King Solomon and His Many Wives (Week 26, Part 5/5) 2 Samuel; 1 Kings | June 20-26 – powered by Happy Scribe
Making life-altering decisions is stressful and anxiety-inducing, especially when your choices affect the lives of others.
Knowing how to make the right decisions for both short term and long term benefits is particularly challenging.
As the king of Israel, Solomon had to consistently make very hard decisions, and the narrator of First Kings, chapter Eleven makes it pretty clear that Solomon did not always make the right choices.
One Kings, chapter Eleven details a lot.
Of Solomon’s missteps as God’s anointed ruler, and the chapter pays particular attention to the effect that his marriages had on Israel. But King Solomon loved many strange women.
Together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women.
Of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zedonians, and.
Hittites of the nations, concerning which the.
Lord said unto the children of Israel.
Ye shall not go in unto them, neither shall they come in unto you.
For they will surely turn away your heart after their gods.
Solomon clave unto these in love.
The narrator of this passage clearly condemned.
Solomon’s many wives because of the way.
It affected Solomon’s worship of the God of Israel. But the hard thing is, Solomon’s intentions.
Likely started out good.
Marriages and antiquity were common ways to.
Secure alliances with other countries. Solomon first sought to cement a strong relationship with the powerful land of Egypt.
And so he entered into a political marriage with the daughter of Pharaoh. One Kings, chapter three explained that Solomon.
Made affinity with Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
And took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her.
Into the city of David.
So on the surface, this seems like a reasonable move.
Solomon is now a son in law to the Pharaoh of Egypt and has.
A very strong ally to the south of Israel.
This first political marriage opened the door for Solomon to establish additional marriages and.
Alliances with surrounding countries.
One Kings eleven notes that he made marriages with women of the Moabites, the.
Ammonites, the Edomites, the Zedonians and the Hittites. And so between all of these countries.
Israel was surrounded on all sides by.
Friendly allies who could protect Israel and.
Collaborate for the benefit of their people. So in the short term, Solomon’s many marriages seemed to have accomplished his goal of peace and prosperity. Solomon’s reign would go down in history as being one of unprecedented peace and economic flourishing. However, a downside of entering into so.
Many marital alliances was disloyalty to the.
God of Israel, and he had 700 wives, princesses and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 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 these foreign wives entered the royal household, they were given freedom to practice their own religion and worship their own gods.
It could easily be seen as an.
Act of compassion and tolerance to these.
New members of the household.
In the long term, however, they ended up influencing Solomon and Israel at large into worshiping other gods, breaking the first great commandment. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.
With all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might.
Not only did these political marriages lead to forsaking the God of Israel, but.
It ironically led to the downfall of.
Solomon’s delicately balanced peace.
Starting in verse 14 of this chapter.
The Lord began to raise up political.
Adversaries against Solomon Haddad from the east.
Rezan from the north and Jarradoam from within Israel. With these three adversaries, Solomon was surrounded.
On all sides by threats to the.
Kingdom stability, undoing the peace that he.
Had worked so hard to cultivate through these foreign marriages.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see how.
One thing led to another, and Solomon’s large harem of wives led to the.
Downfall of the United Kingdom of Israel.
However, at the moment, it can be.
Hard to see how small decisions can lead to long term negative consequences.
In Solomon’s case, his intentions likely started out good, and even the short term.
Effects of his marriages may have brought temporary peace for Israel. But the longterm effects caused the split.
Of the united monarchy decades of destabilization.
Wickedness and idolatry in our lives. It can be easy to see how.
Seemingly harmless small decisions may produce temporary benefits for you and those you love. However, if those decisions cause us to.
Deprioritise the first great commandment to love.
God, they’re not going to benefit us.
In the long run.
Elder D. Tard Christopherson taught ignoring the.
First Commandment or reversing the order of.
The first and second Commandments risks a loss of balance in life and destructive.
Deviations from the path of happiness and truth.
Love of God and submission to him.
Provide checks against our tendency to corrupt.
Virtues by pushing them to the extreme.
Compassion for our neighbors distress, for example, even when the suffering is brought about.
By his or her own transgression, is noble and good.
But an unbridled compassion could lead us, like Alma’s son coriantin, to question God’s.
Justice and misunderstand his mercy.
It can be difficult to choose to.
Obey God’s commandments when doing so might.
Put us at a disadvantage in society.
However, when we put God first, god will sustain us and can help us.
Succeed and thrive in unexpected ways.