in no way be in a romantic relationship with an unsaved person. However, I don’t think this is just about romantic relationships. I think this is God diagnosing the fallen human heart. 1 Kings 11:1-2 says, “But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as, the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites–from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love.”

This simply can’t be stated enough, be careful who you share your heart with. There are so many stories of how relationships and marriages ended in heartache, because a Christian desired to be with someone who wasn’t a Christian. I can already hear some of you saying, “that’s legalistic, maybe through the relationship that person will see how much you love Jesus and they will want to love Him to.” My gentle response to that is this, there is a reason that God had this put into the Bible, not only here, but other places as well. I think God also settled this in 1 Samuel 16:7 when Samuel was going to look for the next king of Israel after Saul’s sin. God says that He doesn’t see as man sees. We look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. This is sound advice not only for looking for a ruler, pastor, deacon, or teacher; it is a good rule when looking for someone to pursue God with in marriage.

However, I think there is a bigger point here, a main point. I think the dating and marriage aspect of this is there, but it is secondary. I would argue that the main point of this passage and the subsequent verses is that we must be careful who or what we allow into our lives, because they might pull our heart away from God. In other words, this is bigger than just relationship advice. This is talking about idolatry. Not only can relationships pull our heart away from God, but so can things like work, family, sports, hobbies, and the list could go on. I believe this is why Jesus says in Matthew 10 that if we love anyone or something more than we love Him, we can’t be His disciple. The truth about idols is that they are so seductive because they are subtle. An idol can be something that God created that is good for us, but it is when we give it a higher place in our heart, mind, and life than we give to Jesus, it ceases to be good anymore. The very thing that God gave us as a good gift, we have now perverted and are using for our own self-worship. This is why we must consciously and consistently ask the Lord to search our hearts and to reveal if there is anything hidden in us. It is also why we must ask ourselves, is there anything that is competing for my time, attention, and affection for Jesus? When I find myself in a difficult situation, do I run to something or someone or do I go to Jesus? When I’m frustrated, sad, feel alone, what or who do I turn to give me comfort and to ease my pain?

When was the last time you allowed Jesus to do a heart check-up? Is it possible that there are some idols hiding, lurking in the shadows of your life? If it has been a while, now is a good time to just get alone with God, and ask Him to search your heart and life, and reveal any idol or other sin that maybe we aren’t even aware of. Solomon didn’t do it, and you can see the high price that he paid. Not only did Solomon pay a high price, but so did the nation of Israel. With Solomon’s death came a split of the nation, and a long, steady march towards God’s judgment. It’s not worth it! Whatever it is, it’s not worth it if it drags our heart away from God even a little bit.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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