Many preachers preach that King Solomon is in hell as his end was bad though the beginning was good. Some quote that in the list of heros of faith listed in (Hebrew 11 Chap.) King Solomon’s name is missing.The reason they say are Solomon did not have victory over his flesh and had about one thousand wives and concubines. In his later part of his life he hearkened to his heathen wives and built temples for their gods and worshipped them (I kings 11: 3-10). So God was angry upon Solomon and gave punishments, and because of his father King David, God was showing mercy on Soloman and did not snach the kingdom from him but permitted him to reign for forty years, but took away ten tribes from his son King Rehoboam for the sins of King Solomon.
Though it sounds correct, let us verify the fact through the word of God. When Solomon was born to Bathsheba, God loved the child and gave the child a special name Jedidiah, which means Beloved of the Lord. In some languages we can read his name from right to left and left to right, and it gives the same name. (II Sam. 12: 24, 25) When Solomon became king, he went to Gibeon and offerred one thousand burnt offerings, as his heart was so enlarged for his God, and God was pleased on Solomon and asked him what he wants in return, in a dream? Solomon asked God an understanding heart to judge the people righteously, which was again a pleasing thing to God and gave Solomon wisdom which is exceding all wisemen of the earth, present, past and also future wisemen. Also God gave Solomon the riches and honour over all other kings of the earth, which he did not ask (I Kings 3: 4-15).
King Solomon spoke three thousand proverbs and one thousand and five songs (I Kings 4: 32). As his name was Solomon, he was a king of peace, and he built the magnificiant golden temple for his God in the duration of seven years, though he had all materials plenty with him, stored by his father King David. But the negetive points are he was loving women of the gentiles too, inspite of God’s warning. Due to this he was made to slip from God’s ways and finally built temples for their gods and goddess and might be worshipped them during the dedication ceremonies, which took place in his later years when he became aged. God was angry upon king Solomon and chastised him for his faults. But before all these things God had foreseen, and told his father King David through the prophet Nathan, that Solomon the son of king David will be building the temple of God and God called him as his son and God will be his Father, which exaltation was never given to any body in the Old Testament except to king Solomon, and other all Old Testament saints were called servants of God including his father King David.(I Sam.7: 12-16) ( I Kings 11: 30-36)
Also God promised to King David that He will never remove His mercy from Solomon even if he trespasses His commandments, but will chastise him, and as God removed His mercy from King Saul, He will not remove it from Solomon. So according to the promise of God to King David, King Solomon and his generation ruled in Judea till they were taken captive by Emperor Nebuchadnazar, during the reign of King Zedekiah, the last king of Judea. Also King Solomon ruled for forty years like his father King David and his preceder King Saul. His end was also glorious that he was burried in in the city of his father King David (I Kings 11: 42,43) Also in Israel, the regular sacrifices and worship were continuing in King Solomon’s period and God was forgiving the trespasses of His people regularly. So God was faithful in His promise and Solomon was not rejected for his sins but chastised and accomodated in paradise. Glory be to God.
