Secularization Covers Shame
Last week, we began to look at the contexts for Christian apologetics today. The recent advertisement frames this adequately: ‘this is not your daddy’s Oldsmobile.’ But whereas technology has improved our standard of living, factors have converged to devolve the social fabric in which we live. Understanding these factors is necessary before we can strategize and implement changes to bring America back to God.
Americans have lost their shame, their reason, and their meaning. satan has used his weapons effectively, even among Christian families.
Force, ambition, greed, selfishness, and sexual pleasure are the fare of news stories and of primetime television, influencing the behavior of young and old alike. 1 John 2.15-17
It began with ‘the lie’ and continues unabated.
‘Has God really said…’ was satan’s lure to appeal to Eve’s ambition, which led her, eventually, to call God a liar. Note her downward spiral: eyes opened led to knowing good and evil led to making her own decision led to rationalization led to calling God a liar (because He did not agree with her; Genesis 3.1-6).
Solomon believed the lie, too, and lost his salvation. Consider the following sequence of events. The lie led to making decisions without God, exploring evil, and acting ‘politically correct’.
Scholars say Solomon was 18 when he ascended to David’s throne in 1015 BC. He was the youngest of the sons born to David. He ruled until 975 BC, 40 years.
He compiled the Proverbs in 1000 BC and wrote Ecclesiastes 23 years later, in 977 BC, two years before his death. How could the wisdom of the 33 year-old king devolve into the pleasure-seeker of 56? Some mid-life crisis!
Scholars speculate that his first wife was Abishag, the most beautiful virgin in Israel, who had kept King David warm during the last days of his life. She is the Shulemite (Shunemmite) of the Song of Solomon, written in 1014 BC.
In total, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines! (1 Kings 11.3) Why so many?
1 Kings 3.1 explains that Solomon made a treaty with Egypt’s Pharaoh and sealed it by marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. He did this with many other nations because Israel was a world power after David’s reign (blessed by God).
Whether Solomon or other monarchs sought these treaties is not the question. The question is why did Solomon disobey God’s law about marrying outside the faith? See Exodus 34.15-16 and Deuteronomy 7.3-4.
Not only so, but 1 Kings 3.2-4 tells us that Solomon and Israel had adopted the custom of the nations to worship on the highest point of the land, so their prayers would be closer to God. See Deuteronomy 12.29-31.
The irony of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple (in 1005 BC; 1 Kings 8.25; since he had begun marrying foreign wives and was worshipping at the ‘high places’) is the irony of us holding onto our pet sins while worshipping God each day.
As He does with us, God tried to dissuade Solomon from the sins that were driving the wedge of separation between them. In 1 Kings 9.1-9, God reminds Solomon of His righteous standard and warns him of the consequences of disobedience. The year is 992 BC, and Solomon is probably in the midst of the explorations he describes in Ecclesiastes. Note his wealth in 1 Kings 10.14-29. Is verse 14 God’s commentary and like Paul’s equivalent 1Timothy 6.9-10?
Despite God’s warning, probably repeated but unrecorded, Solomon ‘loved many foreign women’ (1 Kings 11.1-11) and nurtured the worship of their gods.
Solomon’s heart turned away from God, and the nation suffered (1 Kings 11.14). Solomon had been deceived by satan from the first rule of kings (and parents and all in leadership):
Through deception, satan was able to re-establish the gods that Israel had driven out of The Promised Land; 1Kings 11.5-8, 33. This was the legacy of Solomon: one leader undid the work of God through many of his predecessors. Pluralism continues it plague.
Truth exposes the lie!
Solomon had listened to satan’s voice, within and/or through trusted advisors, to seek protection through alliances with satan, to rationalize this as necessary to protect the nation (thus doing a better job than God), and to enjoy the pleasures that satan provides. Sound familiar?
Sounds like ‘philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ’ ( Colossians 2.8). Paul admonishes us to beware of the lie and to expose it by the light of the truth (verses 9-10, John 14.6).
Solomon lost his shame with his marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter. His shameless behavior only increased, as revealed by his sexual appetite, his exploration of foreign gods
(Jeremiah 13.10), and his Ecclesiastes.
Our secular society bids us follow their relative system (2 Timothy 3.1-6). We dare not!!! God has set an absolute standard that is best. See John 8.31-32. Remember the following: Deuteronomy 30.15; Joshua 24.15; 1 Kings 18.21.