Solomon’s Unfaithfulness to God

Open Your Bible

1 Kings 10:1-29, 1 Kings 11:1-43, Matthew 1:1-16

I recently discovered a website that sells bona fide designer items at discounted prices. (However, even at a “discount,” everything is still way out of my price range.) Surfing this site is like taking a sneak peek into a famous, wildly wealthy person’s closet. I’m not actually indulging. I’m just browsing! But the slope is steep. I know from past experience that I can easily go from browsing, to buying, to justifying in about two-point-five seconds flat.

Our culture is obsessed with wealth, beauty, and sexuality. Social media influencers attempt to sell me expensive clothes, face oils, and procedures, showing me what life could look like if I had access to more—more money, more freedom, more of everything. And yet, for all their photos of fancy clothes, private jets, and exotic places, no one has risen to the level of King Solomon at the height of his wealth and influence. It was out of control and unfathomable.

Long story short? Solomon got caught up in the things of this world, not only in the trappings of his wealth, but in the sexual power it gave him over women. The numbers are staggering: seven hundred wives, three hundred concubines— I mean, how would one even have the time for a thousand lovers? It’s safe to say that many of these women weren’t there by choice. The evil in many of Solomon’s actions would be hard to calculate in terms that would translate to today’s world. At the very least, he was an idolator and an adulterer to the highest degree. In the beginning, wealth gave Solomon freedom. In the end, it enslaved him.

Every time he added possessions and people to his entourage, Solomon believed he was gaining power. In reality, he was giving himself away. Bit by bit, the wisdom and character that had made him famous faded as his unfaithfulness to a faithful God grew. But it wasn’t wisdom and character or wealth that had built his kingdom—the Lord did all of that. While He did bless Solomon with “a wise and understanding heart” and even the “riches and honor” he hadn’t asked for, the blessing was always tied to Solomon’s commitment to walk in God’s “ways and keep [His] statutes” (1 Kings 3:12–14). In other words, Solomon would have to choose God’s wisdom over his own—every single day. Instead, “Solomon did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, and unlike his father David, he did not remain loyal to the LORD” (1 Kings 11:6).

Wealth has a way of making me believe the absolute lie that I don’t need God. I know the slippery slope firsthand. And while Solomon’s actions are unfathomable, if I had been given all the wealth in the world, I hope that my heart would remain pure. But I don’t know for sure. Solomon lost sight of his need for God. It’s easy for me to do the same.

Jesus, help me to fix my eyes on You. Close my eyes to anything that would give me the illusion of power, pleasure, or position. May my life remain fully dependent on You, the One who creates all, gives all, and has within Him the power, wisdom, and the right to take it all away.

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27 thoughts on "Solomon’s Unfaithfulness to God"

  1. Jennifer Anapol says:

    The story of Solomon is so sad to me. He starts out completely following after the Lord and then wonders away from him. I think it is easy to begin to worship the blessings instead of the one who gave the blessings. The Lord has given me an amazing husband and daughter and I find that it was easier to connect with him before I had these things. Lord, please keep my eyes on you and remember my need for you.

  2. Maya Bulos says:

    This devotion reminds me to be grateful for evert season, situation, and circumstance I may find myself in. In terms of finances, or health, etc. Sometimes what we think is the worst situation just might be Gods protection over us, and part of his divine plan to use these situations to transform us to his image, likeness, and draw us closer to himself.

  3. Emily says:

    Thank you Beth! When I talked to my husband he pointed out that Benjamin was decimated to near extinction at the end of the book of Judges and thought it pretty likely it was mostly absorbed into Judah and they were counted as one tribe.

  4. Monica Davis says:

    Grant me Wisdom to maintain daily holiness before you, lord.

  5. Beth says:

    Emily, in the next chapter (12) we will see that the tribe of Judah was given to Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) and the tribe of Benjamin joined him also.

  6. Geralyn Paray says:

    I think based on these readings so far, we see how important it is to keep Gods commandments. Yet there are times in my life where I choose to do the opposite. We live in a sinful world and turning away from sin, from sexual desires, the need for more, is really difficult. I recently started working as a nurse and it has given me financial security but in these past couple of months, I’ve seen my credit card bills go up because of this need for wanting more. Please pray for me ladies! Thanks!

