Photo of woodcut illustration by kladcat on Flickr.
By Lisa Nordell-Detres
King Solomon’s marriages to 700 wives and his 300 concubines are used by those who would redefine marriage as one example of what they believe to be an inconsistent illustration of Biblical marriage, as opposed to the “Adam and Eve” marriage that God performed in the Garden of Eden. What these groups fail to understand is that God never condoned polygamy, even though it was a common practice in the ancient times and some of the other big names in the Bible like Abraham and King David had more than one wife. None of them were better for their harems.
What is more, despite the great wisdom that God bestowed upon Solomon, He also warned Solomon against the multiple marriages; that the women who did not share his Jewish faith would lead his heart away from God. Sure enough, that is exactly what happened; Solomon defied at least the first, second and seventh Commandments and over time, built altars in Israel to the gods of his wives. The consequences were devastating to the entire nation of Israel. I Kings 11:9-13 records God’s anger with Solomon’s foolish decisions and lays out the resulting judgment that would forever divide Israel. The only reason that even Judah was left under the rule of King David’s descendants was because of God’s promise to King David.
The Book of Ecclesiastes is the old man’s memoir of sorts, a record of his jaded perspective of the folly of his own life’s accomplishments. Sadly, there does not seem to be any indication that Solomon repented of his sins other than his acknowledgement of the best life to be lived and why:
“Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13b-14 NIV)
Whether you are raising children or leading a nation, your decisions and actions will have a ripple effect on all those within your realm of influence and beyond. We all have a choice to either learn from the wisdom of God and errors of others, or we can waste the lessons of history and repeat the same mistakes, only to witness the devastation that will surely come as a result of our poor decisions. The choice and the responsibility is yours today.
Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.
Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.