1 Kings 11
1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
There’s a lot one can learn from him, but also a lot one can pray God to spare one from.
Solomon was the second child of David by his wife Bathsheba, the first one having died. She was the wife of Uriah, whom David murdered. David also found forgiveness for his sin after he acknowledged his sin and prayed the prayer of Ps 51.
David had other sons who were older but Solomon was the one David chose and whom God loved (2Sam 12:24).
Solomon came to the throne while his father was still alive to advise him. One day God appeared to Solomon and told him to ask anything he wanted and he asked for wisdom to be able to rightly rule over and judge the people of God. God was pleased with his request and granted him his request and furthermore added riches and honour and long life.
Solomon ruled Israel with great wisdom.
One day two women came to him fighting over a baby, for each had a child but the one died during the night for the one had suffocated the child by accident. She then quietly swapped their children and when the other awoke her child was dead but when she looked at the child she realised that it was not her child. As the king listened to their quarrel he instructed the living child to be killed with a sword and divided so that each mother could have half. The mother whose child it was immediately interjected and said that the child should rather be given to the other woman, but the woman who stole the child wanted the child to be killed. By that the king could discern who the real mother was and instructed the child to be given to her and not killed (1Kings 3:16-28).
Solomon wrote many psalms and proverbs too which contains such wisdom that it has to be from God.
For example, Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
People are sometimes so sure that they have found the right way, but it’s their own way, not God’s, and it leads to death.
When the queen of Sheba heard of the report of Solomon’s great wisdom, she came to see for herself for she did not believe it. But what she saw took her breath away and she says that the half had not even been told her! (1Kings 10:7)
The temple Solomon built was also a great marvel, even the way it was built that everything was prepared completed beforehand so that no clanging of tools were heard at the building site (1Kings 6:7). At the dedication of the temple he sacrificed to God in abundance and prayed to God a marvelous prayer, and the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice (2Chron 7:1).
Now let’s consider his other side. It was as if the enemy observed what Solomon did and devised a way to get at him. It seems as if that zeal for God waned in his old age.
As we’ve read in our text, Solomon loved many strange women of the nations God had said to the children of Israel not to take wives, for God had warned that they will turn their heart away from God.
The plan of the enemy was to separate him from God, for he got his strength and greatness from God.
So too with the first people on earth, Adam and Eve, the devil’s plan was to separate them from God, and he succeeded and they were sent from the garden.
This is the same enemy of our souls who seeks to separate us from our God, for he knows only then he can truly harm us.
The devil studies your life to see where he can enter, for he “walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour” (1Pet 5:8).
You find beautiful young people, everything going for them, but through their foolishness their life is destroyed, like the prodigal son.
Dina, Jacob’s daughter, was brought up in a home that feared God. But she wanted to see the people of the other nations and she went out all alone, and so she was taken and eventually raped. So too many young people are wounded in soul and body for they leave God’s people to see what the world is like.
God had warned the children of Israel not to take wives of the nations round about, for He said that “they will turn your hearts away from the Lord” (Deut 7:3, 4). And so it happened too. He loved these women and the fire of God was extinguished in his heart. From then on the life of this wise king started to go down, and things started to go wrong.
So too we find Christians bring in things from the world, and look to the world for their fashions and they do the things the world does, like watching TV, pornography, worldly novels etc.
Surely Solomon had good reasons why he did what he did, for example for diplomatic reasons to secure peace between them. So too you might have reasons why you watch TV, maybe for the sport, but it will turn your heart from God.
If we bring foreign things into the church, then the fire of God is lost.
The city of Troy could not be taken, as it was extremely fortified. But the enemy was still able to get inside by a clever plan. They brought a magnificent looking horse statue to battle and then fled, leaving the horse in the field. The people of Troy took the horse inside. But they didn’t know that there were soldiers inside. During the night those soldiers got out of the horse, opened the city doors and those outside entered and took the city.
We bring in the enemy right in our lives by what we watch and read. As long as we obey God the enemy cannot touch us.
Solomon eventually even built temples to the gods of his wives close to the temple of the Lord God (1Kings 11:5-8).
This is written as a warning to us.
Solomon, who wrote that amazing proverb, fell in the very way he warned others, for he took these women which seemed right in his own eyes, yet they were the ways of death to him.
God also warned Israel that if they do not deal thoroughly with the Canaanites, those left will be thorns in their flesh and give them trouble.
Are there any practises of the world that you allow in your life?
Yes, you might start so enthusiastically for the Lord, but after some time, what does it look like? Are you still on fire for the Lord?
When we read the end of the book of Ecclesiastes after Solomon had experienced everything, that he observed that it was all a waste of time and only to fear God and turn away from wickedness, is what matters (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
If you have fallen into sin, return to God today like the prodigal son and God will show you mercy.