The fall of Solomon.

Dear Friends, Today’s devotional tells of the fall of Solomon into sin and the response of God to that fall. It is full of practical help. God bless you. Because of Calvary, John Janney John Janney Grace Bible Fellowship Church Adult SS Elective: I Kings 11:1-43 E. Undermining God’s Kingdom (11:1-43) Cf. Deuteronomy 17:14-20 “This chapter begins with as melancholy a ‘but’ as almost any we find in all the Bible.” [Matthew Henry’s Commentary II, p. 481] “The shipwreck of Solomon is surely the most terrible tragedy in all the world. For if ever there was a shining type of Christ in the Old Testament church, it was Solomon.” [Alexander Whyte, Bible Characters I, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1952), p. 178] “Solomon had the greatest opportunity to be the ideal king Israel needed. With the donation of heaven-sent wisdom, the inherited subjection of all external threat, and, for much of his reign, an unchallenged supremacy over his people, he also enjoyed the gifts for the longed-for ideal to be realized. His failure is all the more culpable, and while he bequeathed to the future the perfect religious focus of the first Temple, no future king was compared with him as the model to be followed. This is the extent of his failure. “With Solomon the possibility of the ‘Judges ideal’ of messianic kingship being fulfilled came to an end. The king whom the author of judges desired would solve the religious, social, moral, and national problems of the people. Saul achieved success religiously (1 Samuel 28:9) but failed to achieve national unity; David brought the nation together around his own person and the new capital city of Jerusalem, but failed morally (2 Samuel 11), whereupon his family, his kingdom, and his own character disintegrated. Solomon, famed as well as chosen to be the builder of the house, corrupted the house with false gods (1 Kings 11:4-8). After this the incompetent Rehoboam fractured the kingdom…” [Motyer, The Story of the Old Testament, p. 66] “Failure in David; failure in Solomon; failure everywhere, save in Him who is the Witness faithful and true, Jesus Christ.” [Moorehead, Outline Studies in the Old Testament, p. 107] 1. Solomon disobeyed God’s Word (11:1-8) “If we were called upon to select a man who, as to his life as a whole, perpetrated the greatest folly, we should mention Solomon. Yet he was the wisest of man. Yes, the cream of wisdom, when curdled, makes the worst of folly.” [Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit XXXIV, (1888), p. 594] “…Surely it had been better for Solomon to have been buried alive, than to have miscarried in his old age…” [John Trapp, A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments I, (Eureka, CA: Tanski Publications, 1997), p. 562] “Scripture never blinks the defects of its heroes. Its portraits do not smooth out wrinkles, but, with absolute fidelity, give all faults. That pitiless truthfulness is no small proof of its inspiration. If these historical books were simply fragments of national records, owning no higher source than patriotism, they would never have blurted out the errors and sins of David and Solomon as they do…. The Old Testament histories are not written to tell Israel’s glories, or even…to recount its history, but to tell God’s dealings with Israel, — a very different theme, and one which finds its material equally in the glories and in the miseries, which respectively follow its obedience and disobedience. So Solomon’s fall is told in the same frank way as his wisdom and wealth; for what is of importance is not Solomon so much as God’s dealings with Solomon…” [Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture II, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, n.d., p. 202] “When Solomon was old.’ There is a haunting sadness about this phrase…. ‘When Solomon was old’… At that late hour…this aged man madly let go the hand of God.” [Clovis G. Chappell, Living with Royalty, (New York: Abingdon Press, 1962), p. 57] “If any age can secure us from the danger of a spiritual fall, it is our last; and if any man’s old age might secure him, it was Solomon’s, the beloved of God, the oracle, the miracle of wisdom: who would have looked but that the blossoms of so hopeful a spring would have yielded a goodly and pleasant fruit in the autumn of age? Yet, behold, even Solomon’s old age vicious! There is no time wherein we can be safe, while we carry this body of sin about us; youth is impetuous, mid age stubborn, old age weak, all dangerous…. How many have begun and preceded well, who yet have shamed themselves in the last stage! If God uphold us not, we cannot stand; if God uphold us we cannot fall. When we are at the strongest, it is best to be weak in ourselves; and, when at our weakest, strong in him, in whom we can do all things.” [Hall, Contemplations II, p. 133] “The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” [H. L. Mencken in Old Age Is Always 15 Years Older Than I Am compiled by Randy Voorhees, (Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2001), p. 194] “Is there not a warning to churches…who have a fixation on youth ministry and a love affair with young marrieds and/or young families? Need we not exercise far more vigilance over our over-sixties crowd, many of whom will doubtless meet the major troubles of their lives in their final years?” [Davis, p. 115] “Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.” [Arthur Bloch, Murphy’s Law: 26th Anniversary Edition, (New York: Perigee Books, 2003), p. 9] “…Solomon…sinned away his wisdom as Samson did his strength (and in the same way)…” [Matthew Henry’s Commentary II, p. 492] “Remember that according to Deut. 17:17 the king was forbidden to ‘multiply wives to himself,’ even if they were orthodox Israelite women. Solomon’s 700 + 300 harem (v. 3) clearly violated this. In I Kings 11 Solomon’s … Continue reading The fall of Solomon.