Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple
Sunday School Lesson Commentary
November 26, 2000
Golden Text: The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had
turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel. --- 1 Kings 11:9
Scripture Text: 1 Kings 11:1-13
Lesson Subject: Solomon's Mistakes, (The Disobedience of Solomon)
1 Ki 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together
with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites,
Zidonians, and Hittites;
1 Ki 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
1 Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
1 Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
1 Ki 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
1 Ki 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
1 Ki 11:7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
1 Ki 11:8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
1 Ki 11:9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
1 Ki 11:10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
1 Ki 11:11 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.
1 Ki 11:12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
1 Ki 11:13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
In our lesson for this week we will be studying about the things that Solomon did against God that brought his down fall from grace. Our lesson title is "Solomon's Mistakes", a more appropriate title would be "The Disobedience of Solomon". First of all the word "mistake" isn't in the Bible. Webster's definition of mistake is "to blunder in making a choice or to make a wrong judgment". These are the things that Solomon did but the word "mistake" doesn't express the seriousness of the sins Solomon committed. The words "disobedience or disobedient" are used 19 times through out the Bible. The Biblical definition of disobedience is "the obstinate rejection of God's will, a refusal to obey and to refuse to be persuaded". This word disobedience expresses the seriousness of Solomon's sins in not obeying the will of God.
The sins that Solomon committed may have begun with his father David. David made an alliance with the Phoenician king Hiram who built his house. Heathen influence is now in Israel because David's house wasn't built in line with Jewish customs. His house was higher than the other houses in Jerusalem and it had no battlement around the roof. The battlement is a 7-8 foot solid wall, if that wall were there David wouldn't have seen Bathsheba bathing. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and she became pregnant and he tried to cover it up and this lead to him murdering her husband Uriah.
Solomon was the off spring of David's and Bathsheba's marriage.
Solomon was chosen by the Lord to be the king of all Israel. The
Lord visited Solomon and told him that he would give him anything he asked
for. Solomon asked for the an under-
standing heart to judge his people and how to discern between good and evil. This pleased God and Solomon was given great wisdom and riches.
We have a very sad lesson today on how the wisest man in the world fail from the grace of God because he refused to obey God's will. In 1 Kings 10, we see how Solomon is becoming very extravagant in the use of all of his silver and gold. He had so much of this wealth that he began to gold plate everything he used from the throne he sat on down to the cup from which he drank and he even began to put more gold in the temple. This didn't displease God because Solomon still loved the Lord, however, this extravagance became a sign of him going into the state of self-exaltation because of his wealth.
This is a great lesson of warning to us men in the body of Christ today.
We see the wisest man falling from God because of wealth and the love of
women. He put his wisdom and love for God in a box and went after
those things that pleased his flesh.
Solomon was a "sexoholic because the heathen women he married worshipped idol gods who they believed were pleased by acts of sex and violence during worship.
Let us men today in the church be very watchful and careful of our sexual desires lest we slip (sin and fall from grace).
The Disobedient Acts of Solomon. (1 Kings 11:1-8)
"But king Solomon loved many strange women",(vs. 1). All of these women that Solomon loved and married were from idol worshipping nations. This was Solomon's first act of disobedience against the word of God. The Lord said to Moses to tell Israel, "Thou shalt not commit adultery",(Exo 20:14). The lesson describes these women as "strange women" meaning that they were aliens, foreigners and had an adulterous nature. If you would stand a Jewish women of that day next to one of these strange women you would see a great difference between them. Solomon loved these women and the Jewish word use for love in this verse is "aw-hab" meaning to have affection for sexually.
They were strange and Solomon loved them; their and attitude toward sex grabbed Solomon's attention. Allow me to draw you a word picture of these women. Their faces and hair made them stand out, having painted lips and eyes and pressed hair decorated with jewelry. Their clothing was immaculate and tight, revealing the symmetry of their body. The outline of a women's body is more sexually appealing to a man that seeing her naked because his imagination is more powerful than his eye sight. When they walk pass you it is a call to seduction because every step accentuated the outline of their body and their fragrance arouses your appetite.
If what I have written above discusses you, that is one my purposes because Satan is out to sift us as wheat from the grace of God. And men of God must be on guard at all time against the temptations of Satan. These strange women are still in the world today. And a small bit of them has crept into the church today. Women of God should keep themselves attractive in line with our standard of holiness but we can see a fashion show in many churches at offering time. Some sisters are wearing very long tight form fitting dresses with long slits in the side, as an example. These are the things that tore down Solomon's resistance to the temptation of sin and his love for God. Let us pray that the Lord will keep us from all appearance of evil. Let us pray for strength to, "Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good",( Rom 12:9).
The cultural background of these women was detrimental to Solomon. The Moabites were descendents from Moab the son of incest between Lot and his oldest daughter. The Ammonites were descendants of Benammi the son of incest between Lot and his youngest daughter. The Edomites were descendents of Esau who sold his birth right to Jacob. The Zidonians were Phoenian women from the town of Sidon. The Hittites were a minority population within the Canaanites. All of these women from these different tribes brought idol worship before Solomon and he allowed it. All these wives believed that they pleased their gods(Baal, Ashtoreth, Molech, Chemesh and others) in worship with acts of cruelty and sexual perversion.