  7. Emily says:

    I’m a little confused on the story of Ahijah and Jeroboam. He tore the cloak in 12 pieces and told Jeroboam to take 10 for himself and God would give one tribe to Solomon’s son. But that’s only 11. Where’s the 12th tribe?

    1. Janet C says:

      I’m wondering that too

  8. Ashley White says:

    So good!!!!

  9. DebRN says:

    The first thought that came to mind when I started reading 1 Kings 10 is that God graciously and generously gives us His wisdom freely!! As contrasted by the Queen of Sheba who felt an obligation perhaps to pay for it in some way. The God who lives only seeks those who will receive Him. This another wave of amazing grace for me.

  10. Mari V says:

    There were times when I thought what if I had riches. What if I was wealthy and didn’t have to worry about getting this or getting that.
    I could just go get it or not have to worry about how my children’s college education is going to get paid for. If I had riches I often thought I would share. I would give. But would I really? I am middle aged and children are still young. My son is a freshman in college and my daughter eighth grade. During the 20+ years when I was married to their dad God was faithful! We always have what we needed. Very few times was there extra and trust me I was so grateful! But sometimes my ungrateful heart felt angry as there was never a whole lot of extra to do this or get that. But even during those times God remained faithful! Our church came alongside us to give us a hand and I am forever grateful! And even now as I’ve been single parenting God is providing for my needs. I don’t have a whole lot of extras but I have what I need. I want to think that during those hard times God was preparing me for where I am today. I’m totally dependent the God knows and WILL meet my needs.

    1. Mari V says:

      I have always said to my children God is faithful even when we’re not.

  11. Melissa Graves says:

    A job in a congressman’s office brought us to Washington DC about 20 years ago. I remember that at that time, a couple we met who ministered to congressmen and their staff said how difficult it was for even the godliest of them to remain devoted to God. Even my husband’s boss, a professing, committed Christian, was caught in some questionable moral behavior and ultimately resigned from office. Thankfully, my husband was long gone from that job and didn’t suffer the consequences of his former boss’ sins. But it has brought home the lesson of Solomon’s downfall, albeit on a smaller scale, that no one is immune from the allure of sin in the context of the halls of power. In Proverbs 30, ironically, Solomon prays, “…give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”…Even Solomon was drawn away from his close walk with God. Keep our hearts steadfastly on You, dear Lord. Help us to remember our own frailties so that we never forget our desperate need for You.

  12. Terri says:

    Only by the Grace of God can we hope to follow Him. Solomon in 1Kings 4:29 had wisdom and understanding beyond measure. That would have included wisdom and understanding of scripture. He knew more than anyone about God. Yet he walked away.

  13. Churchmouse says:

    Shawn, I’m so happy that you are being recognized for your faithful commitment to your profession! I’m praying that your example will be an inspiration and encouragement to others to stay the course, work diligently and pursue excellence. I pray they will see that your talent is God-given and that you are His faithful steward. Enjoy the celebration!

  14. Shawn Parks says:

    I am being honored next week with 23 other educators from around our state. This event is a Solomon-style extravaganza. I am in this position because of God’s Grace. I am asking for prayers that in the glamour and extravagance my eyes and heart not be diverted from my God who led me here, it instead this be a special time to acknowledge Him that His glory be evident in all I say and do! Thank you, sweet sisters, for your leadership, encouragement, and devotion to your God!

  15. Maura says:

    I must admit I have had thoughts that money could be my salvation and it saddens me that i have had such thoughts. I am not sure how this kind of wealth would mess with me, but am thankful that the lack of it has brought me to a greater understanding of who God is as my provider, how He gives abundantly just when I need it the most and how He allows me to be generous and bless in big ways even when I have little. He is so good to me. Lord, don’t let the riches of this world, power, or position pull me away from you. Fix my eyes Jesus on you as the Way, theTruth, and the Life, the only treasure I need. I praise you God as my Provider, Savior, Redeemer. May your wisdom be evident and your grace be poured out in my words and love. Praise to you Jesus! Bless these sisters in your mighty ways this day my Abundant God.

