Summary: Perhaps the fall of Solomon is one of the most distressing stories in the history of mankind. Here was a man who started out well but finished shamefully. Fifteen points.
Avoiding Solomon’s Slippery Slope (I Kings 11:1-41)
Disobedience has many biting consequences. No one’s life gives us a clearer picture of this principle than Solomon’s slippery decline.
Perhaps the fall of Solomon is one of the most distressing stories in the history of mankind. Here was a man who started out well but finished shamefully as recorded in I Kings 10 and 11.
At the conclusion of Solomon’s reign as king his relationship with God waxes and wanes as he compromises with his wealth, his wives and his relationship with God. "Now the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice." We find God saying to Solomon, "I will tear the kingdom away from you" (1Kg 11:9-11). In consequence, the kingdom became divided into two kingdoms, Solomon’s house retaining the smallest one.
Illustration: Disappointment is always a surpise. Best to make preparation to mitigate against it.
Early in my career as a doctor I went to see a patient who was coming out of anesthesia. Far off church chimes sounded. “I must be in heaven,” the woman murmured. Then she saw me. “No, I can’t be,” she said. “There’s Dr. Campbell.”
Lenore Campbell, M.D., in Medical Economics
The first sign of the deterioration, decline and self-destruction that signals disobedience is a loss of one’s intimate relationship with the Lord.
Regardless of how strong you think your walk with God might be, anyone, like Solomon, may let it slip by not paying sufficient attention to God’s word daily. A wholehearted devotion to God is necessary, and we cannot divide our loyalties between God and other things.
The following are the ways that Solomon gave in to the slippery slope of temptation and experienced the destruction, disaster and displeasure of God:
1. Solomon at first resisted the pressure of his 1000 wives to worship idols but eventually moved to toleration, rationalization, identification with sin and eventual compromise.
"Now it came about when Solomon was old that his wives turned his heart away from God and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God as the heart of David his father had been." (2 Kings 4:4) Before we allow pressure to overwhelm us we must counter-act it by overcoming evil with good and not simply co-existing with its influence, presence or philosophies in our mind.
2. Solomon tried to accumulate things that gradually became his delight instead of God, His word and His will. Avoid thinking that you can stock up on other things that will become your security, satisfaction and source of success instead of the Lord. Solomon spent his life hoarding the following:
(1) Gold and silver
Solomon accumulated enormous quantities of gold, and his kingdom had so much silver that it was counted as common as stones (1Kg 10:14-21,27).
(2) Thousands of horses
Solomon’s stock and trade in horses from Egypt was huge (1Kg 10:26,28-29).
(3) A thousand wives
Solomon had 700 wives. These were daughters of foreign kings. He also had 300 concubines (1Kg 11:1-3).
God anticipated the future desire of the nation to have a king. This law was to apply to every king, including Solomon. You will find it in Deuteronomy 17:14-20.
"The king shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses..."
"Neither shall he multiply wives for himself lest his heart turn away..."
"Nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself..."
"When the king sits on the throne... he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll... And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life... carefully observing all the words of this law... that he may not turn aside from the commandment"
3. Solomon neglected his responsibility to meditate and obey the word of God on a daily basis. The king was required to make a copy of the above verse and be careful to obey it in all ways. When Solomon stopped reading the law of God he gradually replaced his own thinking, priorities and perspectives with that of God’s word, His will and His ways. When we neglect our time in God’s word and our time in prayer on the essentials of His attributes, His will and His principles we allow our minds to be filled with fleshly interests. Eventually, Solomon did the opposite of what he must do to receive God’s blessings, favor and protection. Jesus said, "He who is not for me is against me." In these last days we too "must pay closer attention to what we have heard lest we drift away" (Heb 2:1-3).
4. Solomon overlooked the fact that disobedience to God brings terrible consequences. As a result of Solomon’s idolatrous ways, his kingdom was diminished and divided and his legacy ruined. The Lord sent more than twelve nations against Solomon and all of his successes crumbled under the weight of opposition and the terrible ravages of war. "Then the Lord raised up Hadad the Edomite , to be an enemy of Solomon." (I Kgs 11:14)"God also raised up Rezon to be an enemy against Solomon. Rezon was Israel’s bitter enemy for the rest of Solomon’s reign and he made trouble." (I Kgs 11:23,24)God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in the proper time. (I Pet 5:5,6)