Day 153: The Decline of Solomon

1 Kings 11:1-13 Unfortunately, Solomon’s wisdom did not extend to his personal moral life. Just as he had accumulated wealth, he accumulated over a thousand wives and concubines, drawing them largely from the pagan cultures of the region whose women the men of Israel were forbidden to marry. The very reason for this prohibition became apparent: Solomon was led into idolatry by his pagan wives rather than remain completely dedicated to the will of God. On account of these grave sins, God announced that the Kingdom of Israel would be divided once again after Solomon’s death. (CCC 1610, 2113)

Ch 11:14-43 The enemies of Solomon stood ready to revolt against Israel. St. Cyprian saw Jeroboam’s encounter on the road with the prophet Ahijah as highly significant: whereas the prophet tore the garment into twelve pieces and gave Jeroboam ten of them, signifying his share of a divided Israel, the Roman soldiers overseeing Christ’s Crucifixion left his seamless tunic intact, thus signifying the permanence of the Church until the end of time. Though Israel, a type of the Church, was divisible, the Church is not (De Unitate Ecclesiae, 7)

Ecclesiastes 10:1-20 No matter how wise or virtuous a person may be, he or she can never be immune to defects and weaknesses. At times, the foolish may seize on mistakes a wise and good person makes. An imprudent person will use the shortcomings of others to justify his or her own personal vices; however, a prudent person will struggle to maintain self-control and a temperate lifestyle and will refrain from rash or harsh judgements of others. (CCC 1809, 2290, 2539)

Ch 11:1 This is one of the many passages that stress trust in God’s care and protection, provided there is fidelity to his Commandments.

Ch 11:2-10 God’s goodness, wisdom, and beauty are reflected wonderfully in creation. The magnificent grandeur, harmony, and order give a certain knowledge of God, albeit limited and imperfect. God has revealed his attributes in all his works to facilitate a loving relationship between himself and individual persons. (CCC 31-34, 287-288, 302, 1147)

Ch 12:1-7 Death is a reality that involves everyone, and it can come at any time. Therefore, it is very important to take full advantage of the years of life to grow in love for God and others. Precious time is wasted when selfish ends become a priority over God and a virtuous life. One’s mortality and the finite nature of human life should serve as an incentive to center one’s life on Christ. (CCC 1007)

Ch 12:8 The author’s refrain is a constant invitation to embrace God’s Commandments and to remain detached from the goods of this world. ASs Thomas a Kempis wrote, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, unless one strives to love and serve God alone” (The Imitation of Christ, 1, 2). Vanity in many instances becomes a springboard to self-centeredness and sensuality. (CCC 2514)

Ch 12:9-14 These cherished sayings of Qoheleth were originally transmitted orally to his disciples and listeners and were later written down and compiled for later generations. In fact, all of Scripture began FIRST AS ORAL TRADITION. (CCC 126)

Psalm 9 In the original Hebrew, the verses of Psalms 9-10 form an acrostic poem, meaning that the first letter of each verse begins with a particular letter of the Hebrew alphabet and in their recognized order. This hymn of praise shows gratitude to the Lord for all that he had done for Israel, primarily in defeating Israel’s enemies and in imparting justice on evildoers.

Sheol: This underworld is an amorphous place where the Jews believed souls went after death.

He has executed judgement: God’s judgement will be definitive at the end of time, and the faithful can take solace knowing that his justice will prevail. The Chosen People, as they reflected upon their history, noted that-despite many hardships, misfortune, and infidelities-God’s loving providence and fidelity to his covenant never failed them. (CCC 1021, 1040)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

  • Solomon receives a final word from God:

“Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in our days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” (1 Kgs 11:11-13)

  • For the sake of political stability, economic prosperity, unrestrained lust, and military strength, Solomon triggers an earthquake that will shake the kingdom to its foundations.

  • Yet, since God promised that he would not remove his steadfast love from Solomon as he had from Saul (2 Sam 7:15), the sundering of the Davidic kingdom will not take place in his lifetime. His son Rehoboam, however, will be the catalyst for events that plunce Israel into the beginning of a long darkness.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible By Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

  • We saw hints of Solomon’s cracks

  • We saw hints of Solomon losing his away

  • Now, we see it happen

  • It is HORRIBLE


  • BUT…


  • 1 Kings Ch 11 King Solomon started out well, but he did not end well

  • Solomon started out WISE and ended FOOLISHLY

  • Solomon started out relatively GOOD and he did not end as a GOOD person, man, or king

  • We see that sometimes we make choices and other people have to experience the CONSEQUENCES of those choices

  • Not because someone else is being punished arbitrarily for our decisions




  • Parents can raise their kids and their bad decisions can pass on the consequences in their kids lives

  • If Fr. Mike chooses the wrong thing, there are consequences for people in his diocese and at the university

