As Solomon grew old,
his wives turned his heart after other gods,
and his heart was not fully devoted
to the Lord his God,
as the heart of David his father had been.
1 KINGS 11:4 (NIV)
I’ve seen it often in professional baseball. There are teams that come on like gangbusters in the spring, then begin a long, slow fade through late August and into September. Other teams seem to struggle and falter out of the blocks but get their acts together by mid-summer and catch fire in time for the playoffs.
Starting well is a wonderful advantage. But it doesn’t hold a candle to finishing well. Solomon, with all the benefits of wealth, health, wisdom, heritage and a God who loved him, began his rule with great energy and a fervent heart. He accomplished much for the Lord in those early days.
But along the backstretch of his middle years, he began to fade. And coast. And compromise. He outright disobeyed God’s commands. The end of the race wasn’t pretty. God brought judgment, conflict and loss into his life. Eventually, his own son would rule only a fragment of the once mighty kingdom.
My prayer: God, keep me from a slow fade. I want to be wholehearted for you until the last pitch of the season!
I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
and I have remained faithful.
2 TIMOTHY 4:7 (NLT)
On the journey with you,