Was King Solomon saved?
NKJV - 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
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The word "saved" is a Modern Church concept based on the New Testament teaching in Acts as seen in the story of the Centurion in Acts 10). Pauline teachings also carry this word in several epistles, commonly Romans. The word is used 104 times in the KJV an 109 times in the NIV. if the idea here is whether Solomon had a person relationship with God and walked in the fear of Him in the same way the David did, then my answer is both yes and no. Let me qualify this statement. During the early years of his reign Scripture reports that Solomon walked in the ways of his father David. He lead the Israelite in worshipping God and touched the heart of God (2 Chron. 7) and God blessed him with immense wealth and wisdom. However Solomon departed from God later in his reign because of the evil influence of the Canaanite women that he married in disobedience and idolatry was introduced into the kingdom. His devotion to the LORD waned off and soon he lost His favor. He worshipped and built shrines to Canaanite gods including Chemosh and Molech the detestable gods of the Moabites and Ammonites, respectively (1 Kings 11:4-10). These acts alienated Solomon from God and drew him into open idolatry leading to the division of his kingdom after him. It was only God's promise and favor to David that restrained God's hand from striking Solomon during his reign. Notice the words of the writer of Kings in 1 Kings 11:9-10 "And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded." It appears that unless there was a fundamental transformation in his life, Solomon could not have written the kind of spiritual reflection that we read today. The second part of my reflection on this question touches on the concept of being saved or salvation. The Old Testament idea of salvation was about being delivered from one's enemies. David often spoke of this type of salvation when he celebrated God's favor on his life (See Psalm 18:3). The Jews viewed themselves as the house of God and any member of the community was automatically included in God's eternal plan for his people according to the promise to Abraham and Jacob if he obeys the law. The idea of rebirth is a New Testament doctrine that came with the ushering in of the saving works of Christ and the new paradigm of atonement and rebirth (John 3:5) of which Solomon or David could not have experienced in that context. God was however gracious to the Old Testament believers who were devoted to him and they certainly will experienced saving grace through obedience as was case with Abraham. Solomon is believed to have authored the Songs of Songs and Ecclesiastes and reading through these books one would begin to see a change in Solomon's reflection of life and relationship with God. He begins to regret a life lived in plenty without God saying "Vanity of vanities (Eccl. 1). He sums up his reflection in Eccl.11:9-10 and Eccl. 12). Bible scholars have concluded that Solomon may have changed his ways and returned to the LORD later in his long reign and that the two books and especially Ecclesiastes carry a reflection of the prudence and divine wisdom that God had endowed upon him. Some however argue that the two books reflect a life of regret and hard lessons that Solomon learnt and do not necessarily imply that he changed his ways. This argument is based on the fact that God had given Solomon special wisdom and the writings were a demonstration of this special grace upon him. My view is that Solomon may have turned to God after seeing vanity in the fine things of life, wealth, royal wine, the love of women which led him to his imprudence and sin may therefore have been apportioned his place among those to be raised to eternal life just as was Daniel and all the righteous saints of Old Testament.
It's generally accepted Solomon fell away from his singular worship of God - to serve the God's of his foreign wives - towards the latter part of his reign. However, what we don't know for certain is whether or not he turned away from that destructive behaviour before he died. Even the most vile of people can enter into God's rest if they sincerely turn towards God. And only God knows the state of Solomon's heart when he died.
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