Solomon’s Huge Mistake

May 7, 2020 at 4:11 PM 2 comments

King David was the first king of Israel that sought after God. The first king, Saul, started out fairly well but got seriously off track, so God deposed him and replaced him with David, the shepherd.

Because King David was a man who sought God and endeavored to live a life that would please God (with the unfortunate major exception of his illicit tryst with Bathsheba, 1 Samuel 11), God blessed David and though David had many sons, God specifically chose Solomon to succeed David and to build a house of worship for God.

Solomon had more wisdom than any of his contemporaries. There was literally no question he could not answer, impressing even the Queen of Sheba (2 Chronicles 9), and other notable people. Jesus referred to Solomon saying that even in all his wisdom, the flowers that had been directly created by God were better adorned than Solomon (Matthew 6).

It’s a bit heartbreaking to see someone with so much wisdom, discernment and understanding fall prey to idolatry as Solomon did. He did so because he wound up marrying women whose fathers were leaders of other nations and Solomon figured that if he had wives of these fathers, they would be less inclined to attack Israel. That line of thinking was not born of wisdom, but of secular humanism.

Once Solomon began marrying these heathen women who worshiped other gods, it was simply a matter of time before Solomon himself got caught up into paganism. This created a bit of a rift between Solomon and God and God eventually had his say in the matter with one of Solomon’s sons, Rehoboam, who succeeded Solomon as king.

One might ask why God didn’t deal directly with Solomon on this serious lapse in loyalty to God? It was simply because of God’s love and respect for David. God did not want to begin to allow Israel to be pulled apart into two kingdoms while Solomon was alive.

Rehoboam and his decisions after just becoming king of Israel are what prompted God’s course of action. In other words, clearly God knew what Rehoboam would do after becoming king and since he did this of his own free will, God was perfectly justified in doing what He chose to do as far as Israel was concerned. Let’s look at the text.

Starting with 2 Chronicles 10:1-5, we learn about Rehoboam and his ascent to the throne and the first big decision he had to make, which turned out to not work out well for him or Israel.

Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard about this, he returned from Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel came to Rehoboam and said, “Your father put a heavy yoke on us. But now you should lighten the burden of your father’s service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people departed. (Berean Study Bible)

So here Rehoboam has a chance to undo a situation that Solomon had instituted, which we learn clearly frustrated and chafed the people of Israel. That yoke being referred to is likely the amount of work and taxes the people of Israel had to dole out to Solomon. Yes, he took very good care of the people, but they paid for it too.

The people wanted to know what Rehoboam would do. He had an opportunity to tone things down and gain the loyalty of the people or ramp it up and push them away. What would he do?

Rehoboam did the right thing by asking Solomon’s counselors, who had been with Solomon as advisors for decades. What would they say he should do? Their answer was simple and direct and clearly showed that they may have believed Solomon had been a bit too hard on the Israelites.

If you will be kind to these people and please them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever. (v 7)

Seems easy enough, doesn’t it? Just relax things a tad and the people will appreciate it and have no problem committing themselves to serving the new king.

The text tells us Rehoboam “rejected” that answer and chose to put the same question to the younger men, men he had chosen as his counselors. They were younger, Rehoboam knew them much better (and longer since he had grown up with them), and so trusted their advice would be better. Their answer?

This is how you should answer these people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you should make it lighter.’ This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! Whereas my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. Whereas my father scourged you with whips, I will scourge you with scorpions. (vv 10-11)

So the young men provide an answer that is diametrically opposed to the older counselors’ response. In his youth, Rehoboam liked the answer the younger men gave. It would show the people who was “boss” and prove to them that he and he alone was king; a king they should submit to because he was going to make it harder on them that his father Solomon had done.

Several days later, his brother Jeroboam and the people came back to Rehoboam for his answer. He point blank told them that he was going to be far tougher on Israel than his father Solomon had been and if they didn’t like it, too bad. Rehoboam believed in exhibiting a very tough exterior, believing that he would be respected because of it. He was wrong.

But the important thing to also note here is God’s hand in this entire matter. Verse 15 explains it to us.

So the king did not listen to the people, and indeed this turn of events was from God, in order that the LORD might fulfill the word that He had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.

God had directed these events. He did not override Rehoboam’s free will. God simply worked within it to ensure that His will would be accomplished.

Who is Ahijah the Shilonite referred to in the verse? This actually refers us back to 1 Kings where this particular Ahijah is noted in 11:29, with the verses leading up to that describing what had occurred and why God’s use of Ahijah was necessary. It turns out that God had gotten angry with Solomon for setting up high places so his wives could worship their false gods.

At that time on a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. (vv 7-8)

The verses following these indicate to us that Solomon did indeed, join in with the worship of these false gods.

