Thursday after the Tenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Kings 11:1-26 (NKJV)
1 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites—2 from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. 8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
9 So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded. 11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”
14 Now the LORD raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was a descendant of the king in Edom. 15 For it happened, when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, after he had killed every male in Edom 16 (because for six months Joab remained there with all Israel, until he had cut down every male in Edom), 17 that Hadad fled to go to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him. Hadad was still a little child. 18 Then they arose from Midian and came to Paran; and they took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, apportioned food for him, and gave him land. 19 And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, that is, the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 Then the sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house. And Genubath was in Pharaoh’s household among the sons of Pharaoh. 21 So when Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his fathers, and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me depart, that I may go to my own country.” 22 Then Pharaoh said to him, “But what have you lacked with me, that suddenly you seek to go to your own country?” So he answered, “Nothing, but do let me go anyway.”
23 And God raised up another adversary against him, Rezon the son of Eliadah, who had fled from his lord, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 So he gathered men to him and became captain over a band of raiders, when David killed those of Zobah. And they went to Damascus and dwelt there, and reigned in Damascus. 25 He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon (besides the trouble that Hadad caused); and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria. 26 Then Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zereda, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king.
From the beginning God had warned Israel not to intermarry with the pagan nations around them, or else they would be led into idolatry by their pagan wives. But Solomon stopped listening to God’s Word when earthly wealth, pleasure, fame, and glory captured his heart and seduced his soul. He turned away from God and clung to his foreign wives “in love.” The king’s secret idolatry soon turned into open idolatry that led the whole nation of Israel astray. Who would have thought Solomon could fall so hard?
Riches, fame, glory, and unbelieving spouses continue to seduce Christians away from faith in God. The Apostle Paul warned against these and similar things: “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (1 Tim. 6:9). If we think we can ignore God’s warnings and stand firm on our own, then we fall into Solomon’s trap.
But even amidst the punishments God sent upon Solomon and Israel, He preserved one tribe to Solomon’s heirs because of His promise to David of a Son who would reign forever. From this one tribe of Judah has come another Son of David, who stood firm against every assault and temptation, who refused the devil’s offer of worldly riches, fame, and glory, and who chose instead to reign as King from a cross. This King now reigns over a kingdom of grace, earnestly calling us away from sin and earthly desires to cling to Him Who loved us, and to receive strength from His Word in our daily battles against carnal temptations.