1 Kings 11:1-13
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians…
Solomon had come to the throne of the most important kingdom then on the earth at the youthful age of twenty. Proud of his sublime eminence and flattered by the obsequious attentions of foreign nations, he formed matrimonial alliances with the royal families of them all until a harem of seven hundred wives disgraced the Holy City. These heathen wives required their heathen chapels and chaplains, and the complaisant king surrounded Jerusalem with temples for the enactment of pagan idolatries. To the king, prematurely old, at length comes the prophetic voice declaring the wrath of Jehovah upon the apostate kingdom, the doom, however, softened in two particulars for the sake of David, who, though long dead, still benefited the land by the effects of his piety. The rending of the kingdom from the Solomonian line should not take place till Solomon himself had passed away, and then a remnant (Judah) should remain with the regular succession.
I. A LIFE OF LUXURY IS PERILOUS TO THE SOUL. God intended man to labour even when he was in Paradise. The idler is practically opposing a fundamental law of the Most High. An abundance of wealth tempts a man to a life of pleasure, which is selfish idleness, and when official power is added to the wealth the flood-gates of sin are opened in the soul in almost all cases. He who, if busy in an honest trade or profession, would readily throw off the approaches of gross sin by his preoccupation. Solomon was a luxurious idler. He was not a statesman busying himself for the good of his country. The young man who has independent resources is in a very hazardous position. He is tempted to play the Solomon on his own small scale. The sin, however, is just as great, and the ruin as profound. He seeks associates who will amuse him, and, instead of growing in spiritual wisdom and strength, he descends rapidly to the plane of stupid carnality.
II. THE WAY OF WICKEDNESS IS A STEEP DESCENT. Solomon found the step from Pharaoh's daughter to Pharaoh's god a very easy one. Youth flatters itself with an idea of its own strength, and plans a descent into sin only a short distance, when it will return and walk in the path of righteousness. It is the silly bird caught in the fowler's net. Association with evil blunts the perception of the evil, and the young man is soon found apologising for the wickedness he formerly condemned.
III. THE WRATH OF GOD IS A DREAD REALITY. Men of loose life love to harp on the truth that God is love, and then interpret love as amiable weakness. It was the Divine anger with Solomon and his corrupted people which rent Israel asunder and raised up formidable foes to destroy the prosperity of the land. Our text is perfectly plain on that head
IV. THE SOURCE OF THE FALSE LIFE IS IN THE FALSE HEART. Solomon's heart was not perfect with the Lord God. The word "perfect" here is not to be understood as referring to the character, but to the motive and intent. A perfect character never existed on earth since man fell, except the Lord Jesus. Solomon s religion was a political and fashionable affair. A heart devoted to God had nothing to do with it. He would pay outward respect to the religion of the land, but with the grand liberality of a worldly heart he would be so broad in his views and so free in his charity as to welcome all religious into his realm and capital. It is simply the heart that is not perfect with God pursuing its course of nature. It is the heart that can indulge in sin to any extent, and yet speak eloquently on universal love and the excellent glory of humanity in general. The so-called philosophy of the day is brimful of it, destroying the idea of the personality of God in order that it may make room for a universal righteousness, sin being eliminated as an old wife's fable. It is the religion that is lauded on the stage by depraved men and women, because it finds no fault with their defilement. This is the Solomonian religion, which is set over against the Davidic religion in our text.
(H. Crosby, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;