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Solomon - From Righteousness To Idolatry

Outside of David his father, Solomon is the most famous King world wide. He's not only known for his great wisdom, wealth and power, but also as the King who built the Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon also wrote the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon in the Bible. As many had done after him, he started out with a bang, but ended with a whimper.

Solomon took the throne of Israel around 967 B.C. and ruled for 40 years. The first 20 years of his reign were prosperous. He took on many building projects in Israel, he ruled righteously and there was peace. As time wore on though Solomon began trusting in his power and wealth. He became proud and this was the beginning of his slide. Instead of trusting in God who gave Solomon the kingdom, Solomon began building foreign alliances through marriages. Ultimately Solomon ended up with 700 wives and 300 concubines.

"King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 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.' Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray." 1 Kings 11:2-3

By Solomon's disobedience to the Law and intermarrying with so many foreign women when he became older, they influenced him into idolatry. Solomon never stopped worshiping God, but he also included other gods. (1 Kings 11:4) Solomon tolerated idolatry and compromised God's Truth for himself. He allowed paganism to mingle with the One true God and settled on worldly wisdom rather than what was divine.

"He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites.  He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. " 1 Kings 11:5-7

It's fair to say Solomon ran after the flesh when he should have been following closely behind God and depending on Him to keep him on a straight path.

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. " Romans 8:13

He knew God's commands, he'd been tremendously blessed by God and was visited by God twice only to eventually turn away. God became angry with Solomon and promised that He would tear the kingdom away from him but for David's sake he would leave Solomon one tribe while the others would be ripped away. It would happen, God said, under the rule of his son. And it did. (1 Kings 11:9-13) Solomon gives us a clear example of what happens when we allow other things to take the place of God. Anything that does is an idol and God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14)

Throughout history we see God waging a war, destroying, His wrath being stirred up against people for one thing...idolatry. God cannot bear idolatry. He simply cannot allow someone or something being lifted up to His place and to wear His crown. False gods have always been tolerant of each other and willing to share their thrones, but not God.

The plagues He sent on Egypt was a war against Egyptian gods. Each plague was specifically designed and purposed to attack a certain god the Egyptians worshiped, to prove to them He was the only God and all the gods they worshiped were worthless and powerless. When the Philistines took the ark and set it inside their god Dagon's Temple (1 Samuel 5) the Philistines found their beloved god laying face down with it's head and hands broken off. Dagon had no problem sharing his temple with God, but God did. Judah and Israel were eventually destroyed and the people scattered because of idolatry. Many ancient, powerful nations have been brought down because of idolatry. For Solomon to be placed on a throne that God created, for Solomon to inherit a kingdom that God put together then turn to other gods was a severe slap in the face.

Everything in the universe He created. He keeps it running. We wake up every morning because of Him. He gives us everything we need to live. He loves us, cares for us and instead of showing gratitude and proper worship, we make other things our gods as if they had anything to do with us just taking in a breath.

"But their idols are silver and gold,  made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands, but cannot feel,  feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them" Psalm 115:4-8 

What an insult to such a great Being. To attribute all of creation and even our lives and success on ourselves or something other than God's blessing and design is insulting. Idolatry isn't just a wooden, plaster, or metal image or object. It's anything we lift up in our lives that get more attention, more devotion, more love than God. It's money, other people, things we buy, things we want to buy, cars, food, success, revenge, grief, obsessions, etc. God is a jealous God and will wage a war against anyone and anything that is lifted up in His place in our heart, thoughts and lifestyles. He will not share His glory with another. Us humans are prone to idolatry. We are prone to exchanging the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). We are prone to accepting anything that will cater to ourselves and turn ourselves in idols. Most men will follow certain religions because it appeals to their sinful nature. It allows them to be selfish, violent, hateful, self centered, greedy and lustful therefore they love it and will fight to keep it. Since it's in us, we need to be extremely careful.

"I am the LORD; that is My name! I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols." Isaiah 42:8

This is where Solomon fell. It's tragic that a man so blessed by God, who was even allowed to live from birth, who was exalted to the throne of Israel for no other reason then God picked him and he turns his worship to other gods, himself and women. Solomon should serve as an example that all the wisdom he had he eventually just became a fool. For all the wealth he had Solomon became bankrupt inside and it had far reaching repercussions. Wealth is not such a blessing. The more someone has the more they're prone to turn away. In the end, it cannot save anyone. Nothing can save us but God alone. We will all still die and take nothing with us and everything we've worshiped will sit in judgment against us.

He is jealous over us, His name, His character, His sovereignty, His throne, His crown, all things He created and will not allow anything else to take His place. Sometimes He will have strike us to get us to turn back to Him and it can be devastating, but always necessary. I believe Solomon is in heaven, because years later he did repent and turn away, but like I end so many other posts...there are no great men and women of God. Only a great God.
Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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