Our author feels that Solomon’s other life experiences have been covered quite well in other books so he skips to the end. Solomon’s death is summed up.
Chronicles gives many of the good highlights of Solomon’s life. We don’t get to hear my favorite ‘Solomon story’ of the two women who bring one surviving child before him. I’m kind of glad because we walked that one as a ‘first person’ story and I didn’t know what the Holy Spirit would bring out of it if we visited it again.
The thing I find most notable about the way Solomon in covered in Chronicles is that all the ‘bad parts’ of his life are untold. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Solomon had sins. His biggest one was turning away from God. This happened gradually but became apparent later in his life.
First of all, he married the wrong women. He married women from nations that God told Israel NOT to intermarry with. God knew what would happen if/when they did. But with ALL of Solomon’s wisdom, he felt his ‘reasons’ for marrying these foreign women trumped God’s command to stay separate.
Second, he married too many women. He had over 700 wives! And concubines to boot! There is NO WAY he could attend to that many women. Plus there is NO WAY that many women wouldn’t have a major impact on him. “Strength in numbers.”
Finally, he gave into their demands and influence. Solomon let them have their gods and they slowly wore him down and convinced him to worship them too. Even after TWO personal visitations from God and YEARS of His wisdom flowing through Solomon, he still let himself believe their lies. Maybe he just got tired of fighting it and gave in because it was easier. “Happy wife, happy life.” NOT in this instance!
The point I’m running around is that Solomon, for all his blessings, lost the most important thing of all; his relationship with God. God knew this was going to happen all along.
When God praised Solomon for his choice He listed several things that Solomon could have asked for but didn’t. Of all the things God listed, besides wisdom, only two were withheld from Solomon. God listed:
- The death of his enemies
- Long life.
Because God knew Solomon’s heart would change, there were enemies that Solomon would never displace. Jeroboam became one of them. Solomon tried to kill him when he found out that Jeroboam was given a prophecy about having ten of Israel’s tribes for himself. Even though Jeroboam would lead those ten tribes into grievous sin God still preserved this enemy of Solomon.
Solomon also did not get “long life.” Solomon was, by most calculations, around 60 when he died. He ruled Israel for 40 years, which in itself is a long time. But was that “old” by the standards of those days? David lived at least ten years longer than Solomon did. Three kings ruled more than 40 years. Granted, one of them was six years old when he took the throne. Maybe being king takes its toll on one’s life expectancy but if Solomon had remained true to the Lord, I have no doubt he would have lived longer. AND the kingdom would not have been torn in two.
I thought about writing a eulogy for Solomon but I couldn’t. My heart breaks for him because he started so well, only to fall so far in the end. I couldn’t find a way to praise the end of his life. I suppose that might be why the writer of Chronicles left these dark things out. He simply ended with “And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David of his father” (verse 31a).
Father God I PRAY WITH ALL MY HEART that my days do NOT follow Solomon’s end of days. I want our relationship to grow and strengthen with every passing day. I want NOTHING to pull us apart! If ANYTHING begins to draw me away, HIT ME OVER THE HEAD if You have to in order to get my attention back where it belongs; on YOU.
I don’t know for certain where Solomon’s soul is at. Only You know his final destination. But if he is in Heaven, can I ask him HOW he go so mixed up? Or would that be too personal? I wonder what he would say. If his spirit is elsewhere, is he crying out like the rich man did for his family to be told NOT to follow his path? I have a feeling there is, or will be, a whole host of Israel’s past kings doing the same thing. I’m heading that warning!