  16. Churchmouse says:

    It seems as though loyalty is an undervalued virtue. Friendships fail. Divorce is commonplace. Christians change churches. Of course there are some valid reasons but sometimes working things out, compromising or seeking common ground is just too hard, too time consuming and too inconvenient. Folks would rather move on. However, God highly values and demands loyalty. There is one God and it is Him. Humility before a holy God is essential but pride is sometimes hard to slay. We want to be heard, to be seen and we want our possessions to reflect our value. Solomon and the queen of Sheba had everything the world had to offer. It’s interesting that the queen recognizes that it is Solomon’s God who should get all the credit for all that Solomon has. Solomon lost this perspective, this reality. Loyalty to the ultimate Provider was minimized as Solomon’s ego and possessions expanded. God did not condemn Solomon for having riches. He condemned him for having a divided heart. Solomon disregarded God and that led to Israel’s destruction. A warning for us today – to guard our hearts, to remain loyal to God, to seek first His kingdom. Gratitude for His provision, acknowledging that all we have comes from His gracious hand, is a good place to start.

  17. Angie says:

    I’m so thankful for Jesus.

    Yesterday morning I heard a song that was new to me…It is titled, “You Know Me Better,” by Stars Go Dim.
    I don’t know that it goes with our devotional today but, it left me in tears and wanting to hold out my arms and praise God for his goodness to me, cleansing me, and making me whole in Jesus alone.

    Solomon was given an opportunity through the relationship of his father, David with the Lord. While he started well, he blew it. How easily we underestimate our propensity to sin. How slick the slope and quick the fall can be when we allow ourselves close to the edge.

    You Know Me Better is all about how God sees me, because of Jesus, He made a way. I am forgiven. I am His. Jesus…I am who you say I am. Thank you.

  18. Kelly Chataine says:

    Daily dedication and moment-to-moment checks seems to be what it takes for me to remain faithful. For me, it is essential that I remain in the WORD and my new job (of 8 months, 1 week) allows me to do so. Taking this new position meant I had to step away from teaching, I was just shy of a 20-year career and 7 years shy of full retirement. Not to mention, but I am mentioning, my annual yearnings have been cut more than in half. Many near to me thought I was crazy and being illogical. I get it. I see the numbers and the cost of walking away when I did. However, I knew God was calling me in this direction. God is so good and continues to care for us! I have the freedom to visit friends, call on those in need, assist my husband, care for grandson (that should have been first) and so much more! Here is the biggest praise: I don’t miss what I walked away from which I would not have believed 9 months ago. I am thankful for my teaching career and now I am thankful to be a cas manager.

    All of this to say God’s logic is not the world’s logic. God’s way is not the way of this world.

    1. Natasha R says:

      Thank you for sharing this Kelly. This is very encouraging for me as I move away from a secure job into freelancing. One of the reasons for doing that is my desire to spend more time with the Lord and my loved ones. So exciting!

    2. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Thank you for sharing! I hope the Lord continues to bless your faithfulness.

  19. Kathy says:

    This reminded me of Proverbs 30: 7-9. “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”
    I have this written next to these verses: “Agur’s prayer is like Jesus prayer – Give us this day our daily bread. Don’t give me too much, don’t give me too little, just give me what I need each day. He found wisdom in being in a situation where you have to come to God each day. It’s not comfortable, but sometimes not having all our resources is a great place to be.”
    Lord, help me to trust You for all I need. Thank You for what I have. Help me to hold onto it lightly.
    Have a blessed weekend, sisters. My youngest daughter is pregnant (grandbaby #3!!) and we find out if it’s a girl or boy on Sunday! My cup is full.

    1. Heather M says:

      Thank you for these verses and your side notes. Much needed today for me.

    2. Rentia Greyvenstein says:

      Thanks for your comment and congrats on number3!!!

  20. Marlyne says:

    This is my first devotional reading in about four months. I fell away from the daily reading of the word. This devotional was powerful and spoke to my heart so profoundly.It’s exactly what I needed. I was given this Bible as a gift, so my very first reading on this website and the Holy Spirit reminded me through this devotional that I must remain faithful to God and not lose sight of who God is in my life just because of what I’m surrounded by in this world. Solomon lost sight of keeping God’s statues due to what he wanted. I pray that I remain faithful to God and not lose sight due to the success I’m trying to obtain. God is my main source without God there is no true success. Thank you Claire Gibson for taking the time to put this devotional together.

  21. Josie Hutchinson says:

    Oh shucks! I missed yesterday’s verses! Does anyone have them written down or the daily lesson copied? If so can someone email it to me at, [email protected]
    Thanks!!