Saturday, December 8, 2012

2 Chronicles 8 Tolerating Private Indiscretions

2 Chron 8:11-16 Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said, "My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because the places the ark of the Lord has entered are holy.On the altar of the Lord that he had built in front of the portico, Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord, according to the daily requirement for offerings commanded by Moses for Sabbaths, New Moons and the three annual feasts — the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. In keeping with the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their duties, and the Levites to lead the praise and to assist the priests according to each day's requirement. He also appointed the gatekeepers by divisions for the various gates, because this was what David the man of God had ordered.   They did not deviate from the king's commands to the priests or to the Levites in any matter, including that of the treasuries. All Solomon's work was carried out, from the day the foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid until its completion. So the temple of the Lord was finished.

Despite Solomon's commitments to the building of the temple and did not deviate from any of David's instructions regarding the construction of it, nevertheless, he permitted himself this personal indiscretion of taking on a foreign wife (Pharaoh's daughter), something expressly forbidden by the Law of Moses: "But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you." Solomon knew that keeping the Pharoah's daughter as his wife was not right, otherwise, he would not have built her  a palace outside the City of David because the City of David is holy. In the public matter of temple-building, he was conscientious and diligent, but in personal matters, he allowed himself some spiritual and moral leeway.

This is not an uncommon situation: many who serve visibly in church as leaders are often found tolerating personal indiscretions in their private and professional life. They know these activities are not right in God's sight, but feel that their weekend "service" for the Lord could somehow make up for these personal indiscretions. But as in the case of Solomon, these "small sins" grew and became bigger and bigger. In times, he even violated God's commands for the king not to acquire horses (12,000), wives (700) and concubines (300). Solomon at first indulged in his passions as a private matter. But soon this lust for power grew out of control and became public. And his now public indiscretion eventually became a snare to the nation and caused its downfall after he died.

Great start, but poor finish.

Father, help us never to tolerate private indiscretions, no matter how small or insignificant we think they are. Forgive us our sins and deliver us from evil. Amen.

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