“Now Solomon brought the daughter of Pharaoh up from the City of David to the house he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy.” (II Chronicles 8:11)
Of all the characters in the bible, I find Solomon to be one of the most tragic. Here was a man described as being the richest and wisest king who ever lived. He had it all, did it all, and knew it all. He is the one who built the awesome temple of the Lord that David had first conceived of. He was the man! Good-looking, rich, wise, and a servant of the Lord to boot; Solomon began his rule in glorious splendor. However, we can see in the passage above that the seeds for his downfall were planted early on.
Reading II Chronicles 8 we find that Solomon was keeping the Law, and had instituted his father David’s Levitical revisions regarding worship, but was seemingly able to compartmentalize his life. Apparently Solomon knew that marrying Pharaoh’s daughter was not right. He obviously recognized the fact that his new bride did not serve the God of Israel, or else why would he refuse her living in a holy place? Yet we find that he married her any way, and built a palace to keep her comfortable and near to him. As we read the Bible, we learn that Solomon took many wives and they eventually drew his heart away from the Lord. I believe his slow fade started right there, with his Egyptian bride. And you know what? We do the same thing.
So often we pride ourselves in the fact that we are real Christians. Not only do we endeavor to adhere to true Biblical orthodoxy, but we know how to worship and praise the Lord with feeling as well. We are the real deal! Nevertheless, off to the side, where it really doesn’t interfere with our relationship with Jesus, we have built a place for our little pet sin. Oh, it’s not causing problems right now; we still worship the Lord, but it’s there all the same. Like Solomon, we may have planted the seeds for our own downfall.
Perhaps that’s why the writer of the book of Hebrews encourages us to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” We compartmentalize our lives, thinking that, “Okay, over here is my relationship with God and over there is the rest of my life. I know maybe this thing is not really the thing to do, but it’s not causing any real problems. Everything’s cool.” I wonder if perhaps Solomon thought the same thing. We go to church, we preach truth, we dance, we shout, we prophesy, and speak in tongues; but is there a compartment in our heart where we allow our pet sin to live?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts, see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”