January 24, 1993
by Alistair Begg
King Solomon offers a prime case study of the human heart’s divided nature. Looking at the life of Solomon, Alistair Begg exhorts us to recognize our hearts’ deceitfulness and live in light of the truth that God knows and cleanses our hearts. Reflection on Solomon’s legacy should spur us to question our spiritual condition and ensure that our own hearts are not compromised in worship.
1Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2from 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. 3He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 4For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. 7Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. 8And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.
9And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice 10and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. 11Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 12Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.”