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Daily Reading: 1 Kings 11

Scripture Focus: And the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon. (1 Kings 11.14)

Devotional Thought: God had given Solomon wisdom and success. Yet at the end of his life, his ambition outpaced his humility. He turned away from God. God raised up three adversaries against him:

· Hadad the Edomite (v. 14): a defeated foe who escaped the control of Solomon and fled to Egypt. His name means “mighty.” After laying low for several years, Hadad rose up to give Solomon problems. There are times that our adversaries are things from our past that we have not properly dealt with. Those things come up to vex us.

· Rezon of Damascus (v. 23): a foreigner who was a source of constant irritation to Israel. His name means “prince” and indicates one who has a commanding presence. Perhaps we could call this a “besetting sin.” Our chief adversary, Satan, exploits our weaknesses. We must be constantly vigilant, in order to defeat those unique temptations which constantly assail us.

· Jeroboam the Ephraimite (v. 26): a brother Israelite and gifted leader, who had once been a favored officer in Solomon’s administration. Solomon, however, did not know how to share leadership with him. It’s interesting that Jeroboam’s name means, “the people will contend.” For later, when Rehoboam, son of Solomon, refused to seek the partnership of his fellow countrymen, they contended against him. Does that happen in the church? Yes! We need to work together and learn to share leadership.

It’s instructive that the Bible says that “God raised up” these adversaries against Solomon. As such, these adversaries were meant to turn Solomon back to God. When we face “adversity,” God intends it to turn us back to him. Do you have adversaries? Allow them to turn your heart to God.

Prayer: Lord, too often I am impatient with adversaries. I want to move them out of the way. Help me to step back in adversity and ask, "God, how can I turn toward you in this time?" Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 119.81-88

81 My soul longs for your salvation;

I hope in your word.

82 My eyes long for your promise;

I ask, “When will you comfort me?”

83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,

yet I have not forgotten your statutes.

84 How long must your servant endure?

When will you judge those who persecute me?

85 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me;

they do not live according to your law.

86 All your commandments are sure;

they persecute me with falsehood; help me!

87 They have almost made an end of me on earth,

but I have not forsaken your precepts.

88 In your steadfast love give me life,

that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

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