Royalty and Ruin


Solomon’s Deep Repentance

God gave Solomon plain instructions and wonderful promises, yet the Bible says, “He did not keep what the Lord had commanded.” “His heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods.” 1 Kings 11:10, 9. His heart was so hardened in transgression that his case seemed nearly hopeless. RR 28.1

From the joy of fellowship with God, Solomon turned to the pleasures of the senses. He says, “I made great works; I built houses and planted vineyards for myself; I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. ... I bought male and female slaves. ... I also gathered for myself silver and gold. ... RR 28.2

“So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. ... Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them; I kept my heart from no pleasure. ... Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had spent in doing it, and again, all was vanity and a chasing after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” “So I hated life. ... I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:4-11, 17, 18, NRSV. RR 28.3

By bitter experience, Solomon learned that life is empty when it seeks its highest good in earthly things. Gloomy, disturbing thoughts troubled him night and day. He no longer had any joy or peace of mind, and the future was dark with despair. RR 28.4

Yet the Lord did not forsake him. By reproof and severe judgments He tried to awaken the king to the sinfulness of his course. He permitted enemies to harass and weaken the kingdom. “The Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite.” And “Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam,” “a mighty man of valor,” “also rebelled against the king.” 1 Kings 11:14, 26-28. RR 28.5