Convicted… but not completely

2 Chronicles 8:11 – Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David to the house that he had built for her; for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places where the ark of Yahweh has come are holy.

Solomon is in a dilemma – he is living in Jerusalem near the Ark of the Covenant – where the very presence of God is dwelling.  He is also living with his wife, the daughter of Pharoah of Egypt.  These two will not dwell happily together – because the customs and practices of his wife are detestable to God, and the holiness of God is detestable to his wife. 

So Solomon makes a decision – he moves his wife out of the city, and thus brings about a temporary solution.  But it’s an indicator of a much bigger problem for Solomon – he had divided loyalties. 

We can only be wholehearted about something when our whole heart is united.  Hosting the presence of God in our lives will start to bring about a reaction from everything in our lives that is opposed to His presence.  Solomon tried to deal with this the quick and easy way – by separating the two.  Many Christians try the same thing – compartmentalising their lives into what is holy, and what is not.  But it ended up being the ruin of Solomon, and it will ruin us too. In our heart, our love of God must surpass every other love that we have.  Any time another love starts to take His place, we risk idolatry. 

Some would ask – what about those who are married to people who aren’t Christians?  It’s a difficult road for sure, and for that reason Paul’s advice on the subject was ‘don’t marry unbelievers’.  But if you’re already married, and you’ve got saved and your husband/wife isn’t – then you have to walk out a careful balance of continuing your ongoing commitment to your spouse, while making sure that in all things, your love for God comes first.  Don’t be discouraged – many non-Christian spouses have eventually been won over to the faith by the demonstration of love for God and love for others that their husband or wife shows. 

One thing is true – there is only one TOP place in our heart’s love.  Don’t try to share the balance – but put the One who is worthy of that place first!

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