When Compromise Ruins

Key Verse: “The LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice.”
—I Kings 11:9

Selected Scripture:
I Kings 11:1-13

ALTHOUGH THE NATION OF Israel reached its greatest prosperity under Solomon, his reign and eventual shortcomings began to mark a decline in God’s favor to them. Much of this decline can be traced to the sinister quality of compromise, both in Solomon as well as in the people generally.

It was common in ancient times for a man to have more than one wife, or to have ‘secondary’ wives, called concubines. But the case of Solomon was indeed extreme. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. It is easy to see how this would quickly have a negative impact upon him. To make matters worse, many of these women were not Israelites, but were from those heathen countries which surrounded Israel: Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Edom, and others. (I Kings 11:1) They were nations of which the Lord had warned, “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.” (vs. 2) As the Lord had predicted, verse 3 of our lesson states concerning Solomon: “His wives turned away his heart.”

Solomon, wanting to keep his wives happy, compromised by building places for them to worship their heathen gods such as Ashtoreth, Chemosh and Molech. (vss. 5,7) This was not all. Solomon himself began to worship these false gods rather than the God of Israel. “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.” (vs. 4) It is interesting that Solomon is here compared with his father, who had likewise not been completely righteous in God’s sight, but recognized that he had sinned, and was sincerely repentant.

There is no indication that Solomon showed any remorse or sorrow for his departure from the ways of God. This made his standing before God much more unfavorable, to such an extent that he was told, “Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.”—vs. 11

The Key Verse indicates that Solomon had been warned at least twice previously against going after other gods. In I Kings 3:5-14 and 9:2-9, these warnings are recorded. Sadly, Solomon did not take these to heart. Perhaps he reasoned that as long as he did not deny the Lord directly, that a measure of compromise would do no harm. A little compromise led to still more, until eventually there was little time or desire left for worship of the one true God, the God of his father, David.

Truly this lesson points out that there is no room for compromise when it comes to the worship of God. Well did the Apostle Paul say, “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”—I Cor. 8:5,6

Dawn Bible Students Association
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