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Summary: Solomon’s downfall occurred when he was older because he gave into the temptation of the elderly: focusing upon himself rather than the Kingdom’s future generations.

Solomon: Not the Man He Used to Be

(I Kings 11)

1. People are better off when they care about other people:

Mamie Adams [an elderly widow] always went to a branch post office in her town because the postal employees there were friendly. She went there to buy stamps just before Christmas one year and the lines were particularly long. Someone pointed out that there was no need to wait in line because there was a stamp machine in the lobby. "I know," said Mamie, ’but the machine won’t ask me about my arthritis." Bits and Pieces, December, 1989, p. 2. (Mark Hensley) from www.higherpraise.com

2. I typically enjoy elderly people – especially if they love young people and care about future generations.

3. A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at the Golden K Kiwanis Club about our trip to Italy [Pink and Jane belong to this chapter] …Riley hospital….literacy tutoring of children….I loved hearing about it…and these people were happy, cheerful, and full of life, though mostly elderly…because they were into others…. because they did not make themselves the center of the universe, but they were trying to serve others and do good for future generations.

4. Focusing upon loving God and others not only fulfills God’s purposes for us, but it also is in our best interest. People who are self-centered -- not actively loving others -- often fall into the worst sins and others find them miserable to be around.

5. Solomon was a man into himself, especially as he aged. And it ruined him.

Main Idea: Solomon’s downfall occurred when he was older because he gave into the temptation of the elderly: focusing upon himself rather than the Kingdom’s future generations.

• Here we read about Solomon when "he was old," which, I am sad to report, probably means in his 50’s.

• Unfortunately, this temptation is NOT limited to the elderly; teens and college age adults are often at the most selfish stage of life; it is typically marriage and children that force them to focus outwardly, although many mature without marriage and children.

But as adults age, when the kids grow up and they are on their own, they find themselves on a road with two branches, and they must choose one: (1) I’ve done my job and now I’m not going to be tied down, or (2) I’m going to have more fun, but I also have more time and expertise to help serve future generations.

Does aging mean a better quality of service for Christ or others, or is it a time to focus on myself? The way we answer that question sets an entire tone.

I. His Downfall of Solomon Into Idolatry (11:1-42)

A. His IDOLATRY (1-8)

1. Many of restricted nations (not all nations restricted this way: Moab & Ammon)

2. But even from non-restricted nations, should have been believers

3. 700 wives & 300 concubines

1. For political reasons?

2. To show off that he was the greatest & richest king (taxpayers supporting them)?

3. A sex addict?

4. My opinion: all of the above

4. He then, perhaps slowly at first, began to worship their gods & build shrines

5. This happened when he had become “old” (4), but not dementia

6. Solomon did not really fall….he gradually slipped…

B. His lack of EXCUSE (9-13)

1. Taught the Torah from childhood

2. Example of his father

3. The Lord appeared to him twice

4. Prophets sent his way

5. God announces his kingdom will be divided as a consequence

C. God’s DISCIPLINE (14-28)

1. Hadad the Edomite

2. Rezon who would become king of Aram (Syria)

3. Jeroboam, who would take over most of Israel

• In some ways, Jeroboam was a good choice

• With the workers; an advocate for the working people

• Saw how Solomon taxed and worked his people to death so he could have 1,000 wives and eat like no one has even eaten

4. He was too busy living his obsessive/compulsive addictive lifestyle to properly administer his kingdom…others ran everything while he went on another honeymoon or planted another vineyard…

D. Long-term CONSEQUENCES (29-42)

1. God sends Ahijah the prophet to Jeroboam…

2. Tears a garment in eleven pieces…

3. Jeroboams flees till Solomon dies…

Solomon’s downfall occurred when he was older because he gave into the temptation of the elderly: focusing upon himself rather than the Kingdom’s future generations.

II. Why Is Idolatry Always A Lure?

A. We can define idolatry as "adjusting God"

• When we are idolatrous, we no longer feel bound by the Scriptures; instead of God’s Word being the authority, it becomes merely an opinion; God’s Word becomes optional…

• When we think we understand religion or life as well as God does, or when we think our opinion matters as much as God’s, all sorts of spiritual disasters are waiting

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