Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,2 from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.3 He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. (1 Kings 11:1-3)
Solomon began with such promise! He asked the Lord for wisdom to govern God’s people well and God had granted it. So much so that he was the wisest man who ever lived! God’s people enjoyed “happiness” during Solomon’s reign, everyone enjoying his own vine and his own fig tree, a picture of ideal fulfillment. But then the unthinkable happened. Solomon’s heart was turned, and the Lord raised up adversaries to take away their shalom (that is, their personal and national peace). It is easy for us to think, “Solomon, God gave you everything! How could you do such a thing!” But then it reminds us how Satan often works; he finds our weaknesses and goes after it. Solomon was wise, yes, but there are powerful drives that can override wisdom. Like most of men, Solomon delighted in women. He had easy access and no one in a position to counsel him against it. Not many people in history have been in such a position as Solomon, at least not until the age of the internet. Now men everywhere have access to beautiful women, in such a way that they can be anonymous. This is a great danger, just as Solomon discovered!
And the danger is not just that men get caught up in particular sin, but that their hearts are turned away from God. Sin is an addiction. And when that addiction remains unbroken, the heart is turned away from God. Addiction is putting something in the place only God should occupy, which by definition is idolatry. I have seen this with professing Christian men who have gone against counsel and married non-Christian wives, so confident that they won’t lose their faith, only to find a year or so later them gone from the Church. I have seen men in ministry brought down by addictions to lustful habits that the internet so easily allows. We put our shield of faith up in some areas and leave ourselves vulnerable in others. This is why it is SO important that we stay in the church and commit to transparent relationships of accountability. We are way too prone to think we’re stronger than we are!
What areas of your life do you keep hidden from others?
Ask God for humility to be transparent with your church family.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 1 Kings 11, Ph 2, Ez 41, Ps 32