Week 24 Tuesday

Even the Wise Can Be Fools

Today’s scripture selection: First Kings 10-13

Key verse: First Kings 11:4

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.”

Nobody’s perfect.

That old adage is proven to be true time and again – and the Bible is full of stories which illustrate this.

Solomon has the reputation of being the wisest man who ever lived. And yet, he was human. And that says it all. As he grew close to wives from other nations, followers of other gods; they “turned his heart” away from the one true God.

But, though he might have tried, he couldn’t just blame his spiritual infidelity on them.

We must all ultimately take responsibility for our choices.

Eventually, a high price would be paid by all.

So it is with our lives – and our potential choices.

As we go about our spiritual walk, we must remain keenly aware that there are many “gods” out there – vying for our attention. They may not be named Ashtoreth, or Molek, or Chemosh – the ancient gods of Israel’s neighbors – but they are real nonetheless.

Our work; our desire for power or possessions; our relationships; even our own self-image…these can all become “gods” that draw us away from our covenant with God.

It’s a sad fact – even the wisest among us can become fools. So remember Solomon – his wise – and his foolish choices.

It can make all the difference in the world between joy and sorrow; life and death.

Prayer: Father, may I always keep my eyes on you and not the idols of the world. AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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