This week we are going to take a look at Solomon and his wives. Solomon is described as the wisest man that lived and yet for all his wisdom he had a terrible weakness and it cost him and the kingdom dearly.
2nd Chronicles 1:7-12 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead. Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.
In the beginning of Solomon's reign he is given an opportunity by God to ask for whatever he wanted. Evidently Solomon had been paying attention to his father David and made a wise choice, asking for more wisdom. God granted him his wish and promised to give him much more which He certainly did.
Just before this Solomon had made another choice, 1st Kings 3:1 And 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 the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. Following this is another account of Solomon's dream with this added; And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. Verse 14. Solomon would live a full life and rule a full 40 years, he would build the first temple, and be famous for his wisdom but he would also prove that there is a greater wisdom than earthly wisdom.
After Solomon had finished building the temple God appears to him again. 1st Kings 9: 1-10
And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do, That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house? And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil.
This temple would contain much of the riches that had been gained in both David's rule as well as Solomon's, not to mention the things that came from the wilderness in Moses' time.
Well enough about the temple for a while, lets get back to Solomon and his wives. 1st Kings 11: 1-8 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: 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. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
Now if you know about his father David, you know that he had a problem with women to, remember Bathsheba? Yet David who had many wives and concubines as well never let them turn his heart away from God to worship other gods or build alters to them. This breach that Solomon made would grow until the children of Israel would have to be removed from the land a few hundred years later.
Before we go any further let me say that i am drawing a lesson from this but the lesson applies to both men and women. By that i mean in your own lives the person with the greatest influence will likely be your mate. Your choice in this area has the potential to GREATLY inherence or diminish your relationship with the Father and may well be your downfall if you choose poorly. In our society, romance and love are so cheapened that one would think choosing a mate were like choosing a car, you take 4 or 5 for a spin, decide which you like the best, take it home and a few years later trade it in for something new and exciting. Look, in this life you don't get to choose your parents, you don't get to choose your siblings, you don't even get to choose your children, just whether to let them be born or not unfortunately. You only get to choose your friends and your mate, friends can come and go but your mate is another matter, TAKE YOUR TIME and choose well, you will never regret it. If you have already chosen, make the best possible marriage you can with that choice but don't let it lead you away from God as Solomon did. Listen to what God thought of the matter.
1st Kings 11: 9-14 And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen. And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.
Solomon, who early in his rule had peace and who all the kings in the area brought presents to now would have adversaries and after his death the kingdom would be divided in two and would never be the dominant kingdom again until today. Just 5 short years after the death of Solomon we find this account in scripture.
2nd Chronicles 12: 1-10 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the Lord, With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians. And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous. And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries. So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house.
5 years after his death the kingdom was divided, the nation nearly destroyed and all the treasure of 500 plus years taken. If you will remember it all began with Solomon taking the king of Egypt's daughter for a wife and now the king of Egypt has the temple treasures. Wouldn't you say that was a bad trade? For all his wisdom, Solomon didn't have the heart for God that David his father had. You see wisdom will get you a long way in this life but if you know all the mysteries and can decipher any riddle but don't APPLY the lessons to your own life it is all in vain. Solomon wrote many proverbs and other things but listen to what he said at the end of it all.
Ecclesiastes 12: 8-14 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.
And from another man who was pretty wise himself, Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
The fear of the Lord is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding, it seems that for all his wisdom, Solomon could have used a little understanding. How about you? Me to.
Well until next week the fount of all wisdom, the giver of truth bless and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace, and lead you step by step into understanding.