Please refer to my last article on this series, “The Science of Judgment.” You will notice that Solomon started off his kingship or rule of Israel as a servant of God. He was humble, obedient and he made decisions to serve God. One of the best decisions of his life was when God offered Solomon a wish and he chose “wisdom”above all else. This selfless choice pleased the Lord and consequently, God made Solomon very wise and prosperous! This is a very important lesson for all of us to understand. When we put God first, which means we become a servant and now we are able to love and minister to people, God is now able to bless us with His promises of prosperity and ministry gifts. The gifts of the Holy Spirit can be systematically released unto us as we continue to covet and pursue the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In this article, I plan to illustrate how much God blessed Solomon on account of his humble heart attitude in the beginning of his reign. I also intend to point out the beginning and continual digression of his spiritual life until God’s anointing left Solomon and he was a tormented man with the kingdom of Israel left to be divided and judged!
1 Kings 10:1-29 “1And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. 2And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. 3And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not. 4And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, 5And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. 6And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. 7Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. 8Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. 9Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.”
We see that the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon because she had heard of Solomon’s wisdom and prosperity. When you and I are under the authority of Jesus Christ and our lives reflect His character and conduct, people will hear about us. They will come to us for counsel, fellowship and direction. God will also give us favor with men and they will honor and bless us, as did the Queen of Sheba to Solomon. As the queen recognized Solomon’s honesty as he sat in judgment, her trust in him grew, and she blessed him even more. We will be treated in like manner; people will bless us individually and in our ministries!
“10And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. 11And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. 12And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king’s house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day. 13And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.”
In these verses, 1-13, it is apparent why she blessed Solomon and he, conversely, was able to bless her with the desires of her heart. Because Solomon had the favor of both the Queen of Sheba and the Lord, he was blessed by both. Solomon used some of his presents for the Lord’s house and for instruments in the house of the Lord. Whenever we put God first then He will certainly bless us. One cannot out bless God. Just try it!
“14Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, 15Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country. 16And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target. 17And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.”
I do not believe mankind will ever truly know the immense wealth that God had prospered Solomon with. The important truth is that God had given all this gold to Solomon. If only Solomon would have continued to recognize that his wisdom and prosperity came from the Holy Spirit, then he would not have followed after the lust of his own heart, which comes out of pride. Consequently, he never would have committed the sins described in chapter 11 that led to his fall from grace. Whenever we get our eyes off of Jesus Christ and onto ourselves, we will fail every time. It is so dangerous when people begin to praise us and give us presents for our abilities and ministries. Make sure you keep in mind where all your skills, abilities and gifts truly came from and do not get puffed up with ego and the temptation to accumulate and hoard. All that we have should be used to extend the kingdom of God while our spirit is in our body.
“18Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold. 19The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. 20And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom. 21And all king Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. 22For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. 23So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.”
Once again, we read about the immense wealth that Solomon enjoyed during his reign. Gold, silver, ivory, precious stones, rare and exotic animals etc., all was in abundance during the reign of King Solomon in Israel. Never before or since has a ruler been known to possess such influence, prosperity, and wealth as during the kingship of Solomon. Now let us examine his downfall. I believe we could categorize them as five violations of Deuteronomy 17:16-20, which clearly defined the responsibilities of Israel’s Kings. As Solomon continued to sin in these areas, his eventual sad, deteriorating spiritual condition was predictable since God’s standards and consequences for violating those commandments are known. For Solomon being such a wise man he became one of the biggest fools.
Please take the time to read and study Deuteronomy 17:16-20, for I will be making reference to these verses in the rest of this article. God had made known his directives to the kings of Israel in these verses. God also warned the future kings of Israel in these verses to meditate on his laws continually, and obey them, lest they be judged themselves and their nation by God Himself. King Solomon was without excuse for his wilfull defiance of the known Word of God. For this reason I reiterate, “King Solomon became one of the biggest fools.”
1 Kings 10 “24And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.”
King Solomon’s first transgression was violating God’s laws outlined in Deuteronomy 17:17. Wealth can be a blessing if properly used for Jesus and His people. But, King Solomon started to hoard his wealth and use it on his own lusts as we will read.
1 Kings 10 “26And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem. 27And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.”