  • If Fr. Mike chooses the right thing, there are consequences for people in his diocese and at the university

  • King David was an absent father who did not pass on his holiness or relationship with the Lord to Solomon

  • And now Solomon, even though he was blessed so much by God not only with WISDOM but God SPOKE TO HIM and REMINDED HIM of the need to be FAITHFUL


  • A lot of us have KNOWLEDGE

  • We don’t always have the WILL

  • Where our faith gets unraveled, or given away, it is not necessarily because we came up against a really good argument against our faith

  • But…

  • It is more because we gave our HEART to someone OTHER THAN THE LORD

  • We gave our TIME to someone OTHER THAN THE LORD

  • We gave the DEEPEST PART OF US to someone OTHER THAN THE LORD

  • This is what happened to Solomon

  • He had 300 wives and 700 concubines

  • He loved them all (ok dude 🤨)

  • He gave his heart not just to many wives and concubines, which is not a good thing to do

  • He gave his heart to them in a way that opened himself up to FALSE WORSHIP

  • King Solomon built this AMAZING, INCREDIBLE TEMPLE for the Lord

  • He offered a lot of sacrifices

  • He gave everything to the Lord

  • BUT…

  • He also built temples FOR HIS WIVES

  • He also built temples to other gods

  • IT IS SO DEVASTATING to recognize that Solomon SPOKE WITH THE LORD, was GUIDED BY THE LORD, and he turns to false gods



  • If he participated in worshipping Molek, that means he participated in CHILD HUMAN SACRIFICE

  • Solomon was the GREAT BUILDER

  • Solomon was the WISE ONE

  • Solomon participated in this GREAT EVIL

  • Not because he was convinced it was TRUE, because he was WISE

  • But because he gave his HEART to people who led him ASTRAY

  • It’s hard to say this, but it is the truth and very important: If you want to stay faithful in your walk with the Lord, St. Paul says not to be yoked to UNBELIEVERS

  • To NOT marry someone who does not share your FAITH PASSIONATELY

  • To NOT marry someone who does not share your FAITH INTENSELY

  • To NOT marry someone who does not share your FAITH IN THE SAME WAY AS YOU

  • What happens is SPIRITUAL PHYSICS


  • It is so important to choose a spouse who LOVES THE LORD

  • It is so important to choose a spouse that you SHARE YOUR FAITH WITH

  • Or else, our lives could start out GREAT but, like Solomon’s life, end in DISASTER

  • The wisdom of Ecclesiastes Ch 12 we have a lot of advice to the young

  • This is beautiful poetry

  • “The days are going to come where you will say I have no pleasure in them; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain; in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows are dimmed…they are afraid also of what is high...the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails”

  • We all are getting OLDER AND OLDER AND OLDER

  • As we keep getting older, we keep getting less and less stable

  • Longing for another person fails, sexual desire fails

  • Qoheleth is highlighting these small things that we don’t think about

  • We are getting closer and closer to death


  • The conclusion is, “Vanity of vanity, all is vanity”

  • So why did we read Ecclesiastes?

  • Why did Qoheleth/Solomon/The Preacher preach these things?

  • Because we don’t always get what we want

  • You might do the good

  • The race is not to the swift

  • Nor the victory to the strong

  • Nor success to those who are smartest

  • It would be GREAT if that was the case, wouldn’t it?

  • Sometimes we grasp after HEVEL aka VAPOR aka MEANINGLESSNESS aka VANITY

  • These things seem to have SHAPE but when you try to grasp them, THEY ARE GONE

  • YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT (GREAT song by The Rolling Stones 😁🎸)


  • That is the message of ECCLESIASTES

  • Another message of Ecclesiastes is to NOT LOSE HOPE but to REMAIN HUMBLE

  • Everything is going to END

  • We can appreciate it all WHILE IT IS HERE

  • It is all going to be TAKEN FROM US

  • But we can appreciate it WHEN IT IS HERE

  • “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his Commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”


  • It may SEEM like life is MEANINGLESS


  • We might know the MEANING of this moment, but this moment ABSOLUTELY HAS MEANING


  • Tomorrow we start the second MESSIANIC CHECKPOINT!!

  • Continue to live WISELY TODAY, in AWE of God and keeping His Commandments



Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, yes give us wisdom. Give us wisdom to number our days correctly. Give us wisdom to know who we are. Yesterday we prayed Psalm 8 of who are we that you care for us? Who are we that as human beings that you even keep us in mind? And now, today Lord God, we just are struck by our need to ask you please to be reminded of how we need you to care for us, how we need you to pay attention to us because of the fact that there are so many obstacles, there are so many battles, there are so many things that are facing us this day, that we just ask you for your Grace and for your strength. We ask for your attentiveness and your love to be present in our lives, especially in the midst of battle, in the midst of struggle, in the midst of this life. We trust in you. We praise you. And we love you. Please receive this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”