COMPROMISE – a PATH to DESTRUCTION
April 10 Bible Reading: 1 Kings Chapters 10-12
"For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David" (1 Kings 11:4). "Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David" (v. 6). "So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice" (v. 9).
Solomon's extraordinary gift of wisdom was not sufficient to preserve him from falling into grievous and fatal errors. His love for the world and a ceaseless quest for pleasure (Eccl. 2:1-11) had corrupted his heart and had produced in him a state of mental darkness away from God’s truth. The grace of God then deserted him and the son of the pious David, the religiously trained child of Bathsheba and pupil of Nathan, instead of showing the stability of sound principle and mature experience became an old and foolish king (Eccl. 4:13).
Solomon’s fall from grace can be traced to his "love for many foreign women" (1 Kings 11:1). In fact, we can see that compromise to godly principles led Solomon on the path to destruction. In fact, Solomon broke every principle of restraint that the king of Israel was commanded by God to follow:
- The king should NOT multiply horses: LAW: When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, 'I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,' you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.' (Deut 17:14-16) è SOLOMON’S DISOBEDIENCE: Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots and twelve thousand horsemen. (1 Kings 4:26) And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king's merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. (1 Kings 10:26, 28)
- The king shall NOT multiply wives: LAW: "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away" (Deut 17:17a) è SOLOMON’S DISOBEDIENCE: But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites-- from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. (1 Kings 11:1-3). In fact, Solomon’s compromise started early when he made a treaty with Pharaoh, king of Egypt and married his daughter. "Now Solomon made a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh's daughter..." (1 Kings 3:1a). He built a house for her that took 13 years. "Solomon also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken as wife" (1 Kings 7:8)
- The king shall NOT multiply silver or gold: LAW: "...nor shall he (King of Israel) greatly multiply silver and gold for himself" (Deut 17:17b). è SOLOMON’S DISOBEDIENCE: "The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold. All King Solomon's drinking vessels were gold and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Not one was silver, for this was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon." (1 Kings 10:14, 21)