Day 16: The Turning of a Righteous Man

"As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God..."

I Kings 11:4, NIV 


One of the things that many people do not realize is that Solomon may not have been a good man at the time of his death. Now this seems like an unusual statement about the wisest mortal that ever walked the face of the earth, but as you read the account of the latter part of his life, you realize that it might just be true.


The book of I Kings reveals that the second half of  Solomon's life was a life of disobedience to God. As hard as it may seem to believe, it was Solomon who brought into this nation of the chosen people of God such sins as fornication, adultery, homosexuality and the killing of babies - all under the "guise" of religion. It is not that he practiced these sins, but it was Solomon as king who permitted these sins to exist in Israel.


Why would Solomon do these awful things? We are told it was because he "loved many women". In fact, Solomon had 700 wives of noble birth and 300 secondary wives. These women were from nations that God forbade marriage with, not because God was promoting a type of racism, but because He knew that these women came from nations that worshiped false gods.


And the purpose of idolatry then just as it is today was to allow people to indulge their sinful cravings, cravings that included every imaginable sort of sexual immorality. Going hand in hand with these sexual perversions was the sin of killing one's own babies, a natural step for those who indulge in evil but don't want to be "punished" by a baby. And these sins were so vile in the eyes of the LORD that He raised up enemies against Israel, and made plans for the splitting of His mighty nation.


And Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, the man who wrote such magnificent books as the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, was largely responsible for the fall of Israel! All because he decided to leave the path of wisdom and live the life of a fool. And a righteous man who was beloved by the LORD became an evil man because he allowed his heart to be turned away from the righteous precepts of the One true God. 


It's something to think about. It's something to take warning from. This is why we read!


"The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel..."

I Kings 11:9, NIV


Today is the 16th day of the 30 day challenge to read through the inspired histories of the champions and the kings, with the reading for today consisting of I Kings 9-15. May God richly bless you as you seek His ways!