Beware of "But" or Exceptions to God's StandardI Kings 11:1, But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites 2 from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods....4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians
Solomon had three things that most people desire: He had fame, fortune, and favor. He also was given the gift of wisdom. What Solomon lacked was strong character. His father David also achieved fame, fortune, and faith. In addition, he was immensely talented and gifted. But David also had developed a core of character.
No one can successfully argue against the fact that God wants to bless his people, spiritually and materially. 1 Kings chapter 10 outlines the wealth of Solomon AND his strong attachment to the status that his wealth gained for him.
Over time, Solomon's devotion to his status contributed to his distraction, and ultimately to his downfall. The man once regarded as possessing the greatest wisdom of all, did not apply wisdom to his own life. He fell victim to "but."
As the word is used in our text, "but" means an "exception to the fact." There is no doubt that Solomon's wealth was God-given. He made the mistake of focusing on his wealth and status to the exception of the fact that God must be worshiped at all times.
For Solomon, the exception that he made turned his heart from God and led him towards sexual perversion (Ashtoreth). This is a pattern we see to this day among too many highly successful people, including too many believers and preachers.
The moral to this story is to not let fame, fortune and favor cause us to create exceptions to high character. Avoid all devotions to passions and things that lead to distraction and downfall.
Only be devoted to God!