Solomon falls into the exact trap God warned the people about in the beginning. Marrying foreign women was Solomon’s downfall.
When God brought the people out of Egypt one of the rules He gave to them was NOT to intermarry with the people they were going to drive out of the Promised Land. God was removing the people from the land because of their idolatry. Israel was supposed to devote ALL of them to destruction but their own sin put a kink in this plan. The people they were supposed to drive out wound up living among them instead.
During Solomon’s building projects, all the descendants of the people from those nations became his forced labor slaves. All that lived in the territory he governed at least. Solomon also took from these nations MANY wives. I’m not certain if these women were “princesses” in their own right or if marrying Solomon gave them that status. They may have originally been given to Solomon as part of a treaty. That’s a LOT of treaties if so.
Just prior to going into the Promised Land the children of Israel started intermarrying with Moabite women. Numbers 25 brings this story to us. I’m not certain if the Israelite men were marrying the women of Moab or only engaging in sexual relations with them. Either way, God was NOT happy. And the reason why was because these women turned Israel’s hearts to other gods.
Now Solomon is “married” to 700 foreign women, plus Pharaoh’s daughter. He also has 300 concubines who he seeks sexual pleasure with at least once in his lifetime. That is WAY MORE women that ANY man needs or can control, let alone stand on equal footing with. Solomon did NOT use the wisdom God gave him in this part of his life. He didn’t even follow the words that were written down for him in this area of his life. And these wives did EXACTLY what the women of Moab did. They turned Solomon’s heart away from God and to MULTIPLE other gods.
I was reading somewhere on the internet the other day that some group (I don’t remember which one) tried to make Solomon sound less guilty of sin. They said his wives practiced idolatry but he didn’t. That is NOT what the bible says. Solomon started worshiping the same gods his wives followed. He even built shrines for them. He may not have made offerings on these high places but his heart was towards the gods of his wives instead of being wholly devoted to God.
GOD WILL NOT SHARE with other gods. He wants ALL our heart, not a part of it. Solomon carved his heart up into MANY pieces and offered a portion of it to each of the gods his wives went after. Probably because he wanted to please them.
When I was a teen, my mother told me that I couldn’t date any boy that wasn’t a Christian. She didn’t want my heart going after other gods and KNEW that ‘love’ has a way of making that happen. It did in reverse for me. The boys who liked me would join me in church and often pretend to be a Christian too, just to continue the relationship. My ex-husband was one of the better pretenders. I didn’t realize until after we were married. Fortunately, being the more stubborn one in the relationship, he didn’t convince me to ‘go after other gods.’ Having a strong relationship with God on my own saved me more than stubbornness.
The fact that Solomon had firsthand encounters with God and he STILL strayed is mind blowing to me. Maybe it was because of the amount of voices raised against him Maybe it was his desire to keep his wives happy. With that many wives there is NO WAY they would all be happy at the same time. What would please one would likely offend another. But Satan united them in their voice to draw Solomon away. They probably didn’t care which gods he served so long as theirs was among the list.
Solomon made the WORST trade possible. He traded eternity for immediacy. He traded everlasting joy for short lived peace. What are you trading? Are you trading or are you committed to your first choice?
Father God, forgive me for every time I have made the wrong choice. Thank You for bringing me back when I realized my sin. Let me NEVER trade eternity with You for ANYTHING else! Thank You for protecting me from all the competing voices in the world by showing Yourself SO STRONG in my life. There is NO doubt in my heart or mind concerning Your existence and Your love for me. I feel for those who will be more than shocked when they stand before You for judgment.
Thank You for giving me a husband who loves You with all his heart! His voice is complementary instead of competing. I like the ‘harmony’ we produce together.