“Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.” – John Lithgow
This year I hit the big 6 – 0. I wish I could say I’m handling it well, but I’m not. I’ve had to admit to myself that I’m struggling with getting older. Nothing major has changed, fallen off or stopped working (yet!), but I get this feeling occasionally that time is gnawing away at my edges.
Maybe my struggle with getting older is the reason the following verses hit me upside the head.
“Now King Solomon loved many foreign wives…he clung to these in love…when he was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God.” 1 Kings 11:1-4
Do you see it? Getting older does not guarantee a person will keep walking with the Lord! Having been around the block, more than a few times, does not automatically protect us in the spiritual battle.
What happened to Solomon? After all, he was the wisest man who ever lived. How did he allow himself to get ambushed like that?
Evidently it started years earlier when he was a young man: he married foreign wives. Now that was something God had expressly prohibited Israel to do (cf. Exodus 34:16). But I’m sure at the moment it seemed such a minor thing. It wasn’t murder, adultery, lying or theft. It’s just a marriage…and she’s going to be only one of many!
But fast forward several decades. Solomon is now “clinging” to these wives in love. So to appease and keep them happy, he built places of worship so they could honor the gods of their home country. And it wasn’t long before they persuaded Solomon to join them.
All of this has made me wonder what compromises, what rationalizations have I made earlier in my life with sin that might come back to haunt me? We need to be aware that Satan doesn’t mind waiting 20 or 30 years and, oh so slowly, weaving a web that ensnares.
Casting Crowns has a song about it,
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to grey
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade
If you’re closer to my age, it’s worth asking if there are any old sins (that go back to your younger years) which have never been faced? Is there anything you need to confess and forsake?
If you’re part of a younger generation, be careful of discounting obedience just because it seems minor. Keep your standards high, and keep short accounts with God!
“Guard you heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Here’s to finishing well!