We come to a sad tale in 1 Kings 11, a tragic tale of the downfall of King Solomon. God had warned him not to marry foreign women, for they were bound to turn his heart away from the Lord. But, not only did Solomon take a foreign wife or two, he married “700 wives, princesses and 300 concubines.” Perhaps he thought he could get by with doing things his own way rather than trusting in God and following him. What was he thinking?!
Did he think to himself that his brilliant idea would keep him from having to go the same hard path of faith of his father? Rather than trusting the Lord alone for peace and protection, Solomon would marry the daughters of every king around and thus make alliances of peace with the nations.
Was there a progression involved in Solomon’s turning away from the Lord? Maybe he first tolerated his wives going to worship these other gods. Then, maybe he built shrines for them to worship their own gods.
But how did he come to worship the other gods himself? Solomon probably thought at first that it would not be a big deal. What would it hurt if he just occasionally stayed for a worship service at one of his wives’ shrines? Could it be a bad thing to attend some event that his children were involved in with those shrines? After all, being “tolerant” was “loving”?
- v4 his wives turned his heart after other gods and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God
- v6 he did not follow the Lord and did evil, even offering worship to the other gods
- v11 God was angry and tells him He is taking the kingdom away from him
The rest of the chapter tells of the enemies that God raises up to go against Solomon, the loss of the kingdom and Solomon’s death.