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.