1 Kings 11
Notes on Sin
SIN – 1). Solomon’s greatest weakness was his love for women. (v.1-3) He was the most desired man in all the earth, and instead of using restraint and wisdom, he let himself indulge. He had an extremely large amount of ladies in his life, an absurd amount, 1,000 to be exact. Overindulgence can be sin. It’s not just two or three times the amount we need, but we get to the point where we’ve got a thousand times more than what we should have. 2). King Solomon abandoned an older rule from God before his time, when the Israelites were entering the promised land: Do not mix with the people of these nations. (v.4) By abandoning this old rule, he allowed idolatry into the kingdom and into his life. When we compromise with things of this world and provide a place for them in our lives, indulging beyond safe limits, we risk the serious threat of being led away. As the word says, if your hand causes you to sin…. 3). It’s quite amazing that Solomon had arrived at a place where he tried to worship other gods. (v.4,5) God had appeared to him in dreams, given him wealth and talents, and helped him finish the temple and other amazing building projects. He was part of the fulfillment of years and years of prophecies and yet, he still moved to the place where he abandoned God. Even if we become the hero, we’re still susceptible to failure. 4). Solomon built high places for the idols his wives worshipped. (v.7,8) These were altars on various hillsides where sacrifices were made. Most of the people in the nearby valleys could see the smoke from the high places rising higher to ‘god’s’ throne. Many people today still build high places in their lives. We give other gods high places in our hearts, just like Solomon.
SIN – 1). God raised up an adversary for Solomon. (v.14) This was because of his great sin and God’s great faithfulness. This may be hard to understand, but God loved Solomon and sent this enemy to make him sharper and bring him back to his senses. Unchecked sin in our lives can bring God to order similar commands over us as well. 2). David and Joab tried to eliminate Edom as an enemy of Israel but they were unsuccessful. (v.15,16) Joab spent half a year dealing with the mess in the country, but a few escaped, and one generation later they came back to take revenge. God wants us to eradicate any sin from our lives, and any small amount that goes unchecked will continue to grow and impact us down the road. 3). Hadad got the news that both David and Joab were dead, and he immediately wanted to go home and win his country back by defeating Solomon. (v.21,22) Pharaoh tried to make him stay in Egypt, showing a fatherly type of love, but Hadad still won his wish to fight. The bitterness now controlled him and drove him to abandon luxury for pain.
SIN – 1). The big news. (v.31) God is taking the kingdom from Solomon and giving it to Jeroboam. He will tear it away like he tore the new cloak. Will God have to come to a place in our lives when he tears away the gifts he has given us because of disobedience? 2). God took the kingdom away because Solomon began to worship other gods. (v.32) He had mentioned this at the beginning of the chapter, and here He mentions it again. God will not share our loyalty for Him with anyone else. 3). This is a powerful verse of insight. (v.40) Solomon must have discovered the prophecy and tried to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam fled to Egypt. Egypt became a neutral country in the midst of this trouble. Obviously, Solomon had lost some respect in Pharaoh’s eyes. But now, he is chasing Jeroboam like King Saul had chased his father David. Amazing how things have turned around; he is doing the very thing that was so destructive to his father many years ago. Sin will always take us to places we would never imagine we could possibly go.