By: Rev. Joe Kramer
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.
-(1Ki 11:1-8 ESV)
Solomon was the wisest king that ever reigned in Israel’s history. However he married foreign wives which was forbidden by God. Doing this allowed idolatry to enter into the lives of the people. Israel, after this time, always struggled with idolatry until they returned from the exile in Babylon.
There are some idols listed above because they were the worst. They are:
- Ashtoreth: The moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity. Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Jezebel’s 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1Ki_18:19). It was called the “queen of heaven” (Jer_44:25).
- Milcom/Molech: Moloch was one of the false gods that Israel would worship during its periods of apostasy. This false deity is associated with Ammon in 1 Kings 11:7. One of the practices of the cult that worshipped Moloch was to sacrifice their children.
In some passages the reference is clearly to a deity to whom human sacrifice was made, particularly in the Valley of Hinnom on the SW of the Jerusalem hill (2 Ki. 23:10; Je. 32:35) at a site known as Topheth (‘fire pit’ in Syriac).
The ancients would heat this idol up with fire until it was glowing, then they would take their newborn babies, place them on the arms of the idol, and watch them burn to death.
- Chemosh: We find that human sacrifice was part of the rites of Chemosh. This practice, while gruesome, was certainly not unique to the Moabites, as such rites were commonplace in the various Canaanite religions.
The thought amongst these people were that if they sacrificed to these gods they would get what they wanted. It is sad to think that Solomon could have done the same thing to his children, sacrificing them to false gods.
We have seen these kinds of detestable things happening in our society. We find the sacrifice of children on the altars of abortion for the parents’ gain. Also, Murder has reached epidemic heights, for various reasons but all for some kind of gain.
But what does this all mean? It all boils down to selfishness. We have become selfish. People will do anything they can to get ahead of the rest and putting themselves first and everyone/everything else last. This has infiltrated our society to the point that it is a major influence in Churches! We must stop and repent, each one of us for our selfishness and then God will move in our midst again and will bless us. But not until repentance takes place in each individual’s life.
How about you today? Is self-centeredness creeping its’ way into your life? The end result of this is doing things that once were detestable in your eyes in the name of getting what you want. If you see this beginning to take control in your life then it is time to repent and let God renew your heart. The Choice is yours.