Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem… Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt… 1 Kings 10:26, 28

In the following chapter we are told that it was Solomon’s wives who turned his heart away from the Lord: “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).

However, consider this verse from Deuteronomy: “The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, ‘You are not to go back that way again'” (Deuteronomy 17:16).

Before Solomon’s wives led him astray, he had greatly increased his ownership of horses and chariots. His great wealth made it a simple thing to import horses from Egypt, even though God warned against it. In this we see that Solomon had already begun to rely on his own resources for security and protection rather than God. It was then an easy thing for his wives to turn his heart away from the Lord because he was putting his confidence in what he had acquired by his own strategy.

Instead of heeding God’s warnings, Solomon shored up his own military strength which inadvertently weakened his position with his wives. One apparently insignificant act of disobedience prepared the way for another and ultimately to his downfall.

Whenever we look to our own resources for protection or prestige, for comfort or confidence, for security or safety we are in danger of moving our hearts away from being fully devoted to the Lord.