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But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites--from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. For surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love.


Good things can become a detriment. In Japan, many golfers carry "hole-in-one" insurance because it is traditional in that culture to share one's good fortune by sending gifts to all your friends when you get an ace. The price for this "albatross," as the Japanese call it, often can reach $10,000. As a result, the good fortune that most golfers would consider a blessing becomes a disaster.

In many ways, marriage is like golf. (Now, stay with me on this!) Marriage is meant by God to be a blessing. God created Eve to be a companion and a helper to Adam (Gen. 2:18). Yet Solomon, by his excesses, turned God's good gift into a disaster. God's ideal has always been one man for one woman, for a lifetime. But that ideal was abused when Solomon gave himself to 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). Furthermore, his disobedience to God-s command not to marry foreign wives resulted in what God wanted to protect him from--turning his heart toward others gods (v. 4). Intemperance and disobedience became stumbling blocks for this otherwise very wise king.

Christians can fall into the same trap. God has given us many good things: marital intimacy, food, pleasure, sleep. But practiced to extremes, such good gifts can become the sins of lust, gluttony, licentiousness and sloth. Satan loves to take what is wholesome and blessed from God and make it a snare to the unwary. That is why Paul says, "Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things" (1 Cor. 9:25).

Take care that you keep all things in balance. Even though it may be a good gift from God, it can cause you to stumble if practiced without moderation. Enjoy God's gifts, but practice temperance in everything you enjoy.

If practiced in excess, even good things can become bad.

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