1 Kings 11

1 Kings 11 is a sad chapter.  It is a lesson in how not to finish strong.  Solomon had asked God to give him wisdom, which God had done.  That should have been sufficient. But it wasn’t and Solomon lost his way.  In his case, it was women that drew him off the course.  “King Solomon loved many foreign women….700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart”  Can you imagine?  1000 women for one guy to keep happy and living together in harmony.  Holy nightmare.  That would be a task you’d need all the wisdom of God to handle.  But Solomon was attempting this.

There is a problem though.  God had said not to do this.  “The Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them”.  There was a specific command not to marry a woman who worshipped a different God.  Why?  Because it would pull you away from the true God.  Scripture tells us over and over to not view marriage as a mission field.  So many believe if they just marry someone, they can convert them to their belief system. That is not always the case.  But in Solomon’s case, it did derail his walk with God.  It caused him to chase “after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God”.  He lost his way.

The reality is that God’s direction about not marrying from other places was not a suggestion – it was a command.  “So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord”.  What’s the big deal?  It is called disobedience.  God expects us to walk in obedience to Him.  It isn’t optional.  It is a requirement.  And when we fail to obey – well it isn’t a good program.  “The Lord was angry with Solomon”.  That is a bad outcome.  It is not where anyone wants to be.  God is serious about obedience.  There is a cost to choosing to disobey.

So what did it cost Solomon?  His final years were filled with those attempting to overthrow him causing issues.  But the true cost is coming later, after Solomon dies.  God says “I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant”.  Sounds pretty like to happen, doesn’t it?  God doesn’t say it might be lost – He says it is gone.  And He was serious about it as “the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite….and Jeroboam” along with others.  God says this to Jeroboam: “if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house”.  It is about obedience.  Solomon had it all and lost it because he was not obedient to the end.  He did not finish well.  And we’ll see what Solomon spent his entire life building torn from the hands of his son Rehoboam in the days after his death.  “Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years”.  It will all go up in smoke because of his unwillingness to listen and obey.  How sad.

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