November 23, 2009 Ration

I Kings 11:2b-4

“Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”

All hearts will cling to something. Do our hearts cling to the Lord or to the pleasures that the Lord has made? Where our hearts are not wholly clinging to the Lord, we too will see the anger of the Lord kindled against us as it was against Solomon as he clung to his wives, and not to the Lord, in love (v. 11).

Our hearts, artists, must be wholly true to the Lord if we are going to find the fullness of pleasure in anything. God Himself is the fullness of all joys. All that God has brought into existence that is pleasurable is so by His intention and design. And God has clearly shown us how to know the fullest enjoyment in anything that He has made pleasurable: “…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).

But Solomon clung to his wives, and not to the Lord, in the pleasures that the Lord has for a man in loving his wife. Solomon pursued the wrong end in the pleasures surrounding the love theme. God was not Solomon’s end, a physical feeling was. Solomon followed the feelings that he enjoyed with the women, which led him to follow the women and their ways for those feelings. He clung to his wives.

But the pleasures in love between a man and a woman are from God. They originate in God, not in man or woman. Those pleasures are created by God to be enjoyed. When a man or a woman wants to know the fullest pleasures in relational love, they will find it when they pursue their pleasure in God in what He has made pleasurable in such relationships. God is the end of such love.

So it is with any pleasure. Pick your pleasure, artists. Then pursue your pleasure in the Lord in your pursuit of it and you will find the satisfaction you desire. The fellowship that God has for you in the pleasures in artistic expression is what will truly satisfy your art craving soul. But when our hearts are clinging to other ends, like art itself, rather than to God Himself, we too, like Solomon, will turn out of fellowship with God as we turn to lesser ends. Then our mistaken “loves” will rule over us. And we too will feel the vanity of our misplaced affections.

Artists, our hearts must be wholly true to the Lord in our enjoyment of the pleasures in art. Not partially, or in measure, or generally, or mostly, but wholly and completely. It is the Lord who will open to us the fullness of pleasure as He is the end pleasure of all that He has made. Would we even know if we were in want? It appears that Solomon didn’t in the moment of his affluence, though we hear his conclusion in Ecclesiastes. Check to see what you are clinging to: art or God, love or God, security or God, a name or God, and you will evidence whether you are standing in want or not.

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project