Saturday, February 6, 2016

1 Kings 11

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Kings 11. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • God had given a command for the king of His people, "He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold" (Deuteronomy 17:17). God had also repeatedly told HIs people not to marry people who didn't share their faith (see Exodus 34:16, Deuteronomy 7:1-3, Genesis 19:36-38 and many more). But nevertheless Solomon does what he wants to do, with "love" his excuse.
  • Solomon's heart turns away from God and to start worshipping other gods. The god "Molech" is called detestable (verse 5), probably in large part because worshipping Molech included child sacrifice.
  • "command" (verse 10) and "covenant" (verse 11) -- God had made a covenant with His people, giving them Ten Commandments to follow. The foundational commandments were that they would recognize God as the only god and worship him alone.
  • Even in the midst of God's righteous anger, we see grace, as He does not take the whole kingdom from Solomon (verses 12-13) and does not take it during his lifetime.
  • "ten tribes" (verse 35) and "Israel" (verse 37) --  We are about to see the Kingdom, made up of twelve tribes, divided. The northern ten tribes stay together and will be called "Israel."

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Solomon started out worshipping God and he had wisdom, but he also had a weakness, women. And he tragically allowed his weakness to slowly pull him away from his love of and faithfulness to God. We all have areas of weakness, and we also have a spiritual enemy who wants to exploit them and pull us away from our devotion to God. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:9, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..."

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Do you realize that there is a battle raging over your eternal soul? What are you doing to make sure you won't fall in the area of your weakness? How are you resisting the devil and his schemes?
    • Read Ephesians 6:10-18
    • What would it look like for you to put on the (metaphorical) armor of God (on a daily basis) so you can take your stand and not be dragged away from God?