Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, 12,000 horses and 4,000 stalls; however, his biggest sin was not in what he had, but in what he lacked.

Solomon’s Wives

Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, but why?

You have probably heard somebody say something along the lines of, “Solomon had 1,000 wives! He had an issue with lust! If you look at the book of Ecclesiastes, you can see that his lust was never satisfied!” Surely, there is some truth there, but he did not have 700 wives and 300 concubines solely because of lust.

In the Ancient Near Eastern culture, a culture that Solomon was a part of, women were given to make political alliances. It was common, that a neighboring king would give his daughter (or other high class women) in marriage to another neighboring king, to promise their military allegiance as an ally. What kind of king would attack his own daughter’s kingdom?

Solomon’s multitude of wives doesn’t primarily suggest that he had a strong problem with lust, but it primarily suggests that he had strong political alliances.

Solomon’s Horses

Solomon had 12,000 horses and 4,000 stalls, but why?

You have probably heard somebody say something along the lines of, “Solomon had over 10,000 horses! He had a greed issue! If you look at the book of Ecclesiastes, you can see that his greed was never satisfied!” Again, there is some truth there, but he didn’t have 12,000 horses and 4,000 stalls solely because of greed.

Warfare looked very different in the Ancient Near Eastern culture than it does today. Solomon lived in a world that didn’t have guns and tanks. The closest thing to a tank in Solomon’s day were horses pulling a chariot. The more horses and chariots that a kingdom possessed, the stronger their military was.

Solomon’s multitude of horses doesn’t primarily suggest that he had a strong problem with greed, but it primarily suggests he had a strong military.

Solomon’s True Sin

Solomon had a multitude of wives and a multitude of horses, which signified he had strong political alliances and a strong military.

God gave the kings of Israel the command to not marry foreign women, but why? He gave this command because the kings of Israel were not supposed to trust in their political alliances, but were supposed to trust in their alliance with God alone!

God gave the kings of Israel the command to not purchase horses from Egypt, but why? God gave this command because the kings of Israel were not supposed to trust in their military strength, but they were supposed to trust in God’s strength alone!

Solomon’s biggest sin was not in what he had, but in what he lacked. Solomon did not have trust in God alone, but he also placed his trust in his political alliances and warhorses.

Solomon’s true sin was not lust or greed, but it was a lack of trust in God alone.

We Are All Solomon

Now before we grab our stones and condemn Solomon, let’s be aware of the fact that we are all more like him than we think. We don’t have 1,000 spouses and 12,000 horses, but we still have an issue with trusting in God alone!

During a time of political elections, are we trusting more in our future presidential candidate than in God? During sickness, are we trusting more in the doctors than in God? Are we trusting in our home security systems for the safety of our families more than we are trusting God? Are we trusting our job security to make sure that we are provided for more than we are trusting God?

Now don’t get me wrong; God works through the role of the POTUS, God works through the hands and advice of doctors, I personally own a home security system, and we all appreciate financial security.

The Difference Between Solomon and Us

Unlike Solomon, God has not forbidden us from having these additional things. In fact, as stated above, God can and does operates through these additional means.

The problem arises when we trust the POTUS so much, that we stop praying for God to lead us. The problem is when we trust our doctors so much, that we stop praying to God for healing. The problem is when we trust our home security systems so much, that we stop praying to God for protection. The problem is when we trust our jobs so much, that we stop praying to God for provision.

What areas in your life have you misplaced your trust? What areas of your life do you need to transition your trust from being placed in aspects of fleeting creation and place them in the hands of our sovereign Creator?