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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Strange Gods

"When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God, as the heart of his father David had been." 1 Kgs 11:4

Today's scripture selection is dangerous, especially for women, since it implies that as Solomon aged he was more vulnerable to the wiles of his wives. Like the book of Genesis which seems to blame Eve for Adam's sin, the first book of Kings lays Solomon's sin on the back of his wives.

Having a scapegoat is always easier than accepting responsibility for our own actions. Could it not be possible that as Solomon aged his fears grew and his faith weakened making him vulnerable to anyone, not just women or his wives, who might offer him a way to avoid or ignore his doubts and fears?

It is not uncommon for the elderly to experience a multiplicity of fears and doubts as they slow down and near death. Busy for most of our lives with working, maintaining a home, building a career and raising children, few take the time to consider the great mysteries of life and faith, but as our bodies begin to feel the natural aches of aging and the future does not seem endless, we are forced to confront our mortality, and with it questions about God and eternal life.

There is no reason to ignore or avoid these questions and doubts. Natural, necessary and formative, they force us to let go of all that distracted us from entering life fully and prepare us to trust more deeply in the God whose mercy can never be measured or fully comprehended.

Today, ask for the grace to face your doubts and fears with faith.

Who or what do you blame when faced with your own weaknesses?


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