10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
Solomon would be the last king of a united Israel. Because of the dissolution of a united country, other countries invaded Israel and this began a series of destructive battles eventually leading to the Babylonian captivity, the takeover by the Greeks and finally, the Romans. Even today, Israel is not at peace.
How often we hear the saying, “United we stand; divided we fall.” This applies to families, neighborhoods, and countries. People have been seduced by the gods of greed, power and fame. Injustice is the result. Many years ago, Pope Paul VI in an address celebrating the World Day of Peace said, “If you want peace, work for justice.” If you think about the revolutions we have learned about in history or have suffered through in our own lifetime, the root cause seems to be a search for justice.
There are still countries where it is impossible to live without fear. People suffer from lack of food, education or medical care. Women live in fear of being kidnapped or raped. Men fear being killed or forced into armies that are more interested in war than keeping peace.Solomon allowed himself to be lured away from God by his wives. What lures us away from God and God’s law? It’s a question each of us needs to answer.
Yesterday, we spoke about righteousness and justice. As long as injustice abides, there will be division that will leave us open to invasion in one way or another. There’s not much we can do in countries that are not our own except to pray and offer whatever support that is available, but we can work for justice in our own cities, our own countries. We can support laws that protect the poor and the vulnerable. We can volunteer for organizations that reach out to help.
May we always be part of the solution and not part of the problem, working for peace and helping to eliminate injustice in any way that we can.
Gracious God, your world is fractured by hate and fear. So many have turned away from you and your law of love! Give us the courage to remain faithful to you and put aside the gods of power and greed so that we can be forces for peace. Amen.