"Ye shall not go in to them",(vs. 2). Solomon has now made an alliance with these nations where his wives came from and this is another act of his disobedience (#2). The Lord spoke to Israel through Moses and said, "Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice", And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods",(Exo 34:15-16). When Solomon disobeyed God by taking these women, he set up a generational curse that would destroy the moral fabric of Israel, their children and children's children would crave the sensual things of idol worship and desert God. The church has this same warning from the Lord today when Paul taught, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?",(2 Cor 6:14). Many believers have been disobedient and married an unbeliever thinking that they will be able to persuade that unbelieving wife or husband they married to come to Christ. The truth is that the marriage won't last and the believer might be lost.
"And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart",(vs. 3). The Lord is never wrong in what he teaches us to do or commands us to do. All of these wives living in their separate house with altars to their individual gods turned Solomon's mind more and more away from God with each one of his visits to be with them. As God said came to be, these women turned Solomon's heart from God, when you play with fire you will surely be burnt. As the old folks use to say years ago, "association brings on assimilation".
"For it came to pass, when Solomon was old",(vs. 4). As Solomon aged he became weaker and weaker in his resistance not to worship idol gods. Just as Delilah said to David, if you really love me then you will tell me the secret of your strength. Hearing this constantly was the straw that broke David's back and he told her that his strength was in his hair. Can you imagine a thousand women using their acts of seduction asking Solomon day in and day out as he visited them to worship their god. The old man didn't call upon his wisdom to enable him to discern between good and evil but he yielded to the call of the flesh and began to worship the idol gods of his wives and his heart was turned from God. These are the words of Solomon that he didn't follow, "Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings",(Prov 31:3).
Verses 5-8, tell us of the different gods that Solomon began to worship. His dedication and love for God was non-existent. Without love and fear of God in his heart, Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord. Solomon is disobedient again(#3) he even practices the abomination of the Ammonites which was worshipping by passing their children through fire. God commanded Israel saying,"Thou shalt have no other gods before me", (Exo 20:3). Many believer have a small trait of Solomon in them because the don't go fully after the Lord as Solomon did. They always have an excuse or other plans when they are needed in the church or to work on a project for the church in the service of the Lord.
Solomon did much evil in the sight of the Lord, he began to construct places of worship for these idol gods on high pieces of land (hills). Solomon is disobedient again(#4). He builds a high place for each one of his wives where they burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. These were more act of disobedience against God. For Israel was commanded by God, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me", (Exo 20:4-5). On another occasion God gave to them a similar commandment, "Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:"(Num 33:52).
The Results of God's Anger Against Solomon. (1 kings 11:9-13)
"And the Lord was angry with Solomon", (vs. 9). The Lord gave Solomon many wonderful gifts, people came from all over the known world at that time to hear the wisdom of Solomon and this wisdom was given to him by God. In addition to wisdom, the Lord gave him great wealth. God also gave peace to Israel during the reign of Solomon. He was honored to build the temple of God and to dedicate it back to God. All who came to Solomon gave him valuable gifts and his wealth grew and grew. The Lord even made special visitations with Solomon but after all of this he turned his heart from the Lord and God had the right to be angry with him. At this moment I can't recall the scripture but what comes to my mind is "it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry God". Scripture or not I believe this is true and we should do all that is in our power not to displease God. We must love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
"That he should not go after other gods",(vs. 10). God's mercy endureth forever unto all generations; in this verse the Lord gave Solomon the opportunity to repent and come back to him. Solomon refused to hear in his heart the cry of God to come back to him and there is no mention of his return to God. Peter said, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance",(2 Pet 3:9).
Verses 11-13, tell us of God's punishment of Solomon which involved all of Israel. The Lord told Solomon because of his desobedience that he would take the kingdom from him. God told him that he would not take it during his life time but he would take it from his son (Rehoboam). And for the sake of David and Jerusalem all of the kingdom would not be taken away and Rehoboam would be given one tribe and this would be the tribe of Judah. Eventually Israel was broken up into the Northern and Southern kingdoms. The north was composed of ten tribes and the south was composed of one or two depending on the Biblical historians. Judah and Benjamin or a combination of the two called Judah.
Committing adultery or idolatry are acts of disobedience (sins) against
God. Don't committed these acts. Satan will attempt to seduce
you to commit these sins by tempting you. James warns us that,"Every
man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then
when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished,
bringeth forth death",(Jam 1:14-15). John also warns us,
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world",(1 John 2:16). Just as Solomon had sufficient warning in old testament scripture, we today have sufficient warning in both the old and new testament scriptures. Lastly in line but not in importance, we must love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
The Criswell Study Bible
Notes: by Ryrie, Henry and Believers Study Bible
By: Eld. H. Watson