I like this picture; it has a simplicity to it, yet it isn't childish. Granted, it is not in the same class as something by Van Gogh or Rembrant but it is pleasing to look at. Then, I noticed the name of the painter: Adolph Hitler!!!! How could someone who could do this in his youth and later on be the cause of the death of literally millions of people? Power, I think that Herr Hitler was corrupted by power. He is not alone; for many people start out in a good way, only to fail later on in life. Here is one example from the old testament...
1 Kings, Chapter 3
1 Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and Yahweh’s house, and the wall of Jerusalem all around. 2 Only the people sacrificed in the high places, because there was no house built for Yahweh’s name until those days. 3 Solomon loved Yahweh, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places. 4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place. Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 In Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.”
6 Solomon said, “You have shown to your servant David my father great loving kindness, according as he walked before you in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with you. You have kept for him this great loving kindness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father. I am but a little child. I don’t know how to go out or come in. 8 Your servant is in the midst of your people which you have chosen, a great people, that can’t be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this your great people?”
10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life, neither have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice; 12 behold, I have done according to your word. Behold, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there has been no one like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like you. 13 I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like you, all your days. 14 If you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
1 Kings, Chapter 11
1 Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; 2 of the nations concerning which Yahweh said to the children of Israel, “You shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon joined to these in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 When Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with Yahweh his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and didn’t go fully after Yahweh, as did David his father. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the mountain that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 So he did for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods. 9 Yahweh was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from Yahweh, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he didn’t keep that which Yahweh commanded. 11 Therefore Yahweh said to Solomon, “Because this is done by you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. 12 Notwithstanding I will not do it in your days, for David your father’s sake; but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.”
Solomon had a great attitude (in chapter 3). He wanted only to serve and his humility is very plain for all to see. I especially like 3:3
3 Solomon loved Yahweh, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
When aged, Solomon lost his previous love for God and went after foreign gods. He had everything and lost everything when he abandoned the almighty. God gives power, wealth, ability, and health. I consider it selfish to ignore those blessings and focus in on yourself. Also, a bit rude!!! I know that Adolph Hitler and Solomon are negative examples, but sometimes you just need to see the bad to appreciate the good. Anyway, I will TRY TO REMEMBER BOTH THESE PEOPLE FOR HOW THEY STARTED and NOT HOW THEY FINISHED!!! It is probably a futile effort, but even in the worst of people there is something good. Thought for today: Over the course of your life, love God more and more and you will never end up a bad example!!!