1 Kings 11:4-10, we see a good example of the old saying that “absolute power corrupts.” Solomon’s religious earnestness of his younger days was weakened by wealth, luxury, sensualism, and the increasing pagan influence of his foreign wives. Solomon did not completely absolutely In abandon God. He continued to worship God and made his offerings three times a year in the temple.
Solomon was about 60 years old by this time. Among kings in the ancient Near East, taking foreign wives often produced political alliances; for Israel, it led to the worship of other gods-a double disobedience. At first, Solomon’s sin was immorality and sensuality, but eventually it became gross idolatry that divided his heart.
The fact that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines was not unusual. His father, King David, had 14 wives. What made Solomon’s situation bad in God’s eyes was that fact that many of Solomon’s wives came from nations that God specifically told him to avoid. God knew that people from other nations would encourage the Israelites to worship other gods, and Solomon is a good example.
Solomon’s wives convinced him to worship other gods. Similar situations occur when believers marry unbelievers. Sometimes the unbelievers do accept Christ. Most often, believers and unbelievers have different outlooks on life-differences that can lead to divorce. Believers begin compromising their beliefs, which could cause them to backslide in their faith. Obedience keeps our lives on track and leads to blessings from God.
Similar situations happen in the church today. There are several examples of noble pastors who in their later years strayed from earlier patterns of ministry. Some were manipulated by younger pastors who were eager to make a name for themselves. Others made compromises in their teaching so they and their churches would be popular. Others became obsessed with creating an earthly legacy in the form of monuments. Fortunately, there are also examples of faithful servants whose spirit and faith were at their strongest in old age-servants such as Daniel and Moses.
Solomon developed a false sense of pride. He thought he was smarter than God. Solomon forgot that when he became king he asked God for wisdom. Solomon fell to the same temptation Eve did in the Garden of Eden when Satan told her that she would not die if she ate the forbidden fruit. Satan said that Eve would be wiser than God. Solomon thought that his wisdom was all that he needed, but he was wrong.
Solomon’s failure resulted from a gradual loosening of his firm grip on God’s will. He made unhealthy compromises where he abandoned sound and godly ideas and standards. He was left morally and spiritually bankrupt. The same thing happens to us when we turn away from God. We need to stand against pressure to compromise our faith and what we know to be true.
Even God’s blessing and wisdom cannot compensate for a divided heart. Solomon spoke with the God of Israel in person twice and was singled out for special blessing. Yet he left a son who was more foolish than he was, and Solomon died knowing that the great kingdom God had given him from his father would soon be torn asunder.
Solomon made a mess of parenting. What hope do we have? The greatest principle of child-rearing is this-as a man and a woman grow closer and closer in their personal relationship to God they will grow closer to each other. A marriage rooted in the love of God is the best antibiotic for infected kids who possess the curse of the original sin.
God often uses parenting to demonstrate how needy we are, how helpless we are when we try to live by rules rather than by a relationship with God. A marriage where both father and mother are committed to living in relationship with Jesus will become a sanctuary if and when your children reject that same relationship with Jesus.
The Lord punished Solomon by raising up an adversary named Hadad to plague Solomon. God’s purpose is not to punish. He wants the adversary to turn Solomon’s heart back to Him. When we suffer adversity, we should examine ourselves to see if there are sins in our lives. That is not always true, but it is something to which we must be sensitive.
- Jeremiah, David: The Jeremiah Study Bible: New King James Version (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013; p. 457)
- Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament. Part of Wordsearch 12 Bible software package.
- Dilday, R. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Vol. 9: 1,2 Kings (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 19878, pp. 120-125)
- Stanley, C.F.: The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: New American Standard Version. (Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles; 2005)
- MacArthur, J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers; 2006)
- Lucado, M.: The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson; 2010; pp. 449-450)
- Dr. Chuck F. Betters, “The Most Important Child-Rearing Principle.” Retrieved from Christinity.firstname.lastname@example.org