|Dr. Couch, I understand that some believe Solomon was not saved, that he was so deep in sin with all his wives that he was not a child of God. How do you answer?|
ANSWER: Solomon was saved as we would understand it in NT terminology. But he was seduced by the idols of his many wives. We read in 1 Kings 11:4: "His many wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been." He "did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully" (v. 6). He "built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab , on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem , and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon" (v. 7). God commanded him "that he should not go after the other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded" (v. 10).
We know he was saved from 2 Samuel 7. Solomon would build a house for the Lord's name, and through Solomon, God would establish "the throne of his kingdom forever" (v. 13). Wow! Forever! God would "be a father to him and he will be God's son; when he commits iniquity, God will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men" (v. 14). But more, God's "lovingkindness" shall not depart from Solomon (v. 15). David's house and kingdom shall endure before God FOREVER; and David's throne, because of Solomon his son, "shall be established forever" (v. 16).
The Hebrew word "lovingkindness" is actually the word Chay'Sad which is better translated "mercy." The word is rich in meaning with a related word "to take refuge." God will be a place of refuge for Solomon, One who gives protection, One to whom Solomon can flee. Other meanings of the word can be: "kindness, benevolence, grace." The Jewish Rabbis say of 2 Samuel 7:15: "God's mercy shall not be permanently taken away." They add, "This promise through David and then Solomon is about an everlasting kingdom of the house of David powerfully influenced by the development of the Messianic hope in Israel ." And, "despite the sins of Solomon it is repeatedly affirmed that the kingdom shall not be withdrawn from David's house for his sake."
Thus, Solomon was saved, he was a believer in the Lord, though weak by being tempted with the idols if of his pagan wives!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch