Understanding Difficult Texts

Understanding Difficult Texts - Solomon’s wives

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Solomon’s wives:  

The Bible records about Solomon:

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. (1 kings 11:3)

We don’t need to go any further to know whether Solomon was right; the same text gives us the answer—“His wives turned away his heart”.

The wisest man becomes the most foolish one! In his early days he was true to God, and God used him mightily. In one of the proverbs he wrote regarding strange women:

Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:25-27)

 

Solomon slowly and steadily departed from the paths of righteousness. The sad record of his polygamous life is also recorded:

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For 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…And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father…And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods…And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice.        
(1 kings 11:3, 4, 6, 8, and 9).

Much of his kingdom was taken away for all the evil he did.

Wherefore 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. (1 kings 11:11)

At the end of his life he came to his senses and turned back to God. He wrote Ecclesiastes as a repented man. The manner in which he starts Ecclesiastes shows that he learnt his lesson:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:1, 2)

In chapter two he gives a gist of all his vanity life. Now he is a preacher; Ecclesiastes means, preacher! He preaches to the young and admonishes them not to follow the path of vanity. Sarcastically he says:

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. (Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10)

God permits man to do what he wants to a great extent, but, says Solomon, “know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment”.

Yes, all these great men of faith faltered seriously, even in their married life, and God had to punish them and let them reap their evil sowing. But God did not eternally cast them out in His mercy. They bounced back but their scars remained to taunt them.

That is how Solomon, the most experienced polygamist, when he repented, concluded His book, and we too shall conclude in like manner:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12: 13, 14)

 

 



 

Pastor Michael Pedrin Preaching