1 Kings 11 part 7

 

Last week we left of with Solomon living high on the hog as read about his great wealth. But, tonight we quickly see what happens to those who donít remain faithful to Lord.

 

1 Kings 11:1 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites --2 from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love.

 

In the beginning of Solomonís life he was a very humble man who wanted to serve God and his people well and he was great wisdom from God and he was so privileged as God spoke to him on two different occasions. Yet once he started getting rich and expanding his kingdom he started marrying more and more foreign women which was specifically prohibited by God. God knew that if you married a foreign woman she could influence you to start turning toward her false Godís and sinful way of life and this exactly what we see happening with Solomon as we continue on in,

 

1 Kings 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.

 

No think about this if God was concerned about the influence 1 foreign wife would have try multiplying that by a 1000. Solomon dug his grave because I donít care how much wisdom or knowledge you have that many wives would have no problem turning the heart of a person just as Solomonís wives did to him. That very sad statement made here which says that his heart was not loyal to the Lord and that he had turned to some of these other false Gods.

 

This teaches us several lessons. First is does not matter how wise you are or how much you know about Godís Word because if you do not live it you will not be pleasing to God. Second of all it shows that we cannot be divided and give part of self to God and part of self to other Godís or other things. That Jesus teaches us in,

 

Matthew 6:24 " No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

 

This is what Solomon was attempting to do as he tried to appease his wives and God at the same time. A Third thing we learn is that some people would say that they would believe in God or that they would be more faithful if they got to hear God with their own ears or see some great miracle. But, this simply would not be true in most cases. Now at first they may believe and conform to Godís will but it wouldnít take long before some would get comfortable again and say well I havenít heard from God anytime soon so maybe it was just a figment of my imagination. Besides this we countless examples of those in the OT and the NT that either heard Godís voice or saw a real miracle and yet it doesnít take very long before many of them go back to way they were doing things and they farther and farther away from God. As I said earlier Solomon had heard God speak to him on 2 different occasions and yet look at him now. So, those who claim they would believe if they heard from God or saw a miracle most of them probably would not.

 

Now lets look at how far Solomon went down hill.

 

1 Kings 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David.7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon.8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.9 So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded.

 

Now we are only given a partial list of the differing Godsí hehonored by building high places for because the text tells us that he did this for his foreign wives who worshiped different Gods. Solomon certainly a chip of the ole block because he did even come close to being like his father David. Lets take a quick look at some these Godís that are mentioned here.

 

First we have Ashtoreth who was considered the Goddess of fertility and growth of crops and herbs. She was considered to be partners with the male Baal.

 

Second we have mentioned Milcom which is also called Molech and this God is called an abomination. The reason why is because those who worshiped this God were know for sacrificing children to him and God speaks against in Lev. 20 and Jer. 32:35. It hard to believe a man a wise as Solomon was to set up a place so that his wives could worship this God.

 

The third one we have mentioned is Chemosh who the God of Moabites. Very little is known about this God but he seems to get start here at Jerusalem and worship to him is done away with some 300 years later.

 

Next we learn that God is angry at the choicesthat Solomon has made because he broken Godís commands and now God will speak to Solomon one more time but this time it wonít be very pleasant as we read in,

 

1 Kings 11:11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.12 "Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son.13 "However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen."

 

I donít care how good you think you are or how much power you think you have if mess up you have to face the consequences of your actions and God is letting Solomon know what will take place because of his unfaithfulness. But, even in this dark moment in Solomonís life God showed mercy for the sake of David and even though this great kingdom of Solomonís would come to an end God would not allow it to completely be taking away.

 

We certainly need to keep this in mind as Christians today that we will have to give account for the things we have done on this earth. For example note,

 

2 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;

 

Since Paul knew this was the case it motivated him to persuade others to know Christ so that they could be prepared for that great day of judgment by have Jesus as their advocate. This is another great point to show that we as humans play a role in whether or not make it to heaven which shows that we are not saved by grace alone.

 

1 Kings 11:14 Now the LORD raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was a descendant of the king in Edom.15 For it happened, when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, after he had killed every male in Edom16 (because for six months Joab remained there with all Israel, until he had cut down every male in Edom),17 that Hadad fled to go to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him. Hadad was still a little child.18 Then they arose from Midian and came to Paran; and they took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, apportioned food for him, and gave him land.19 And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, that is, the sister of Queen Tahpenes.(taw-pa-knees)20 Then the sister of Tahpenes .(taw-pa-knees)bore him Genubath (geh-noo-bath) his son, whom Tahpenes.(taw-pa-knees)weaned in Pharaoh's house. And Genubath (geh-noo-bath) was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh.21 So when Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his fathers, and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, "Let me depart, that I may go to my own country."22 Then Pharaoh said to him, "But what have you lacked with me, that suddenly you seek to go to your own country?" So he answered, "Nothing, but do let me go anyway."