Now the LORD grew angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although He had warned Solomon explicitly not to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command. (vv 9-10)

Most know that the worship of Molech includes passing children through the fire, which means they are burned alive during a sacrificial ritual to appease Molech. Solomon not only okay’d this, but appears to have included himself in the worship of Molech and these other false gods.

One would think with as much wisdom as Solomon had, he would’ve been able to easily avoid this perilous trap. Instead, he gave himself over to it, proving wisdom alone isn’t the answer. Though David, his father had committed an egregious sin by lying with Bathsheba, another man’s wife and then deliberately having her husband Uriah killed, David never deliberately worshiped other gods. Not once.

Solomon, unfortunately, did what his father David, had not done. He worshiped false gods, which are essentially demons masquerading as deities. This of course is counter to God’s created order. All worship must go to God and God alone.

The verses above (9-10) speak clearly of God’s anger with Solomon. God had given Solomon so much – wisdom, wealth, long life, peace throughout Israel, etc., and this was how Solomon repaid God for all of God’s kindness and grace?!

This is a very good time to ask ourselves how we are treating God and whether or not we are taking Him for granted in spite of the many blessings He pours out on us daily. Are we guilty of worshiping other “gods”? Are we toying with the idea of giving our attention and worship that only God deserves to other things that are not only that important but in doing so, are we becoming involved with idolatry? It can happen easily and it happens most often when we feel “satisfied” with our life and the things we have in our life. It is the responsibility of each of us (myself included of course), to ensure that we are not hiding little “gods” in our heart, worshiping them whenever we get the chance. If it can happen to the wisest man who ever lived before Jesus, it can happen to us far more easily.

So it was because of God’s anger at Solomon’s disloyalty and idolatry, that during the end of Solomon’s reign over Israel, God began sending adversaries from other areas against Solomon. God sent Hadad, the Edomite (v 14) and then sent Rezon (v 23). Rezon proved to be a major thorn in Solomon’s side.

Rezon was Israel’s enemy throughout the days of Solomon, adding to the trouble caused by Hadad. So Rezon ruled over Aram with hostility toward Israel. (v 25)

Solomon received no rest from adversaries and yet there appears to be no indication that Solomon repented of his sin, asked forgiveness and vowed to renew his relationship with God.

Jeroboam had been a servant of Solomon but had rebelled against him (v 26). Eventually, Ahijah the prophet met Jereoboam on the road and spoke to him the words of the Lord (vv 29-38). This is fascinating. Ahijah essentially forewarns Jeroboam that the kingdom of Israel would be divided into ultimately two sections. Ten would make up Israel and two would make up Judah. Thus became the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel, and all because Solomon consorted with false gods!

God allowed Solomon to continue ruling but ultimately promised to break up Israel into two kingdoms. Jeroboam would be given ten parts (the northern kingdom) and Solomon’s son would be given the southern kingdom, which contained Jerusalem. God was going to humble David’s descendants, but “not forever” (v 39).

In verse 40, we have proof that Solomon never repented and likely nursed a grudge against Jeroboam because Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam.

Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, where he remained until the death of Solomon.

It was after Solomon’s death and the beginning of his son, Rehoboam’s rule that Jeroboam came out of hiding and back to Judah to inquire of Rehoboam how he would rule the people. After receiving Rehoboam’s answer, Jeroboam and most of Israel knew things were over and the kingdom of Israel officially became divided.

All this because of Solomon’s sin. Does this mean God stopped loving Solomon? No, it does not. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that God chastises those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6). If that doesn’t make you glad, it should, not that anyone wants to be disciplined, but it is a sign of God’s love. He won’t simply allow us to wander away. He will work to get us back to Him.

Solomon showed no sign of returning to God. This was in spite of all his wisdom that likely told him every day he was making a mistake. However, like all of us, Solomon was not above being filled with pride in spite of his wisdom. Because of it, he ignored God’s discipline and stood resolute in his rebellion against God Almighty.

We must not allow that to happen to us! Folks, is there anything in your life you are “secretly” worshiping? Get rid of it! Confess it to God. Quickly humble yourself so that He may lift you up in due time and restore you to relationship with Him.

Search yourself. Ask God to show you if there is anything in you that is not wholly given to Him. We must practice this on a regular basis. We must ensure that as far as we know, we are free from idolatry.

The Lord bless you as you go through your day!

 

Entry filed under: alienology, Atheism and religion, christianity, Demonic, devil worship, Eastern Mysticism, eternity, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming.

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2 Comments

  • 1. Chijioke Umah  |  May 8, 2020 at 3:31 PM

    May God bless you sir for this beautiful piece.

    • 2. modres  |  May 8, 2020 at 4:03 PM

      Thank you. God bless you as well.


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