In our last study we discussed the issue of homosexuality and how Solomon had opened the door for this abomination by marrying many non-converted wives and then allowing his wives to influence him, as king, to allow their religious practices to be conducted in Israel. In this study we used Leviticus 18 to be the central point of discussion because Leviticus 18 describes a variety of sexual practices that the Canaanites participated in on a regular basis, and which they had incorporated into their religious practices.
In this study I want to briefly discuss several more issues that Solomon allowed to come into Israel. First of all Solomon made the decision to allow these religious practices to occur in Israel, even though God had clearly forbidden these ordinances to happen in His kingdom. To enhance these religious practices Solomon actively built altars and temples on the Mount of Olives so that his wives could practice their religious activities outside of Jerusalem. Thus Solomon not only countenanced these practices, but also actively aided them to occur, and then participated in them himself. We know this because his heart was turned away from the true God of Israel to the false and non-existing gods of his wives. This happened just as God predicted it would do. Deuteronomy 17:17; Exodus 34:10-17
In opening the door to these religious practices Solomon gave permission for all of the various abominable practices that the heathen practiced. Leviticus 18 has a variety of these evil practices. One of the major practices was to conduct various forms of incest – sexual contact between close family members. Leviticus 18:6-18. This included sexual contact with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law. No intimate contact with the near of kin. Apparently this was normal practice in the heathen cultures of Canaan, the very places, that many of Solomon’s wives came from.
Another abominable practice was sexual contact with a woman while she is experiencing her monthly cycle. Leviticus 18:19. God did not want to disrupt this part of the cycle and wanted to have it completed before regular sexual contact. Leviticus 20:18
God also forbade sexual contact with ones neighbor’s wife, and we would have to assume that with your neighbor’s husband as well. God has strictly forbade any sexual contact outside of the marriage relationship, and especially forbade adultery as part of the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 20:14,17. This was a manifestation of loving your neighbor, to honor the marriage relationship and to encourage fidelity between husband and wife rather than to undermine it. Adultery is also forbidden in the New Testament as well. See Romans 2:22; 13:9; James 2:11. On the other hand apparently adulterous behavior was approved of behavior in the Canaanite lands. Solomon allowed this to happen in Israel and thus was willing to undermine the commandments of God to satisfy his wives.
Another abomination was that of bestiality. God forbade sexual contact between humans and animals but Canaanite religions rejected the counsel of God to allow the indulgence of the flesh. Leviticus 18:23. God calls this behavior "confusion".
In the list of abominations in Leviticus 18 God specifically forbids the practice of worshipping Molech. Solomon specifically allowed this worship to take place on the Mount of Olives. Among all of the evil qualities of worshipping Molech was the ordinance of allowing your children to pass through the fire. Leviticus 18:21; II Kings 16:1-4; Psalms 106:36-39. To pass your child through the fire was to ask the god a question and then expose the child to some form of fire and if they did not get burned then that was a yes to the question, and if they did get burned then that was no. Thus the people sacrificed their children to false God, and many children died as a result of this worship service. To pass your children through the fire was to offer human sacrifice. This was one of the many abominations that Solomon participated in.
Solomon, through neglect or plan, attempted to conduct a form of syncretism – an attempt to combine, or amalgamate, two opposing worship systems. Solomon had been strictly warned against such a practice but apparently he felt that he was wise enough to attempt to join what God had said could not be joined. God has no working relationship with Baal, or any false god for several reasons. First of all, God recognizes that there is not other god out there to interact with. There is only One God – Jehovah. All other gods are figments of man’s imagination, with a lot of help from Satan. Therefore it is impossible to syncretise a true religion with a false religion. Secondly, God bases all of His interactions on the point of truth. God does not lie, nor does He mislead in any way. All of His ways are truth therefore to try to mingle truth and error is not possible from God’s point of view. God only wants truth and nothing but the truth. Thirdly, God wants the best for His people. Therefore to introduce error is to cause harm to His children. God does not condone harm, nor does He condone error. Thus all of God’s recommendations are to be a blessing to His people, and thus when they share with others, the blessings of truth that God wants to share are to be a blessing to all of the world.
All of these things Solomon distorted by introducing error into the kingdom. God wanted truth, and Satan wanted to introduce error and all of the chaos and confusion, that error brings. Solomon allowed these things to come into Israel, and thus countenanced this error then, and set the precedents of creating error today – the fruit of his decision making.
We have the opportunity of learning from Solomon’s errors. If we want to know what happens when someone attempts to unite Christianity with Paganism, all we have to do is look at the kingdom of Solomon and study all of the chaos and confusion that happened in the kingdoms after his death. We will study these things in more detail in future articles. Our job is to "see" the impact of Solomon’s decision making and learn not to do those things that he did. We can make a difference if we will turn away from any attempt to mingle Christianity and Error. God says it will not work, Solomon showed the foolishness of attempting to do these things. It is abomination. May we learn to trust in the ways of God.