In these verses we are given a brief history of this man called Hadad. It shows us his motivation for having a beef against Israel after all a great number of his people were destroyed because of David so, he makes a great choice for God to use to rise against Solomon. We are not told how successful he was but we do know that God used him to disrupt Solomonís kingdom. God also uses another outside man to go against Solomon as we read in,

 

1 Kings 11:23 And God raised up another adversary against him, Rezon (reason) the son of Eliadah, who had fled from his lord, Hadadezer (had-uh-dee-zur) king of Zobah.24 So he gathered men to him and became captain over a band of raiders, when David killed those of Zobah. And they went to Damascus and dwelt there, and reigned in Damascus.25 He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon (besides the trouble that Hadad caused); and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.

 

Once again we see one of Davidís enemies coming back to haunt Solomon and his kingdom. Rezon had so much hatred toward Davidís family that he was against Solomonís kingdom all the days of his life. Now while these 2 men that have mentioned so far caused some problems for King Solomonís kingdom they would be like gnats compared to what was going to happen from within in his own people.

 

1 Kings 11:26 Then Solomon's servant, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zereda, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king.27 And this is what caused him to rebel against the king: Solomon had built the Millo and repaired the damages to the City of David his father.28 The man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor; and Solomon, seeing that the young man was industrious, made him the officer over all the labor force of the house of Joseph.29 Now it happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the way; and he had clothed himself with a new garment, and the two were alone in the field.30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces.31 And he said to Jeroboam, "Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you32 '(but he shall have one tribe for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel),33 'because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments, as did his father David.34 'However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, because I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of My servant David, whom I chose because he kept My commandments and My statutes.35 'But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand and give it to you -- ten tribes.36 'And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there.37 'So I will take you, and you shall reign over all your heart desires, and you shall be king over Israel.38 'Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you.39 'And I will afflict the descendants of David because of this, but not forever.' "

 

Many times the greatest enemy that can cause the most destruction come from within and we certainly see that Jeroboam fits this Bill as we all know he becomes the main influence which divides up Solomonís kingdom. Of course we need to keep in mind that he did not do this all by himself because it was by the providence of God that this was to happen.

 

Now think about this here you have this servant who has been very eager to perform well for the king. He does such a great Job that Solomon stands up and takes notice and makes this servant to be over the labor force of the house of Joseph. Everything was going according to plan until Ahijah came and spoke to Jeroboam. Now we donít know very much about this prophet but his message was from God and this message was enough to push Jeroboam to carrying out Godís justice upon Solomonís kingdom due to his blatant disregard to Godís commands.

 

This prophet take a new garment tears into 12 pieces and tells Jeroboam to take 10 them indicating that he would have 10 out the 12 tribes he would reign over while 2 tribes would remain under Solomonís son. Ahijah informs Jeroboam that he would not takes these 10 tribes until Solomon was dead and his son had taken over.

 

God also makes a promise to Jeroboam that if he will walk in Godís commands by keeping them just as David did he will make him a great king of Israel and make his house endure. However, as always if Jeroboam fails to remain faithful and true to God he will loose his kingdom. Then finally the text lets us know that Davidís household will be afflicted but not forever.

 

As I thought about this concept of the enemy within, it reminded me that some of the greatest enemies of the church came from within. Over the years I have heard about how congregation have split and caused people to fall away because one person or small group decided to stir up a big stink about trivial matters which are based solely upon personal preferences. Since these people were so adamant about having their way they did more damage to the church than any outsider could ever think about doing. I find it really sad when a congregation made up of people who love God start bickering and fighting about useless things instead of trying to work things out. Not only does this type of behavior destroy friendships and that particular congregation it also destroys the influence of that congregation in there community because who is going to want to be part of congregation that is divided over matters of expediencies. This is an important lesson that ever congregation needs to learn and be aware of so that they donít allow enemies from within to cause problems within a congregation over trivial matters.

 

 

1 Kings 11:40 Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt, to Shishak (shigh-shak) king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?42 And the period that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.43 Then Solomon rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

 

Apparently Solomon found out about this prophecy of Jeroboam and so to prevent it from happening he was going to kill him but it didnít work because he ran to Egypt for safety and he remained there until Solomon died. Solomon reigned for 40 years just like David and Saul did before him and now his life come to a close and now its his sons turn to fill the shoes of his father. It real shame to see Solomon start out as humble servant of God and be blessed with great wisdom and great kingdom only to have it go to head and cause him to move farther and farther away from God which leads to his blessing he enjoyed by the power of God to be torn from his family under his sons reign.

 

This just shows as Christians that we must remain faithful to God until the day we die because it doesnít matter how hard we worked in Godís kingdom if we decide to turn our back on God toward the end of our lives he to will turn his back on us. This is the main point I hope you get from this lesson and this is to remain faithful to the Lord as Jesus said in,

 

Revelation 2:10 Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

 

 

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