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Devotional – February 22, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Read : 1 Kings 11:1-13

Thoughts from: Garret Bolthouse

I am a people-pleaser. Deep down in my innermost being, I don’t like conflict, and often avoid it under the guise of being a peacemaker. God revealed this to me in my mid twenties through a set of conflicts that I could not avoid. They were deeply personal, devastating for everyone involved, and enduring. God taught me through these circumstances that avoiding conflict and being a peacemaker are two very different things.

Throughout the history of the world, the daughters of kings have been given to foreign kings as a kind of blood pact — for the sake of avoiding  conflict between kingdoms. As Israel grew and became prosperous under Solomon, many pagan kings desired to ensure that their kingdoms would not be threatened by Israel, and vice-versa.

This peace built on condition, this conflict avoidance, benefited Israel for awhile, and even brought Israel to the height of its wealth and power. But at what cost? Despite God warning Solomon that he should not intermarry with pagan kingdoms (v. 2), Solomon’s many wives, Scripture tells us, “turned his heart after other gods” (v. 4). Eventually this sin spread and corrupted all of Israel.

Avoiding conflict is the easier path, but more often than not allows sin to reign in people’s lives, including our own, eventually spreading to everyone around us. Pray and ask God throughout your day today, “Lord, am I a conflict-avoider, a peacemaker, or neither?” You may be surprised to find what God reveals!

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