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Fundamentals of Christian Education

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    Chapter 65—Lessons from the Life of Solomon

    “Be Ye Separate”

    Placed at the head of a nation that had been set as a light to the surrounding nations, Solomon might have brought great glory to the Lord of the universe by a life of obedience. He might have encouraged God's people to shun the evils that were practiced in the surrounding nations. He might have used his God-given wisdom and power of influence in organizing and directing a great missionary movement for the enlightenment of those who were ignorant of God and of His truth. Thus multitudes might have been won to an allegiance to the King of kings.FE 498.1

    Satan well knew the results that would attend obedience, and during the earlier years of Solomon's reign,—years glorious because of the wisdom, the beneficence, and the uprightness of the king,—he sought to bring in influences that would insidiously undermine Solomon's loyalty to principle, and cause him to separate from God. And that the enemy was successful in this effort, we know from the record: “Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David.”FE 498.2

    In forming an alliance with a heathen nation, and sealing the compact by marriage with an idolatrous princess, Solomon rashly disregarded the wise provisions that God had made for maintaining the purity of His people. The hope that this Egyptian wife might be converted, was but a feeble excuse for the sin. In violation of a direct command to remain separate from other nations, the king united his strength with the arm of flesh.FE 498.3

    For a time, God in His compassionate mercy overruled this terrible mistake. Solomon's wife was converted; and the king, by a wise course, might have done much to check the evil forces that his imprudence had set in operation. But Solomon began to lose sight of the Source of his power and glory. Inclination gained the ascendency over reason. As his self-confidence increased, he sought to carry out the Lord's purpose in his own way. He reasoned that political and commercial alliances with the surrounding nations would bring them to a knowledge of the true God; and so he entered into unholy alliance with nation after nation. Often these alliances were sealed by marriage with heathen princesses. The commands of Jehovah were set aside for the customs of the surrounding nations.FE 498.4

    During the years of Solomon's apostasy, the spiritual decline of Israel was rapid. How could it have been otherwise, when their king united with satanic agencies? Through these agencies the enemy worked to confuse the minds of the people in regard to true and false worship. They became an easy prey. It came to be a common practice to intermarry with the heathen. The Israelites rapidly lost their abhorrence of idolatry. Heathen customs were introduced. Idolatrous mothers brought their children up to observe heathen rites. The Hebrew faith was fast becoming a mixture of confused ideas. Commerce with other nations brought the Israelites into intimate contact with those who had no love for God, and their own love for Him was greatly lessened. Their keen sense of the high and holy character of God was deadened. Refusing to follow in the path of obedience, they transferred their allegiance to Satan. The enemy rejoiced in his success in effacing the divine image from the minds of the people that God has chosen as His representatives. Through inter-marriage with idolaters and constant association with them, Satan brought about that for which he had long been working,—a national apostasy.FE 499.1

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