A Lesson from Solomon (2 Chronicles 8:11)

2 Chronicles 8:11 – Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy.”

When God gives commands, his words are not unclear. The Bible, while perhaps not the simplest book ever written (it’s not Dick and Jane), is not beyond our ability to understand. Solomon was reported to be the smartest guy to ever reign in Israel. Thus, when Solomon took a wife from a forbidden nation, Solomon clearly understood that he was violating the commands of God.

The fact that Solomon knew that he had violated the commands of God is clarified by the fact that Solomon would not let his wife live in the house that David had built. Solomon knew that David’s house was a special place, a holy place, because the things of God had rested there. Solomon did not want to be dishonoring to God in that way, so he built his new wife a separate house to live in.

Here is the problem: Solomon knew he was dishonoring God by marrying that woman. Solomon knew that Pharaoh’s daughter could not live with him, because she could not be in a place God had made holy. Yet these were not enough reasons to keep Solomon from marrying this woman in the first place.

What might Solomon have been thinking? Let’s speculate a bit, as we might find some of our own hearts in view. We know that the Bible indicates that Solomon clung to his foreign wives in love. He deeply desired these women. He may have even “loved” them. Solomon allowed his desire to have these women to outweigh his desire for God.

Another thing to ponder here is that Solomon may have not seen the slippery slope down which his sin would lead him. Sure, he knew it was sin, but perhaps Solomon thought that he would draw the line at that point. You can just imagine the king saying to himself, “I’ll go this far, but I will not go one step farther.” Solomon, for all his wisdom, may not have recognized that, as many preachers have stated for many years, sin always takes us farther than we want to go.

Are either of Solomon’s two possible thoughts a danger for you today? Is there something you want so badly that it threatens to outweigh your desire for God? Is there a pleasure that you have in your life that dominates you? Ask yourself, is there something in my life that I will sin to get or sin if I do not get it? If so, you are in danger of becoming like Solomon; you are in danger of disobeying the clear commands of God for the desire of your heart. Repent, turn to God, seek his face, and make the Lord of all Heaven be the only true desire of your heart.

Perhaps you are in danger of the other angle we have taken on Solomon. Are you playing with a sin, thinking that you can stop it any time you want? If so, you are in deep trouble. There is no way that our sin-darkened hearts have the ability to intentionally sin and yet hold for our selves boundaries. Sin always leads us to push up against our self-imposed fences. We can not be willingly sinful in one area and then expect to live in righteousness everywhere else.

These issues got Solomon. By the end of King Solomon’s life, he was worshipping idols, marrying countless women, and losing most of the kingdom for his family. Solomon did not finish well, and this failure is mainly because he began with “small” sins like the one we read about above. Do not let this happen to you. If you are a believer, make sure that God is your chief desire above all other things. And be careful not to think that you can toy with sin. Sin is ugly, dangerous, destructive, and seductive. Sin will always take you much farther than you want to go, and you will not be able to defeat it if you are toying with it at the same time.

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