Every time I read about Solomon and his wealth and his wisdom, about the peace and prosperity of the Golden Age of Israel, I wonder what happened. How did it all go so bad so fast?
I was thinking about this and wondering what to write for this blog, and then Sarah Northup sang "Slow Fade" from Casting Crowns during the offering at church yesterday, and it made sense.
Here's the chorus:
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade
Solomon didn't wake up one morning and suddenly decide not to serve the one living God, and God didn't reject him after one single transgression. This was a process, little things that pulled him farther and farther away from the heart of God.
But what started it?
Was it when purchased so much gold and other materials from Hiram, king of Tyre, that he had to pay him with the land God had given the people of Israel.
Was it when he built a the greatest throne in all the known world, and all the world's kings came to him and paid him homage.
Was it the decision to marry women who worshiped other gods?
Regardless, it was a series of choices, and choices made as a result of those choices that led to his ultimate separation from God.
Maybe Solomon thought God didn't care that he made sacrifices to other gods. I mean, nothing happened at first. But in the end, God came to Solomon and said, I will take the kingdom away from your son and give to Jeroboam, who serves me with his whole heart. For the sake of your father David, this won't happen until after your death, and also for the sake of David, I'll leave your descendants one tribe, the tribe of Judah.
It's rather telling that Solomon didn't mourn his sin, and he didn't repent. Instead, he sent men to kill Jeroboam, and Jeroboam fled to Egypt.
Yes, it's a slow fade.
"So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it." (Hebrews 2:1 NLT)