Matins Devotion: August 23, 2023
In many ways, the story of King Solomon’s reign resembles a classic Greek tragedy. Here, at the beginning of his reign, we see him blessed like no other man has ever been blessed. God bestows upon him the gifts of unparalleled wisdom, riches, and length of days. In King Solomon, we find a man who genuinely loves the Lord. Who will be tasked with the great honor of building the Lord’s temple. An honor his father, David, desperately sought but was never given. By all accounts, King Solomon is a success story before his reign even begins.
And yet…despite all his positive attributes…despite all of Solomon’s integrity and faithfulness…from the beginning we also notice one tiny crack…one tiny blemish in his character. Solomon has made an alliance with Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Solomon has taken Pharaoh’s daughter as his wife. Solomon has brought her and the false gods she worships into his home. One tiny crack. One little sin. One minor act of rebellion.
But by the end of Solomon’s reign this small, unrepented-of transgression will wreck his life and ruin his legacy. The wisest man who ever lived will die a fool. The man who loved the Lord and was given the honor of building the Lord a temple, will fill it with idols in order to please the 700 wives that have turned his heart away from the true worship of the One, True God. The man who, as King of Israel, amassed wealth and power on an unimaginable scale will be told that, after his death, his glorious kingdom will be torn from the hand his son and divided. His legacy—shattered. Everything he built—given to another. As I said before—a tragedy. The story of a man who began his race so well, but, in the end, was shown to be running in vain.
This is what becomes of unrepentant sin. It may start small. It may seem like no big deal. It may even pale in comparison to all the blessings that God is giving. But what does James tell us? That every sin—even the smallest sin—when not repented of—grows. And when sin is fully grown it gives birth to death.
So repent. Today and every day, return to your baptism. Confess your sins to God. Take that old man with his sins and evil lusts and drown him in the flood of judgment. Remember that Christ has brought you safely through those waters and has raised you up out of them as a new creation. Because of Christ, your life doesn’t have to become a tragedy. Rather, through this daily bath of confession and repentance, Christ washes you clean. He gives you newness of life. He destines you to live before him in righteousness and purity forever. “If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
You want to be wiser, and richer, and more blessed than Solomon? You are. You are baptized. You are washed. You are cleansed. You are forgiven.