Summary: The message examines God’s judgment on Solomon.
During the forty years Solomon reigned over the nation of Israel we see Solomon sowing a lot of seeds of self-indulgence in hopes of reaping a harvest to satisfy those longings in his life. To his dismay the harvest only brought with it more emptiness and that which he longed for continued to be elusive remaining just out of his reach. As a result of these pursuits we see Solomon’s relationship with the Lord slowly deteriorating. As that vital relationship deteriorated Solomon would begin to dabble in idolatry which would cause God’s anger to begin to burn against him. Despite the two previous times that God had appeared to Solomon, he continued to disregard the Lord’s warnings. As a result the Lord’s judgment comes down upon Solomon. With all this said, it comes as no surprise that Solomon reaped what he sowed. In fact Solomon’s own words in regard to defiance from Proverbs 1:24-27 will come back to be his own chilling indictment. “But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.” Today as we look at this episode from Solomon’s life we will learn some lessons about how God deals with a defiant child.
I. When one sows the seeds of defiance they reap the wrath of God.
A. Idolatry is only an outward sign of a rebellious and defiant heart.
1. In God’s eyes rebellion and idolatry are closely related.
2. So dangerous is the character trait of defiance God instituted extreme measures in Israel’s legal system to prevent it from spreading.
3. If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21—NIV)
4. God’s harsh measures were to protect the community from the spread of defiance and the whole community coming under His judgment.
B. Solomon showed his defiance through compromise, extravagance, unaccountability and idolatry.
1. Our text shows Solomon at around age 45 experiencing the ultimate mid-life crisis and stubbornly demanding his own way.
2. The results of Solomon’s defiance were a loss of distinctive convictions, boredom and disillusionment.
3. Two times in 1 Kings 11 we are told that Solomon’s heart turned away from God.
4. Because of Solomon’s stubborn refusal to turn to God, God turned to him in anger.
II. God’s infinite compassion and slowness to anger can easily be mistaken as Him being tolerant of sin.
A. God’s wrath against Solomon is revealed as He announces His judgment on Solomon’s sin.
1. Yahweh was extremely angry with Solomon because his allegiance to him had grown cold.
2. Exceptional favors had been granted to this king. Twice he had been permitted to receive direct revelations from God.
3. Solomon had been solemnly warned about pursuing other gods, but he had disregarded this command of the Lord.
4. In his anger the Lord pronounced a solemn judgment upon Solomon. No doubt the pronouncement came through the mouth of one of God’s prophets, for it hardly seems likely that God would condescend to grant this defiant child yet another direct revelation.
5. The message is dreadful. Because Solomon had failed to live up to his obligations before God, the Lord would rip the kingdom from him. A mere servant would be heir to all of Solomon’s glory and treasure.
6. God tempered the judgment with two gracious and merciful limitations. The blow would not fall until after the death of Solomon; and the disruption would only be partial. One tribe, Benjamin, would remain under the Davidic dynasty.
B. Solomon’s peaceful reign will be in jeopardy as God proceeds to raise up adversaries against Solomon.
1. Just because the Lord leaves Solomon on the throne does not mean Solomon encounters no consequences of his sin.
2. God raises up an adversary, an Edomite named Hadad, to oppose Solomon. Hadad was the only surviving member of Edom’s royal family after David’s crushing victory over that nation
3. God also raises up a second adversary. This individual, Rezon, began his career, like David, as a leader of a band of rebels. Later he took control of Damascus, from which he caused Solomon much trouble. David had defeated Syria earlier, so Rezon’s hatred of Israel was similar to Hadad’s.