The fall of Solomon
Among those who though initially walked with the Lord wholeheartedly, latter, by permitting sin to enter their hearts, were driven away from Him, there is probably no louder example than Solomon. Three books of the Bible have him as writer, and this alone may be enough to show how hot this man initially was for the Lord. The wisdom the Lord had given him was really extraordinary. As we read in I Kings 4:29-30, 34 :
I Kings 4:29-30, 34
"And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.......And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon."
and as I Kings 3:3 tells us:
"And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David"
Solomon loved the Lord and followed what David, his father, had commanded him. However this did not last for ever. As we said earlier, what we did yesterday, does not guarantee what we will do today. Whether we will follow the Lord or not is a decision made day by day, even moment by moment. Thus though Solomon initially followed the Lord, he did not do this for ever. I Kings 11:1-8 tells us:
I Kings 11:1-8
"But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not FULLY follow the LORD, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods."
Solomon did not FULLY turned away from the Lord. In contrast, "HE DID NOT FULLY FOLLOW THE LORD". In other words he was not cold, but he was not warm either. He was lukewarm. He preferred to follow the flesh and its desires than the Lord and His commandments. The Lord's reaction to this change in Solomon's heart is given in I Kings 11
I Kings 11:9-12,14,23,26
"So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son.....Now the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite;........And God raised up another adversary against him, Rezon the son of Eliadah......Then Solomon's servant, Jeroboam the son of Nebat......also rebelled against the king"
Despite the fact that Solomon was reproved, he did not change. In contrast, by reading further we will see him fighting even against the prophecies of God regarding the breaking of his kingdom (I Kings 11:40)! His example shows what can happen to a man of God when he permits the world to live in him: he will soon worship what the world worships.
Solomon's case is not the only case where a man hot for the Lord became lukewarm. Many have fallen and are fallen into the same trap. That's why II Corinthians 13:5 calls us to "examine ourselves as to whether we are in the faith". That's why I Timothy 6:10 (see also I Timothy 1:5-7, 19-20, 4:1, 5:8) speaks for those who "For the love of money.....HAVE STRAYED FROM THE FAITH". That's why Jesus speaks for a lukewarm church. The love of the world eliminates the love of the Father and the fact that we are (if we are) in the faith today does not guarantee that we will also be tomorrow. As John II 8 suggests:
II John 8
"LOOK TO YOURSELVES, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward."