Solomon: Used by God
My dear readers, upon further consideration, I have decided to add one additional post about Solomon before concluding with Solomon's Song.
Whenever a person questions Solomon's salvation, 'we all sin' immediately fills the air. "Do not judge is the most quoted verse in the Bible. Please, understand, I'm talking about motives but the fruit that people bear.
There are Psalms of faith and victory and others of humiliation and disillusionment. The latter is Psalm forty-four. The writer says, "Our heart has not turned back, and our steps have not deviated from Your way, yet You have crushed us in a place of jackals and covered us with deep darkness." (Psalm 44:18, 19) The Psalmist did not understand the difference between a faithful Jew and a Jew in name only.
God allowed Israel to be taken into slavery because the lost sinners in the nation grew worse and worse until God's judgment had to fall. Those with Abraham's faith were chastened out of love to be made holy.
Generations Come and Go, and Sin Remains
Ezra or Nehemiah, the story is the same. Ninety years apart, the names change, but the behavior remains the same. Ezra was written in 536 BC. His reaction to the sin is recorded in Ezra 9:2, 3. "When I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled out some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled."
Ezra, like Daniel, wept and prayed, confessing the people's sins. He included himself by using the preposition 'our' when praying, revealing his repentant heart even though he was not guilty of the same sin. There are few other Bible Scenes as dramatic as Israel standing before Ezra, weeping and vowing to put away their foreign wives while standing in the pouring rain. Repentance is a forgotten practice in Churches that thank God for salvation with hardly a mention of the depraved nature of sin.
Ninety years later, Nehemiah was written in approximately 446 BC. Nehemiah restored the legal practices in Israel and was very passionate about his love for God's commands. Anyone can call themselves a Jew or a Christian, but it cannot be genuine and be in word alone. "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (James 2:26)
A man is saved by faith alone going into salvation. Coming out of salvation is the obedience that faith produces. "Was our father Abraham not justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to Him as righteousness," and he was called a friend of God." (James 2:21-23)
Nehemiah's reaction to sin in the land was harsh. "In those days, I also saw that the Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab ...So I quarreled with them and cursed them, and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, "You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take any of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves."
Nehemiah used Solomon as a point of reference to scowled those rebellious Jews. "Did Solomon the king of Israel not sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, yet the foreign women caused even him to sin." (Nehemiah 13:23, 25-26)
Nehemiah does not say in James, speaking about Abraham, 'he was called a friend of God,' which is mutual. About Solomon, Nehemiah said, 'his God loved him.' Solomon sinned as a way of life throughout his life; he received wisdom, but he did not live accordingly. Therefore, Solomon did not love God. Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (John 14:15)
Seated on a Theocratice Throne
My dear reader, if you try to protect the state of all Christians who continue in sin without substantial repentance by defending Solomon, you are doing Christianity harm and not good.
Please understand Solomon's impossible situation because he was seated upon a throne that was never meant to be. Only one person is fit to sit upon the throne and rule God's people, and that is God in Jesus Christ. Man does not make a good God, and the world's history has proved that to be true. Even David's throne was too much for him to bear, and he did not restrain his lust because, as king, it was not necessary. However, Solomon differs from many other men in the Old Testament.
As a boy, David removed the head of a giant in the name of the Lord because he loved God. Moses is referred to as 'Moses, the servant of God' 129 times. He spoke to God face to face because of an enduring relationship. Enoch, who lived before the flood that destroyed all but eight people, walked with God so closely that God took him. Many others could be cited in the same way.
My dear reader, please understand there is a vast difference between a man who sins, even many times, and eventually gains victory over it and a man who never stops sinning. The first letter of John is dedicated to the distinction between these two very different paradigms. John said, "No one who remains in Him sins continually..." Speaking of the Pharisees that caused His death, Jesus said, "Do as they say, do not do as they do." Do we really want to defend Solomon because he taught well? Even the devil is transformed into an angel of light.
I fear that all discernment is being stripped away from God's people after a hundred years of God's love and no wrath. Solomon deprived himself of nothing! It seems to me that he is the poster child for today's average 'Christian.' There is no doubt that Solomon was used by God; that fact does not contradict the point I make in this series. The devil is used by God.