Solomon openly defied God; he did not follow in his father David’s footsteps. He went on to build a sacred shrine to Chemosh, the horrible god of Moab, and to Molech, the horrible god of the Ammonites, on a hill just east of Jerusalem. He built similar shrines for all his foreign wives, who then polluted the countryside with the smoke and stench of their sacrifices. God was furious with Solomon for abandoning the God of Israel, the God who had twice appeared to him and had so clearly commanded him not to fool around with other gods. Solomon faithlessly disobeyed God’s orders.” 1 Kings 11:6-10 (MSG)


Are you good at starting projects? The initial enthusiasm for doing something new can be exhilarating. You are going to reorganize your house, landscape your yard, start a business, or write a book.  The list could be endless. But after the initial excitement wears off, you still have to finish the project. In life, starting is important, but how we finish might be even more important.

Solomon was a great king. His rule as king started with a divine moment where he asked God for wisdom, and it was granted to him.  As life kept moving forward, his accomplishments began to stack up. He had built an impressive palace for himself and temple for the Lord. But, as life moved forward, his heart moved further away from God. The original priorities in his life became crowded out. Instead of keeping the main things in focus, the people who surrounded his life began to overshadow his original priorities. The people in his life began to turn his heart to their gods.  Solomon’s life shows us a valuable lesson: how you start doesn’t guarantee how you will finish. And how you finish has a significant impact on eternity.  Solomon was probably the wisest person who ever lived, but when he began to find treasure in something besides God, his priorities began to slowly unravel.  There is a correlation between letting our priorities be negatively redefined by people not pursuing God that can be detrimental. You might be able to get by for a day, week, month, or even year.  But, sooner or later, your change in priorities will result in a change in people who surround your life. As the old adage goes, “show me your friends, and I will show you your future”. The people surrounding your life will impact your priorities. So, instead of experiencing a negative outcome, plant yourself near others who are living lives of faith. Because even if you have had a rocky start, you still can have a strong finish.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.