When Solomon became old, his wives shifted his allegiance to other gods; he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been.
[1 Kgs 11:4 NET]
The Arabs have a tradition that for a long time a little worm was gnawing in the staff on which Solomon leaned, until at last the staff broke and the great king fell. It was at the king’s heart–that the worm was really gnawing.
A perfect heart does not mean a sinless heart–but a heart wholly devoted in its aim and motive to God. Solomon had a corner in his heart for the Lord, and then other corners for the gods of other nations. The Savior’s words come in here: “You cannot serve both God and Money.”
We need to be on our guard against this Solomonian religion. There is plenty of it. It is very broad church. It abhors the preaching of the stern truths of God’s Word about sin and holiness. It sends well-near everybody to heaven, and regards hell as a mediaeval fable. It calls strict Christians, intolerant and narrow-minded. It calls great sins ‘escapades’, and finds no use for such psalms as the fifty-first. It is not hard to see in the story of David and Solomon, however, which of the two kinds of religion pleases God the better, and which leads to the nobler end. If what his religion did for Solomon is a fair sample of the outcome of that sort, it does not appear to be quite satisfactory.