Of all the Old Testament prophets, heroes and kings, Solomon must be the one that intrigues me the most.
Everyone knows the story of Moses and how he rescued the Israelites from slavery. Everybody loves the story of David and how he defeated the giant, Goliath. And of course Noah and the ark he built is known around the world.
King Solomon though is one you just never hear about, at least I know I don’t. Which is a little disappointing when you consider just how much good sermon material is in there. Truthfully the only reason I’m even mentioning Solomon right now is because my wife and I are reading through the book of first kings.
Speaking of my wife, we read 1 Kings 11 the other night, you know where I’m going with this, the part where the wisest man on earth does something really dumb. Yup, I’m talking about those 700 women he married. My wife asked an obvious yet very profound question, “why would he do something so stupid? He had an in with God, God chose him, God gave him the gift of wisdom, God allowed him to build the temple and then a very elaborate palace for himself. What’s his deal?” I didn’t immediately have an answer to that question, I suppose I still don’t, at least not completely. Then this morning for some reason I was thinking about her question and decided to open up my study bible and read it again.
In spite of all that wisdom given to him by God, King Solomon loved women, he loved them so much that he married women from other nations, the very nations that God told him not to take a wife from due to their worshipping of false gods. Solomon did it anyway, and in doing so invited these gods into his palace along with his wives, allowing them special areas where theses wives of his could go and worship their gods.
If you know one thing about the Bible, you know that every book prior to Judges (and almost every book after) explains how the Israelites had a propensity to turn from the God they knew, to gods of their own making, gods of other nations and various other false gods.
If you know one thing about God, it’s that this form of adulterous worship was the one thing that angered Him the most! How many times in their journey from Egypt to the promised land did the Israelites turn from God and then suffer the consequences? A lot! One would think they would learn.
Not Solomon, the wisest man to ever have lived couldn’t keep his love for women in check. The question posed by my wife is that Solomon who spoke directly with God, who heard the promises God made to his people, who witnessed the building of the temple, would subsequently throw it all away just because he couldn’t control himself, why?
I think the answer is simpler than it seems, and it’s one that most of us can relate to today. Solomon had an in with God, but so do we! The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus gives us that in. Jesus taught us to call God ‘Father’ we too have the same in that Solomon had, and we too make dumb mistakes everyday that should take that in away.
We may not have shrines in our homes dedicated to the worship of a specific god, but we do have possessions that we worship. Think of the technology we have, and trust me I’m the worst when it comes to this one, TVs, smartphones, tablets and computers take up so much of our time that I bet looking in on us God sees it worship.
Maybe it’s not technology for you, maybe it’s your car, or your garden, maybe it’s your house, I know for me it’s all the new tech that comes out making my two year old phone look like it came off the ark with Noah. I’m also not trying to call anyone out, I’m just saying that we have more in common in with Solomon than we care to admit. It’s easy to see where someone else has sin in their life but can we accept it just as easily when they point out the sin in ours?
Solomons wives and their false gods led Solomon to the worship of these false gods, we read about it and wonder why he let that happen. Perhaps we should read that and learn from his mistake, Solomon was wise and let that fact get to his head, he knew what he was doing, he’s the wisest man on earth for goodness sake! He wasn’t about to take advice from someone with less wisdom.
Let’s not make that same mistake, let’s not sit back and think we got it all figured out. Believe it or not, you don’t, and I don’t have all the answers, listen to each other and always, always go back to the Word. Who knows, if we humble ourselves and let God reveal Himself to us, we may just find that false god in our life and finally be able to get rid of it.
God’s love for Solomon didn’t end with all those foreign gods, and God’s love for us doesn’t end even though we have sin in our hearts. He does want us to repent of that sin though, He wants us to learn from it, and perhaps, in doing so we can be a light to others who also struggle with the same sin that we did.
Thanks for reading and sharing.