“Ask what I shall give thee,” the Lord God said to King Solomon (1 Kings 3:5). Instead of asking for riches, fame, or long life, Solomon asked of the Lord, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad…” (9). The Lord was pleased at Solomon’s request and gave him wisdom such as never was or will be in the future (12). The fame of Solomon was spread abroad because of his great wisdom and understanding.
Solomon prospered and was blessed because of this divine gift of wisdom. He built a beautiful temple for the worship of the Lord. In spite of all his wisdom, Solomon disobeyed God and loved women of other lands who were idolaters. God had given specific command: “Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love” (1 Kings 11:2).
“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.” How sad to see the ruin of a wise man such as Solomon. At the time, Solomon most likely believed he was astute in marrying women of other nations as he formed political alliances. He disregarded the instruction of the Lord, being persuaded his heart was fixed on the Lord and that he would never deviate from the way of righteousness.
Solomon did not immediately turn away from God. He was influenced by his pagan wives over a process of time. Envision one of his wives coming and asking for money to build a temple to her pagan God. Hear Solomon responding with, “I don’t believe in your gods, but here are the funds you request.” Later the wife returns and says, “Dear Solomon, love of my life, would you please come to the dedication of the wonderful temple you had built for my god?” After multiple times and interaction with his wives who did not worship the true God, Solomon’s resistance to evil was slowly but surely worn down. Over many years, his heart was turned away from God until he eventually did evil in the sight of the Lord.
Solomon turned away from God because of the influence of his wives. Let us learn from this tragic story as we reflect on the ruin of this wisest of men. We must be cautious and beware of the influences being exerted on our lives. We will never be so spiritual that we are exempt from evil influences if we willfully subject ourselves to them. With best of intentions, the strongest will become desensitized to evil; and spirituality will decline when holiness is not paramount in the life. Even a rock will get a hole in it after water drips on it for years.
The devil does not care how long it takes to steal your salvation. He will try to wear you down spiritually by the subtle influences that are abounding in the world. People are letting down their spiritual guard and allowing the things of this world to fill their lives. Everything you do, everywhere you go, what you listen to and watch, the people with whom you fellowship, etc. all have great influence on your life. Remember the ruin of Solomon in his old age. Walk carefully and prayerfully and ever beware of the pressures and influences around you.