For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. (1 Kings 11:4 ESV)
Solomon was the living embodiment of the American dream.
With God-granted wisdom, he was one of the most intelligent men to walk the earth. The sheer enormity of his wealth would even make Bill Gate envious. His reign signified the height of Israel’s power and influence, which gave him vast political and religious authority (picture the President and the Pope rolled into one). With 700 wives and 300 concubines, he had a physical harem that rivals even digital ones today.
Solomon certainly had it all.
Or so it would seem.
In this verse, we read that his large harem proved to be his undoing. Taking many of his wives as political power-plays, they came from all corners of the earth, bringing with them their own gods. Eventually, Solomon turned his heart away from the LORD, betraying the God of his father, David.
For all of the promise and wisdom that Solomon showed, even he could not overcome in himself the curse of sin.
Ecclesiastes is traditionally taught to be the final teachings of Solomon, turning his heart back to the LORD at the end of his life. Though we cannot be certain, Ecclesiastes does seem to fit the bill.
In that book, we have a brief commentary on life under the curse of sin. It’s a brutally honest look at the mess that sin has made of the world, while ultimately coming to the conclusion that God alone is the answer to finding meaning and peace.
Even Solomon with all his wisdom could not withstand triumph over sin by himself, pray then for God’s grace to “deliver us from evil (Matt. 6:13).”