Solomon’s story is one of ups and downs. Throughout the story, we experience a tension in Solomon’s life. On the one hand, he is a God-follower. On the other hand, he ignores God’s law, doing his own thing. God gives Solomon more than one chance to turn things around. He warns him on at least two occasions that the consequences will be grave if he continues to live in disobedience.
In this week’s text, God has had enough. After we read of Solomon’s disobedience in the first part of the chapter, God speaks.
(1 Kings 11:11 NIV11-GK) So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.
Up until this point in the story, God seemingly continued to bless Solomon even when he failed to follow God’s law. One might wonder why God continued to pour out material blessing on a compromising king. We read in Numbers,
(Numbers 14:18 NIV11-GK) ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…
God is gracious and loving. His patience is great. Yet there comes a point when God must act.
As we study 1 Kings 11:1-13 on Sunday, we find Solomon’s spiritual deterioration a slow process. It began with small compromises, but in the end manifests itself in all out idolatry. As we continue to explore Solomon’s story, may we reflect on our own compromises. In what ways are we like Solomon? In what ways are we continually taking advantage of God’s patience? May we be keenly aware that sin always produces consequences. While we are grateful for God’s patience, may we be attentive to his voice as he warns us to turn to Him in repentance.