KEY SCRIPTURE. 1 Kings 11:1-3
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, 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: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
While walking in the crisp dark of the morning a few days ago, I thought of Solomon's thousand wives and wondered why he didn't acquire more while he had the chance. I'm joking!
Many people raise the fact of Solomon's massive harem to point out his sin and falling away, wondering what entitled him to those women while being a believer. Preachers often use the subject for various sermons.
Then Jesus' words in Matthew 5:28 about adultery came to mind , "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." As I was working that in, I thought on Job's monogamous message about single-sighted marriage. " I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1) You know how one scripture leads onto the next?
After I rolled these scriptures around, the thought came about the sin of heart-adultery, which is a commandment offence. Exodus 20:14 & 17, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." & "...thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant,..."
These scriptures also apply to women. With that melting pot of concepts, I wondered how often a mind & heart without control measures commits adultery over time. More than a thousand?
This topic is generally taboo. When we speak of it, we tiptoe around the subject. But Christ suffered and overcame all thoughts and desires, not just a few selected ones. Looking at the original scripture for marriage and mental purity in Genesis 2:24, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh", we cannot help wondering why Solomon, with all his favour, blessings and commitment, would try to stretch God's grace such as long way. Yet, in light of this thought, are some of us struggling as did Solomon—by committing similar heart-sins of the same magnitude and trying to stretch grace further than it will go?
What entitles us to those women (or men) while being believers? Especially when we're to be found doing the opposite—casting down those imaginations. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Photo by James Bold