'Punishing the children for the sin of the parents,’ Exodus 20:5b
When we think of king Solomon, we think of his wisdom and wealth, the prosperity during his reign and his dedication to the God of his father David. But this dedication did not last. And yet his decline started so romantically: it started with love. And what is more beautiful than love? But Solomon loved women who served other gods, and not the God of David. At first this did not affect Solomon, for he was young and strong. He himself would not forsake God!
Throughout the ages many young people have thought likewise when they fell in love with others who were not devoted to God. But if we - in the prime of our lives - compromise our pure devotion to the Lord, then it goes from bad to worse. ‘As Solomon grew old…’ When people grow old, it often is revealed what was hidden deep in their hearts in the prime of their lives. When Solomon was young, his devotion to the Lord had not been undivided and later he became more ‘broadminded’.
Are we becoming more ‘broadminded’ too? If so, then this is because we have lost our first pure devotion to God. Then we do concessions. And although we still seem to be quite Christian ourselves, our inner - and often hidden - apostasy from the Lord is revealed terribly grim in our children who could not see the true living God in our darkened lives.
All dedication of his youth was of no avail to Solomon. His apostasy from God was the cause of the division among the chosen people throughout their history… until God will have mercy and will unite His people to be one people again. Not because of Solomon, but because of David who – in spite of stumbling often - remained faithful to his God until his death.