- When Blessings Bring a Curse
When Blessings Bring a Curse
The scary little question I’m afraid to ask is this, why does God bless us with so much when so often those God generously blesses fall away from Him? You’ve probably heard of King Solomon the son of King David. He was very devout in following God and once even brought 1000 burnt offerings to worship God. ( 2 Chron. 1:6) When God asked him what Solomon wanted as a blessing, Solomon humbly asked for wisdom and knowledge to better lead the nation he was king over. (2 Chron. 1:7-10) God gave him amazing wisdom and knowledge but also riches and honor. (2 Chron. 1:11-12)
Solomon used those riches and those saved by his father to build the first temple in Jerusalem. (1 Kings 6:1) At first, Solomon was a very good and wise leader and a devout follower after Yahweh. (1 Kings 8:22-23) But as his wealth and fame increased and increased and increased, the amount of THINGS he owned began to be overwhelming and in his popularity it was hard to keep a humble heart. He lost integrity and did business with the bad guys. (2 Chron. 1:16) He showed off in front of big wigs-especially female big wigs (like the Queen of Sheba 1 Kings 10:6-7).
After twenty years his wealth and popularity and business dealings had so clouded his judgment that he forgot to be generous with his old friends and business partners-the ones who had supported him and helped him get to the top. (1 Kings 9:10-12) His son who was to succeed him managed to be such a bad ruler that 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel succeeded from the nation. (1 Kings 12:10-12) Solomon’s son’s arrogance far exceeded even that of his late father. It was only in faithfulness to his Grandfather David that God allowed Solomon’s son to rule even a part of the former nation.
Are we blessed at times in spite of ourselves because of our past faithfulness or that of our parents or grandparents? Do we get to thinking that our wealth is due to our hard work or intelligence rather than acknowledging that God is the owner of all? I take these stories found in 1 Kings 8-11 as more than just a cautionary tale to those of us who are greatly blessed. How can I keep my blessings from bring a curse on my family?
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 lays out how a ruler should live. I may not be a king, but I can see that these verses apply to those, like myself, who have been greatly blessed. First, watch that you don’t forget your roots. (Dt. 17:16) Second, don’t forget your morals. (Dt. 17:17) Third, don’t get greedy. Fourth keep the Bible has a high priority, read it regularly, do what it says, keep learning to reverence God. (Dt. 17:18-19) Fifth, stay humble. (Dt. 17:20) And finally, sixth, don’t break the commandments of God, in fact, don’t even turn slightly to the right of left of following them. In this way you will remain long in your kingdom, as will your children.
As I read Solomon’s story I see that he systematically broke each of these guidelines. Though he had everything on earth a person could ever want, he failed to keep his promises to God. I don’t want to end up like King Solomon. I don’t want my family to end up like his. If David had seen what became of his son he must have wept.
But you and I have a king of our own, King Jesus, who died and lives to keep us from the trap of sin. Even as the rules of life given in Deuteronomy still make perfect sense in a practical way, the death of our King on the cross paid the price for the times when we break the rules. Even though I haven’t always lived with the integrity expected of those blessed by God I can ask for and accept the forgiveness Christ offers me. It is by the grace of God that when I find myself starting down that slippery slide to the bottom I can stop and claim the forgiveness of sins and the righteousness he gives me. I can ask for the Holy Spirit to help me up the ladder and out of the pit and into the blessing of God again.
As far as we know, Solomon did not stop his downward slide or ask for forgiveness though when he was younger he had prayed fervently that God would remain ready to forgive those who were sorry for their sins (1 Kings 8:46-51). Solomon’s own son suffered the consequences of Solomon’s folly. (1 Kings 11:11-12)
In the end, our children will not remember and respect us for the money we made, the great houses we built, or the cars we drove. What they will remember is how we prayed for them, how we lived with integrity, the way we treated the taxi driver. The inheritance we pass on to our children is a heart that remains true to God to the end and a life of integrity. (1 Kings 9:3-5) Thank you Jesus for offering us not the ladder of success but the cross of Jesus Christ which brings forgiveness and your Spirit which offers us strength to live rightly.