Power for Today

Loves and Loyalties

1 Kings 11 (NIV)

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

I live in New Haven, Connecticut, hometown of Benedict Arnold, America’s most infamous traitor. He ran an apothecary shop here before Americ’s Revolution. It was not drugs, however, that drove Arnold astray. It was a woman; which brings King Solomon to mind.

Solomon’s wives “led him astray”.(1 Kings 11:3, NIV) Over the years, his devotion to the Lord was dismantled as his heart turned toward other gods. Therefore God said, “I will most certainly tear your kingdom away from you.” Indeed, Israel paid dearly for Solomon’s spiritual slide. His private family life took on huge public ramifications. His personal faith journey away from God led to a national tragedy after he died. Fair or not, that’s how it goes when leaders are misled.

Solomon and Arnold were both gifted leaders. Solomon suffered no shortage of power, prestige and pleasure. The whole world sought audience with him, bearing gifts. His splendor was unsurpassed. Arnold was honored for brave leadership as a general. Disloyalty was their downfall. A Tory wife helped turn Arnold against America. A covey of wives turned Solomon toward the folly of false gods. Would you be a leader? Then, mind your loves and loyalties!

Heavenly Father, focus our love not on everything that delights our hearts but on You first. Guard our hearts from whatever might lead us astray from You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
- JOEL MARK SOLLIDAY, New Haven, Connecticut