His heart was not entirely with the Lord.

In the history of the Jewish people, David and his son Solomon were both powerful but flawed leaders. David used his position of power to have the husband of his mistress killed (2 Samuel 11). And Solomon began worshipping the false gods of the pagan nations (1 Kings 11:5-8).

You could argue that David, with his trail of lust, conspiracy, and murder, sinned more grievously than Solomon did. But God saw it differently.

For all his flaws and weaknesses, David tried to follow God “unreservedly” (1 Kings 11:6). From his earliest days, he was devoted to the Lord. He even risked his life in battle with Goliath simply because Goliath was mocking the Lord (1 Samuel 17:26). Even after the whole affair with Bathsheba, when he realized how far he had fallen, David offered sincere and humble repentance (Psalm 51). Rather than growing defensive or denying his responsibility, he admitted his sins and begged God to spare everyone who was affected by them (2 Samuel 12:15-17).

Solomon, on the other hand, began well but then ended up showing little concern for his relationship with the Lord. As Scripture said, his “heart was not entirely with the Lord, his God, as the heart of his father David had been” (1 Kings 11:4). He let his foreign wives turn him away from worshipping God and honoring the Law of Moses. He spent a great deal of time consolidating his power, building up his army, and filling his own coffers with wealth (10:14-29). And he neglected to care for the poor and needy in his kingdom (12:1-5).

The stories of David and Solomon show us that God can see into the deepest desires of our hearts. He doesn’t look just at our actions; he also sees our intentions and motives. He sees how much we want to love him, even if we struggle to live out that love. And he always pours out grace to help us stay faithful.

So even if you sin, and sin grievously, take heart. Your Father won’t stop loving you. He won’t stop offering you his mercy and his power to change. More than anything, he wants to purify your heart so that you can love him more and follow him more faithfully.

“Lord, I place my heart in your hands. Teach me to live in your love!”

1 Kings 11:4-13
Psalm 106:3-4, 35-37, 40
Mark 7:24-30


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