Have you ever noticed that although there are an abundance of boys named David, the name Solomon is much less common. And, to be honest, I wouldn’t name my son Solomon.
David sinned to be sure, but he was repentant(2 Samuel 12:13). The Psalms are full of David’s songs of repentance, even his song of repentance after he sinned with Bathsheba(Ps. 51). David sinned against the Lord, but he confessed his sin, and turned from it. He ended well.
Solomon is a different story. He started well. He made a righteous choice and asked God for wisdom and God added his blessings abundantly upon him. 1 Kings 10:23-25 says this:
“Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and gold, garments, myrrh, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.”
The other parts of that chapter describe Solomon’s great wealth. Then comes chapter 11:
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.
And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that 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 your 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 that I have chosen.”
And the LORD raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom.
(1 Kings 11:1-14 ESV)
What a change. It just serves as a reminder to me that there is a difference between starting well and finishing well. I want to finish well.