In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon looks back over his wasted years and finds no joy in them, only futility, vanity, and “a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14). He concludes that everything is meaningless – wisdom, pleasure, toil, advancement, riches – you name it, Solomon had been there, done it and found it all to be meaningless.
What’s more serious, though, is the spectacular manner in which he turned away from God, took unto himself hundreds of wives and concubines, daughters from the pagan nations, and abandoned the worship of the one, true God.
“He had seven hundred wives of royal birth, and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 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).
To please his wives, Solomon even got involved in sacrificing to Chemosh and Molech, gods that required “detestable” acts to be performed (1 Kings 11:7-8).
Yet he appears to have learned a salutary lesson before he died:
“Now all has been heard; / here is the conclusion of the matter: / Fear God and keep his commandments, / for this is the duty of all mankind. / For God will bring every deed into judgment, / including every hidden thing, / whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).
Having just finished reading the book of Ecclesiastes I would like to ask if there is any biblical basis for thinking that Solomon returned to God and was forgiven by God for his sinful life.