The second sin of Solomon was violating Deuteronomy 17:16. Solomon started putting his trust in himself and his own human army as the horse in scripture is a source of fleshly strength in times of war. God wanted Israel to put their trust in Him alone as He had taught Gideon to do when He had the nation of Israel under Gideon and 300 men to defeat 135,000 of the enemy. I believe God also knew that since horses and chariots came from Egypt, He did not want the King or people of Israel to start putting their trust back into the idolatrous nation of Egypt. That would start a dangerous relationship with a nation that God had already judged and commanded his people to leave. A relationship with Egypt would be filled with temptations to rely on their gods and marry their women. Furthermore, it would be a bad testimony of compromise and eventual spiritual death and judgment for the nations of the world to watch. We know this finally did happen; not once, but consistently throughout Israel’s existence as a nation, as well as currently today.
1 Kings 10 “28And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 29And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.”
The third sin that added to the cup of iniquity, bringing on the eventual judgment of God against King Solomon and the nation of Israel, was Solomon violating Deuteronomy17:17. Solomon “loved many strange women.” This was precisely one of the reasons God did not want Solomon to establish relationship with Egypt. God knew the women there would entice the men of Israel to go into idolatry. Solomon’s selfishness continued to grow as he used his hoarding of money to feed his constantly expanding lusts. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. The spirit of lust is never satisfied. It is not only focused on sexual immorality, but on all areas of a persons lack of discipline, whether it be in gluttony, etc.
1 Kings 11:1-43 “1But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: 2Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 3And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.”
The fourth sin of Solomon was being slothful; not obeying Deuteronomy17:19. He failed to study, meditate, and obey the word of the Lord recorded in the scriptures. For this reason, other women were able to turn away his heart away from God. If you and I fail to stay in the presence of God, then we will surely fall. The scriptures tell us that all men have a measure of faith. 2 Peter tells us that faith grows as we add to it with all diligence. Solomon failed to add to his faith as commanded by God, and he continued to sin.
1 Kings 11 “4For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
The fifth and final sin that brought the cup of iniquity to its brim was Solomon violating Exodus 20:1-5 and worshipping other gods.
1 Kings 11 “5For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. 7Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.”
In Israel’s history, 33 of her kings “did evil” and only 9 “did right.” Solomon is listed as one of the 33 kings of Israel that “did evil” and God was angry with Solomon.
1 Kings 11 “9And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 11Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. 12Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. 13Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.”
King Solomon knew exactly the consequences of intentionally violating the scriptures, yet out of his extreme lusts/ selfishness he continued to rebel against the laws of God. Now God was forced to chastise Solomon and his kingdom. God raised up adversaries against Solomon to tear his kingdom apart. How selfish can a king be? He started out so humble and righteous and ended up “doing evil”. Thus he brought the judgments of God not on himself, but on the nation of Israel.
“14And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom. 15For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; 16(For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:) 17That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child. 18And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land. 19And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. 20And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s household among the sons of Pharaoh. 21And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country. 22Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.”
We now read that the Lord raised up three adversaries against King Solomon as He was preparing to judge the house of David for the sins of Solomon. That is correct, God is ultimately responsible for allowing people and nations to rise up against leaders and nations! The three adversaries were: Hadad the Edomite, Rezon the Syrian, and Jeroboam the Israelite. 2 Samuel 7:12-15 predicted that God promised to establish David’s kingdom by his son (Solomon), and that David’s son would build the temple where his throne would be established forever. God warns that He would chasten David’s son if he broke the laws of God. All of this came to pass except the eternal throne of David, which will come to pass through Jesus Christ when Jesus returns to rule and reign. God does promise mercy for David’s house. He would not totally remove his mercy as He did to Saul’s house. Jesus Christ will rule and reign on earth, thus continuing the household of David (Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 30:1-9,etc.).
1 Kings 11 “23And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: 24And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. 25And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.”
Here we read how Jeroboam was the third adversary of King Solomon. When King Solomon heard that the prophet Ahijah prophesied that Jeroboam was to rule over ten of the twelve tribes of Israel because of his sins, Solomon sought to kill him.
“26And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king. 27And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father. 28And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. 29And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: 30And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: 31And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: 32(But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:) 33Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father. 34Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: 35But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. 36And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there. 37And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. 38And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. 39And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. 40Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon. 41And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? 42And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 43And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.”
HOW SAD THAT A MAN WHO ONCE WAS BLESSED AND HONORED AS THE WISEST MAN, BECAME A FOOL BECAUSE OF FIVE SINS THAT LED TO HIS LOSS OF ANOINTING/FAVOR AND IT’S SUBSEQUENT TRANSFER TO ANOTHER!
© 2005 World Ministries International