Reading through the Bible together
What a contrast and a paradoxical situation between chapter 10 and 11. From a time of glory and witness we are confronted with a time of apostasy and idolatry. It is very hard to understand how such a wise man, who talked with God and who had received all his intellectual and personal gifts from God would turn away from His statutes. The key to all this, is that he "loved many strange women." In the former chapter he is witnessing to a regal lady and the next he has been led astray by women! It is well known that one woman can turn a man from following God, as well as one man can lead a woman to perdition. And these were pagan women who took his heart away from God and led him to false gods. Solomon has seven hundred wives and princesses plus 300 concubines! He was aware of the command of God regarding intermarriage. It was so subtle that he did not realized that they were changing his heart.
We have seen many young people who disregard the counsel of their parents and pastors and associate with men and women who do not love the Lord. The majority of these relationships have been disastrous! For a man like Solomon who had built a Temple for God he now follows Astoreth, the godess of love, and Milcom a chief god of the Ammonites. God who was so proud of Solomon and gave him so much wisdom became disappointed with him. It was because of David that the kingdom was not taken away from Solomon and he was able to lead the people for 40 years.
We are able to see the consequences of Solomon's departure from God and His commandments! There was trouble in the land and this was stirred up by the Lord Himself. Hadad, from Edom, a young prince during the days of David ran away to Egypt and when he learned that David was dead he became a thorn in the flesh for Solomon. Another trouble maker for him was Rezon. Those who reject God's grace have to face the consequences, and when God takes away His protection it gives room for Satan to come in. Jeroboam was another problem for Solomon, without much hesitation Solomon trusted him for he was a man of valor and very capable, but he stood up against Solomon. One day as Jeroboam left Jerusalem Ahijah the prophet met him on the road. Jeroboam was wearing a new outer garment when Ahijah took it from Jeroboam and tore it into 12 pieces, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Ten tribes were to be given to Jeroboam and two to Solomon's son Rehoboam. Here we see the result of sin and apostasy. When Solomon died his kingdom was divided as the prophet had said. Solomon's last days and his abandonment of God and His commandments resulted in a fragmented kingdom!
Retired GC Vice-President