Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 19

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 19


1 Kings 11:1–13

Warning Ignored (1–3)

In Deuteronomy 17:14–17, God warned the people of Israel what they needed to guard against when they came into the promised land and desired a king. Specifically God told His people to make sure their future king did not acquire many wives, “lest his heart turn away.” Several hundred years later Samuel repeated the warnings in 1 Samuel 8:10–22, emphasizing the financial demands of a king.

Tragically Solomon seems to have viewed these passages as a to-do list instead of a warning. Almost everything God said a king must not do, Solomon did. Nowhere was this more blatant than in his marriages to foreign women.

It’s important to note this was more about creating political alliances than unrestrained sexual desire.

Each of these foreign women represented a people group that had been an enemy of Israel. Thus it was likely Solomon would have been seen by his contemporaries as an astute politician who was effectively forging peace with other nations.

This should be a warning for us today. The ends do not justify the means.

If a politician compromises Christian principles for the sake of political goals, he or she is ignoring the warnings of Scripture.

A Divided Heart (4–8)

I remember an illustration my youth pastor gave about the dangers of dating a non-Christian. He had a volunteer stand on a chair, while a second volunteer stood on the floor in front of him.

He challenged the volunteer on the chair to pull the volunteer on the floor up to his level. He couldn’t do it. Then he challenged the volunteer on the floor to pull the volunteer on the chair down to his level. He did it easily. The lesson was clear. It is far easier for others to pull you down than it is for you to lift them up.

So it was in Solomon’s life. As Solomon got older his wives pulled him down to their level, leading him to worship their hundreds of gods instead of the One True God.

Although only four gods are mentioned by name (Milcom and Molech are variant names for the same god), Solomon built altars for all his wives. That’s 700 gods! And 700 gods is 699 gods too many. There’s a reason “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:3) is the first of the Ten Commandments.

Discipline Promised (9–13)

God’s righteous anger burned against Solomon. God had been so gracious to Solomon, appearing to him twice and blessing him with wisdom, riches and the promise of a long life if he was obedient. There may not have been any human in Scripture with more understanding and insight into God’s nature and character.

Nevertheless, Solomon’s heart turned to idolatry, and God determined He would tear the kingdom away from him. Solomon would be the last king of the united monarchy.

Notice, though, this passage doesn’t just highlight God’s anger and punishment. It also highlights God’s faithfulness to His promise. For the sake of Solomon’s father, David, God promised one tribe would remain loyal to the house of David. God had sworn to David there would always be a son of David on the throne. For the next 400 years, God was faithful to that promise.

Indeed, through Jesus, the Son of David, God is faithful to that promise through all eternity. No amount of disobedience and rebellion on our part will ever remove Jesus from the throne. Hallelujah!

Pastor of Glynwood Baptist Church in Prattville, Alabama

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