The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. 1 Kings 4:20

This is the high point in the book of Kings, perhaps the high point in the entire history of Israel. The country enjoyed peace with its enemies. There was security, relationships, belonging and sustenance. Their basic needs were met and they were happy. Solomon was a wise king and good administrator. Early in Solomon’s reign the people were committed to keeping the covenant and they were blessed.

But Solomon, despite his great wisdom, foolishly allowed his wives to turn his heart away from following the Lord wholeheartedly (1 Kings 11:4). Maybe it even began when he bought numerous horses (1 Kings 10:26), ignoring God’s command (Deuteronomy 17:16-17) and trusting in his own resources instead of the Lord.

It wasn’t just one bad decision that Solomon made but a series of small decisions over a period of time. The downhill slide began and the nation divided. It never really recovered. Israel only ever had evil kings and Judah only a handful of good kings.

I wonder why at some point the people didn’t realize that their happiness came from living God’s way and return to the following the Lord wholeheartedly. Just because the king started worshipping idols, why did the people follow suit? How easily they were lead astray.

When others, even leaders, are not living God’s way, believers have the choice of who they are going to follow. Will we remain committed when others are not? Will we have the wisdom to see trusting in our own resources is short sighted? Will we marry unwisely and comprise our own beliefs?

It is numerous small decisions over time which determines the outcome of our lives.