And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:
Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:
Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
If thou wilt walk before me, then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever
But if ye turn from following me, I will rend the kingdom from thee, and give it to thy servant
When Solomon was anointed to be King of Israel, he had two possible futures detailed for him. He was told that on the one hand he could remain faithful and his kingdom would be maintained forever, or on the other hand he could forsake God and the kingdom would be taken away.
Of course only one of these possibilities came to pass. Solomon tragically fell into idolatry, and the majority of the kingdom was torn away at the beginning of his son’s reign. Later the remnant was overrun by the Babylonians.
Based on the passages we have previously studied, I am convinced that Solomon had full capacity to choose either good or evil. He did not have to go astray. Yes, God knew that he would, but only by his own choice, not because it had to be that way.
This means the future that God had detailed if Solomon remained faithful was not a fiction. Yes, God knew that that future would not come to pass, but also He knew that His purposes could still be accomplished even if it had.
If this were not the case, if God needed Solomon to go astray to make His plot for humanity work, then we would have a God who presents us false choices and predestines us to be saved or damned. This is unacceptable, and would contradict the statement that “God cannot lie” (Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 6:18).
The truth must be that there are many paths by which God could accomplish his purposes for the world. In the end, only one of those paths will be what actually transpired, but all the others were just as feasible. Thus we truly have free will, but the fact that we do does not jeopardize God’s control of the world. Your choices will not make or break God, they will make or break you.