In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been. Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done. On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods. The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 1 Kings 11:4-9
During the early years of Solomon’s reign, his attitude was of loyalty and love to God. “Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father, David” (1 Kings 3:3). He was seeking godly wisdom and prayed to God that he will be effective in leading the Israelites. “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9). But not for long for he became dependent on the leader of Egypt for military security or trade advantages. Then to guarantee having this security, he sealed this union by marrying the pharaoh’s daughter. This begun a long pattern of taking foreign women. These were wrong for lustful motives, and also for enticing his heart to worship false gods. Then he began to practice idolatry by offering on high places rather than at God’s special tent before the Ark, which David had provided. Offerings on the many high places away from Jerusalem would soon be linked with a drift to false gods. Gradually and silently, he began to drip spiritually. Materialism, sensuality, idolatry, and pleasure now were his priorities. This affected his leadership and fractured the nation as well as his family. He became irrational with his decisions. Until he realized that all he was doing were "vanity and striving after wind" (Ecclesiastes 2:26). Nothing satisfied him any longer. Deterioration that leads to spiritual decay is never loud and never obvious. Oftentimes it is seldom even noticed. Once we begin to tolerate the once we formerly reject for it appears harmless, maybe even a bit exciting, a gap that seemed to be insignificant will grow wider that the moral erosion could take place and lead to spiritual decay. "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12). So be on guard! “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Noel De Guzman