1 Kings 10-12
Solomon was a made man. The Lord God had blessed him so much that he exceeded all others in both riches and in wisdom. All over the world, people came to know the name of the Lord by the fame of Solomon. The whole earth sought his presence to hear the wisdom which God put into his mind (1 Kgs. 10:1, 23-24).
How could one man who was this blessed by God get it so wrong? From 1 Kings 11, we can see that Solomon, this “wise” man, made an abundance of very foolish decisions. He neglected the paths of righteousness and turned to gratify an unbridled lust within his heart (cf. Prov. 3:5-6). Solomon chose to enter into relationships with 1,100 different women from various pagan nations (1 Kgs. 3:1; 11:1-3). Think about that. 1,100 women (700 wives and 300 concubines)! That is this many…
Through these various relationships with all of these different pagan women, Solomon was drowning in sin by rebelling against God’s Law. Israel was forbidden to intermarry with these pagan nations so that their spiritual purity might be preserved (see Exo. 34:15-16; Deut. 7:3-4). (This had nothing to do with race.)
Solomon, this man whose heart was split between a multiplicity of women, soon saw his heart being split in devotion to a multiplicity of false gods (1 Kgs. 11:4-8). This angered the Lord, and Solomon’s unfaithfulness to God rendered terrible consequences in the nation. Israel would be separated from itself.
Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant” (1 Kings 11:11).
After Solomon’s death, God raised up Jeroboam to become king over the ten northern tribes of Israel (1 Kgs. 11:35). Meanwhile, Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, reigned in the southern kingdom which consisted of the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. Even though the Lord told Israel that this was a “thing from me” (1 Kgs. 12:24), the underlying reason for this division among God’s people was sin — both the sins of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11:11-14) and later the sins of his son, Rehoboam (1 Kgs. 12:12-16).
This story illustrates what sin accomplishes within our lives and that is separation. Sin separates. Sin separates men from God (Isa. 59:1-2). Sin even separates God’s people from one another (1 Cor. 1:10-14). Sin separates marriages (Mt. 19:9). Sin separates family members from one another (Gen. 4:8). Sin separates friendships (Prov. 16:28).
Though sin separates, righteousness accomplishes just the opposite. Righteousness unites! Righteousness unites men with God (Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:21). Righteousness unites the faithful with each another (2 Pet. 1:1). Righteousness unites husbands and wives (Eph. 5:22-33). Righteousness unites the different families of the earth (Eph. 2:12-13). Righteousness makes friendships closer (1 Sam. 18:1; Prov. 12:26).
When we abide in sin, we can be sure to bitterness of separation. We must all strive for God and His righteousness so that we might enjoy the goodness and pleasantness of His unity (Jn. 17:20-21; Eph. 4:3-6).