Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest man who had ever lived. God blessed him in ways that we can only imagine, yet he fell into sin and brought disgrace upon himself. Most of the world’s mightiest men of history are known, not just for their exploits, bur also for their tragic end.
Scripture tells us of Solomon’s three mistakes so that we can learn not to fall from grace into disgrace.
“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” (1 Kings 3:1).
Solomon’s problems began when he thought he could do a better job of protecting himself than God. Probably he was working from fear rather than faith, because even before he came to the throne his half-brother Adonijah tried to take over, “Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him” (1 Kings 1:5), and some of David’s closest allies conspired against him, “And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him” (1 Kings 1:7). So he used worldly means to solidify his position by calling for Egypt’s help. He ought to have gone to the prophets and priests, but instead made friends with Israel’s oldest enemy.
This is exactly what we do at times. Instead of going to God, we run off to get assistance from the world. How few actually seek the counsel of the Lord in their daily lives. By seeking them out we may be guilty of being “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). God Himself will bring the right people into our lives; therefore we must trust that He has the best plan for us. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days. And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places” (1 Kings 3:2-3).
Solomon forgave himself for his ecumenical spirit. Yes, he was a true worshipper of God, but he saw nothing wrong with a bit of multi-faith religion thrown in. Maybe he was looking for some common ground between the religions. Maybe he thought that his presence among them would influence them to turn to Jehovah. But they did not convert, Solomon did! He made a point of visiting their temples, mosques and grottos, but could not see that he was offending the only true God. “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” (2 Corinthians 6:15).
There are many today who think that God is pleased with inter-faith dialogue, but He is not. There can be no blessing on any ministry that consorts with those who teach opposite to what is in the Scriptures. If we play with the serpent, it will bite us soon enough.
“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” (1 Kings 11:1-4).
What Solomon allowed in soon took control of his heart and life. He had everything he needed, but wanted more. He had God’s precious promises, but the devil blinded his eyes with the wealth of the world and the lust of pleasure. “Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin” (Nehemiah 13:26). The call of the world drowned out the “still small voice” of God (1 Kings 19:12). For some reason he thought he needed 1,000 women in his life. Maybe he thought he was going to build the kingdom all by himself. His ideas backfired, for it was this that would start the downfall of both Solomon and Israel.
Demas is an example of a believer who went from grace to disgrace, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10). The apostle John encourages us to keep our eyes fixed on Christ rather than the world’s allurements, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17). If we do not walk in grace we will never have the power to resist temptation.
We must constantly remind ourselves that the enemy endeavours to plant tares in our lives. These will grow up and choke the good seed unless we are vigilant enough to keep them out. The things of this world have the power to spoil our lives as they did for Solomon. Outward blessings are no indication of God’s approval. The moment we leave God out of our lives, we begin to move from grace to disgrace.