THE RISE AND FALL OF SOLOMON – I Kings 4: 29-34
Describing the wisdom God gave to Solomon, the Bible puts it in these words. “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country and all the wisdom of Egypt (I Kings 4:29-30).
His success story has its root in or actually started with – “And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father…And the King went to Gibson to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee…Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad. For who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing” (I Kings 3:3-5, 9). Here we see the root of his greatness to power, wisdom, fame and wealth. We notice also that his downfall began with love story, but this time, it was love for strange women. 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” (I Kings 11:1-2).
Love for God and love for the sinful pleasures of the world are never bed-fellows. They are like day and night or darkness and light. Once must give way for the other. They never co-existed, and never will.
In the light of this obvious fact, the apostle John warns: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, if any man loves 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, the pride of life, is not of the Father, but the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides forever (I John 2:15-17).
The great apostle Peter gave, a similar warning or advise to all believers engaged in the heavenly race. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (I Peter 2:11).
Every act of disobedience to God’s revealed will has a consequence; Solomon suffered for his wrong choice. Read I Kings 11:3-11 for full details. Though he was the wisest man of his time, Solomon failed to apply his Spiritual wisdom to every area of his life, seeking unholy alliances with heathen nations and marrying foreign wives to seal these alliances. The security of his kingdom from foreign invasion was not going to come from political and military alliances, but from God who brought him to the throne with great promises. Believers in the Lord are still making the same mistakes today. For one reason or another, many are still entering into unholy alliances and compromises with the unbelieving world. The word of God says, “for whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15: 4).
We are to learn from Solomon’s life and experience. There is nothing wrong in learning from personal experience. However, it is better to learn from the experiences of others ahead of us. No one has all the time to learn everything in life by trial and error. Be wiser, allow history help you.
Let me conclude with these words from scripture. “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10: 11-12). May God help us to take heed to our faith in Christ Jesus. May he help us never to fall out of the faith in Jesus name. Amen.