Now let us learn about King Saul. His beginning was very humble one, and God chose him to be the king of Israel. Accordig to (Psa. 68:27) “There is little Benjamin with their ruler”, God chose the little Benjamin tribe to rule Israel first. Accordingly God chose saul of Benjamin tribe to be the first king of Israel, but afterwards the kingship went to Juda tribe. (Gen. 49: 10) & (Micah 5:2) King Saul also ruled for forty years though the mercy of God was removed from him and an evil spirit was sent to torment him by God, due to his disobedient nature to God’s words. King Saul killed priests of God and their cities. He wanted to kill David the anointed one of God. Though King Saul drove away all sorcerers from his country, as per Mosaic Law, he did not get any answer from God due to his disobedience to God’s words, he went to a sorcerer woman to raise up prophet and judge Samuel to get his counsel. Samuel told King Saul, because of his disobedience,God chose David in his place and King Saul and his three sons would be with prophet Samuel on the next day (I Sam. 28: 15-19) Here in the life of King Saul also, his beginning was simple and humble, and the Spirit of God decended on him and he prophecised and people said “Is Saul also among the prophets?” ( I Sam. 10:11) Saul was anointed as king at the age of about 20 – 25 years, by prophet Samuel when Saul and his servant were searching the asses of his father, and came to a city in the land of Zuph. It was a preplan of God. (I Sam.9:5-15,16) In continuation of this happennings, then Samuel gathered all Israel to Mizpeh, and put lots and selected Saul as their king, and he was found to be the tallest man and goodly young man, and Samuel said to the people, see the king selected by God! And send the people away. Afterwards saul was living as a farmer in his home place Gibeah. After many years Ammonian king Nahash besieged Jabeshgilead and demanded the right eye of the people for a covenant, to bring reproach upon Israel (I Sam. 11: 1,2). When that message reached Saul in Gibeah, he was returning from field with his oxen, the Spirit of God came upon Saul and he was angry upon Ammonian king Nahash and gathered people of Israel and fought a war against Nahash and defeated him and saved Jabeshgilead. Then Samuel called all israel to Gilgal and ordained Saul as king over Israel, and offered sacrifices to God and all rejoiced greatly (I Sam. 11:4-15). On the second year of reign of King Saul, waged a war against Philistines (I Sam. 12: 1-4). In this war the Philistines were too strong and Saul’s army was very few in number, but God of Israel gave victory to Saul, through his son Jonathan ( I Sam.14: 15-23). Here let us check the age of King saul. In the second year of King Saul, Jonathan, his son was a knight and a captain in the army of his father, shows that he might be about twenty five years, and king Saul might be around fifty two years assuming Saul got married at the age of twenty five years, which means Saul was ordained as king by samuel in Gilgal after the war with Nahash at the age of about fifty years. This reveals that saul was a farmer up to the age of fifty years though he was anointed as king by Samuel at the age of about twenty five years! (25 years as a farmer) King Saul ruled Israel for forty years reveals that he was aboue ninty years when he died in war with philistines and Jonathan his son was about sixty five years. Here we must remember, King Saul and his father Kish were goodlier young lad who was the tallest man in all Israel and mighty man of power respectively ( I Sam. 9; 1,2).
King saul ruled Israel and protected Israelites from Moab, Ammon, Edom, kings of Zobah, Philistines) and Amalekites ( I Sam. 14: 47,48). He had Zeal for Mosaic Law and drove away all sorcerers from Israel (I Sam. 28:9). He had great affection towards prophet Samuel and even after the death of Samuel, he desired counsel from Samuel through sorcery as he did not receive any counsel from God.(I Sam. 28: 11- 19). He built altars, and was offering sacrifices and observing the sabbaths etc. He never worshipped strange gods. Even while chasing David to kill him, in two occations king Saul repented and wept for his mistakes (I sam.24: 15-22, & 26: 21).
But later, his life was not pleasing God, as he made mistake in the war with Amalekites and instead of completely destroying them and their belongings, he kept the fatlings of cattle, and did not kill their king Agag (I Sam. 15:7-9). He killed men, women and children completely, and all animals except fatlings of cattle, because of the words of his army captains for sacrifices of those animals to God, and he obledged them due to fear of men that what would the captains say if he kills the fatlings too. This fear of men became a snare to King Saul as he transgressed the commandment of God by pleasing men. Also king Saul did not wait for samuel and offered sacrifices during his first war with Philistines, due to the delay in Samuel’s arrival, and Philistins are about to wage war and he has not yet seeked the presence of God by offering sacrifices. (I Sam. 13; 8-14). So God was not pleased on King Saul and removed His mercy from King saul, and finally completed his rule of forty years, as Saul would bethe first and last king of Little Benjamin Tribe as per the prophecy, and permitted him and his sons to die in the war with Philistines (I Sam. 31; 1-8). Saul was an Old Testament saint would be judged by the Mosaic Law, and God might have considered his good works, and hence prophet Samuel counselled King saul that King Saul and his three sons would be with prophet Samuel on the next day (I Sam. 28: 15-19). So king Saul and his three sons died in the war with Philistines and went to paradise to rest with prophet Samuel, and God might have accepted all his good works for righteousness, despite many errors.