Summary: The message chronicles Solomon’s heart slowly turning away from the Lord.
As we saw in last week’s message compromise is the first sign that character erosion is taking place. Solomon’s story is quite tragic as it shows the dangers of compromise and disobedience. When you take one step in the wrong direction—a direction that you know is unwise—it can lead to ungodly actions and ultimately destruction. Of course, the enemy’s lie to you is: “A little bit of that is not going to hurt you. You can handle it.” Concessions usually begin in small, insignificant ways, so it’s easy to underestimate their potential for damage. Compromise isn’t usually a huge act of disobedience; more often, it starts as a minor slip in your thinking or behavior toward God. The slope becomes slippery, and each subsequent act of disobedience is easier to rationalize. Every little accommodation weakens your conscience and makes it more difficult to reverse the downhill trend. We need to realize that whenever we compromise in our lives we are walking dangerously close to the edge of a cliff, where one carless step can send our lives spiraling out of control. Everyone lives their life according to a certain set of principles but the question is which of these principles are open for negotiation and which are not. When it comes to moral values and other principles spelled out in God’s Word there is no room for negotiation. God warned Solomon against alliances with Egypt, but he bypassed the Lord’s instruction to buy horses. Eventually, Solomon found himself agreeing to an alliance with Egypt and marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. It wasn’t long before King Solomon took more wives who worshiped pagan gods. The result was that by the time Solomon was old his wives turned his heart away from the Lord. Today I want us to take a good look at the danger of compromise and how it can send our lives spiraling out of control.
I. The greater Solomon became the less important God was in his life.
A. God gave Solomon incredible wealth and fame.
1. Solomon’s yearly income averaged 666 talents (twenty-five tons) in gold from all sources, including commerce and taxes.
2. In addition there was an unspecified amount of income from tolls or tariffs from the various merchants and business agents that traveled through the land, as well as tribute from conquered kings.
3. The ceremonial shields that Solomon kept in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. "These shields, like all the shields of the ancients, were made of wood or basket-work, but were different in the fact they were covered with gold plate instead of leather".
4. The ivory throne, overlaid with finest gold, was a large and imposing object, in keeping with the symbolism of the seat of justice and ruler-ship of a great kingdom. The armrests were flanked by lions, as were each of the six steps
5. The trading ships are literally "ships of Tarshish." Most likely this name referred to large merchant ships designed to carry ore. They were seaworthy enough to travel long distances under difficult weather conditions. These ships came to be used for other types of cargo as well.