What trapped Solomon?
Is deception the contradiction of wisdom? Why or why not? One who is wise should be able to recognize deception…provided the foundation of wisdom is truth. The real question is, is the foundation stable and unmoving; is it absolute? The history of Solomon’s reign and his writings show him as an illustration of this important point. So, how did Solomon become deceived, and what can we learn from his experience?
- King David had ruled Israel for 40 years and died around 971 B.C.; see 1 Chronicles 29.26-30. Verses 23-25 state that Solomon succeeded David and was blessed by God. Solomon was 20 to 30 years old and ruled for 40 years; see 1 Kings 11.42.
- 1 Kings 3.4-14 describe Solomon as a humble man who knew his inadequacy for kingship; especially verse 7. See, also, 2 Chronicles 16.9 and Isaiah 66.2 for God’s requirements.
- Solomon wrote Psalm 72 and The Song of Solomon early in his reign and marriage. And, because the first ten chapters of Proverbs instruct Solomon’s sons in the ways he was taught by David, the book was written during his early reign. Seventeen years after becoming king, Solomon finished building the Temple. His prayer of dedication, in 1 Kings 8.22-61, acknowledges the continuing supremacy of God in his thinking.
- But in the final years of his 40-year reign, Solomon, then aged 60-69, penned his experiences from following many ‘spirit guides’ in the book called Ecclesiastes. His ‘journey’ may have taken 20-30 years. The ‘wisdom’ of this book contrasts what he learned from his father and taught his children.
- How did his wisdom become deception? God apparently saw the slipping of Solomon’s loyalty and had a second discussion with him; see 1 Kings 9.6-9 and note the theme. God would refer to these times in Hosea 8.7: ‘they sow the wind and reap the whirlwind’! 1 Kings 11.9-11: payday someday!
- What had Solomon inherited? Peace from war: 2 Samuel 7.1 tells that God made David victorious, and he delivered Israel at peace with the surrounding nations. Proclivity for many wives: 2 Samuel 3.2-5 names David’s six wives and their sons, before Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 12.8 tells that David ‘inherited’ King Saul’s wives, too. Wealth: 1 Chronicles 29.26 tells that David was rich and, apparently, left his wealth to his family, including Solomon.
- If the nation was at peace, why did Solomon make a treaty with Egypt’s Pharaoh? See 1 Kings 3.1.
- Such treaties may have been Solomon’s excuse for not marrying Jewish women, as was the Law of God and example of David (Exodus 34.16). 1 Kings 11.1-8 names the countries and some gods of some of these women. Verse 3 tells of the fulfillment of God’s warning about foreign wives.
- Solomon added to David’s wealth, as is described in 1 Kings 10.14-29.
- He could buy whatever he wanted. He could have sex nightly with a different woman without repeating for over three years. He could spend time exploring different philosophies without fear of attack; see Acts 17.21. So, Jeremiah 13.10 was true before it was written.
- But, we know better: Isaiah 40.8; John 8.31-32; Colossians 2.8-10; 1 Timothy 6.9-10; Matthew 6.33; Mark 10.6-9.
Ravi Zacharias said the following in his podcast, Let My People Think, on April 21, 2012: young people lost their innocence through music in the 1950s, their authority by questioning everything in the 1960s but having no replacing criteria, their love in the 1070s through divorcing sex from love and by focusing on ‘self’, their hope for a better future in the 1980s because of nuclear uncertainty, and their power to reason in the 1990s by using subjective, not objective criteria of reality. In his April 28th podcast, he summarized: what apologetic do you use with a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings? His answer: walking the talk!
Many are drinking today from Solomon’s brew of deceptions from satan (2 Corinthians 4.3-4).
- However, they and we must remember Solomon’s conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12.13-14. See also Proverbs 14.12.
- Pursue Proverbs 4.23 using Psalm 119.9 and Joshua 1.8.