“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” 1 Kings 11:4
We read some time ago how Solomon started off strongly. He was serving the Lord alone, taking seven years to build the magnificent temple for Him. At the dedication of the temple, the presence of the Lord filled it so that even the priests could not go inside (1 Kin. 8:11). God had also spoken directly to Solomon: when he asked Him for wisdom (1 Kin. 3:5) and after the dedication of the temple (1 Kin. 9:1-2). In the second instance, God specifically warned him that if he or his descendants served other gods, then God would uproot Israel from the land.
Solomon had everything going for him. He enjoyed a time of peace with the surrounding nations. He had great wisdom, and became well-known because of it. He became wealthy. The combination meant that he could obtain anything he wanted. We read, ‘King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women... He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray’ (1 Kin. 11:1-3). One could say that Solomon was ‘unequally yoked’!!
Perhaps when Solomon filled his harem, he saw it as simply another collection of things. And these possessions of his wanted to serve the gods from their own culture. So to pacify them, Solomon allowed them to establish places of worship. Then he got drawn into participating in that worship. He broke the first and second commandments: to have no other gods but Jehovah, and to not make an idol or bow down to it. The lesson for us is this: be careful what you tolerate. Because what you tolerate, you encourage; what you encourage, you will participate in.