Tuesday, September 23, 2014



This article is about King Solomon; yes, the son of King David and Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife), yes, Solomon who had two personal encounters with the Almighty God (1 King 3:5, 9:2), and yes, the man who built the first temple in Jerusalem, and dedicated it with such a beautiful prayer!  (1 King 8:22-61).  This is the Solomon who is credited with writing Song of Solomon and portions of the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.   

As an Israelite, Solomon knew the word of God including the law that prohibited Israelites from intermarrying with their ungodly neighbors (Deut 7:3-4).  He also knew the promises God had made to both David his father, and later to him.  He also knew the consequences if they disobeyed God.  Here is a portion of the prayer he offered at the dedication of the temple, “Now Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me as you have done.’  And now O God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true” (1King 8:25-26).     

God gave Solomon wisdom beyond measure; making him the wisest man that ever lived.  So what happened, and who bewitched him that he threw everything away?  He could have had any woman he wanted in Israel; he could have had as many women as he wanted, but instead, he went to foreign countries to marry their princesses, “King Solomon, however, loved foreign women…They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, ‘You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods… ‘He had seven hundred wives of royal birth…and his wives led him astray” (1 King 11:1-3).   

I find some portions of the account of Solomon’s life discouraging, disappointing and frightening.  Why?  Well, how often does God appear to people with such detailed, personal information?  One would think because of his experiences with God, he’d cling to Him and be inseparable from Him, but no, unfortunately, he chose his own path; how sad!  Did he disobey God because he thought nothing could jeopardize his relationship with Him, or did he think he was so spiritually strong and could safely play with sin, or did he think he was too special to be held accountable by God?  I find it frightening, because I believe if it happened to him it could happen to anybody; you and me, “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Cor 10:12).
So why did Solomon blatantly disobey God when he knew what the consequence was going to be?  He must have thought the law did not apply to him or he was above the law.  Could that be pride?  Proverbs tell us, “Pride goes before destruction, haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18).  He must not have understood that God does not make excuses for anyone’s sins, and no one is exempted from keeping His laws.  He judges sin wherever He finds it.  If the wisest man of all time experienced such tragedy, what can happen to everyone else?  We need to walk closely with God, taking nothing for granted.  May He help us to denounce sin, and make no room for it to have dominion over us.

The root cause of Solomon’s troubles was his disregard for God’s command regarding marriage; the command that prohibits believers from becoming unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14). 

Consequently, Solomon lost favor with God, “The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice…I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you” (1 King 11:9-11a).  

Solomon demonstrated his disobedience by first marrying unbelieving women, and then going on to worship their gods.  How do we demonstrate our disobedience?  The how might be different for each person, but the end result will be the same; grieving God’s heart, and consequently experiencing His judgment if we don’t repent.  Should we deliberately live in sin, disregarding His Word?  We need to wake up; this is scary!  Granted, we live in “Grace Era,” but “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!” says Paul, “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer (Rom 6:1b-2)?  Remember, No one is above the law, including you!

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