Term 1 – Week 11

Big Idea – King Solomon’s heart turned away from the Lord towards pagan gods.

1 Kings 11




The failure of King Solomon is akin to the King David’s downfall in 2 Samuel 11. We should be shocked. Solomon is the promised king, heir to God’s kingdom. Moreover, the Lord appeared to him… twice! (ch.3+9) God gave him great wisdom (ch.3-4). God used him to build the Temple (ch.6-8). He saw God’s glory (ch.8)! God blessed him and his kingdom in amazing ways (ch.9-10). Yet still… Solomon ultimately turns his heart away from the Lord towards pagan gods. Bombshell!!! He did evil in the eyes of the Lord (v.6) just as his father David did (2 Sam 11:27) and that of King Saul (1 Sam 15:19). Solomon suffered heart failure.

The Failure of Solomon (vv.1-8) 

Solomon suffered heart failure. He found a new love and so his heart turned away from the Lord. At the beginning of Solomon’s reign, we learned that ‘Solomon loved the Lord’ (3:3), but now King Solomon loved many foreign wives (v.1). God’s law forbid the King to get many wives (Deut 17:17), but even more significantly, many were foreign wives from nations which the Lord had warned his people about: ‘You must not intermarry with them because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods’ (v.2). In total Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines, and they led him astray (v.3). His heart turned away from the Lord towards other gods (v.4). Solomon had heart failure in his old age. He failed to: (i) follow David’s advice (1 Kgs 2:2-4), (ii) to heed God’s word to him (1 Kgs 3:14; 6:12; 9:4), (iii) to love the Lord with all his heart (Deut 6:4-6; 1 Kgs 8:61), and (iv) he turned towards other gods, following Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites (v.5)1. Thus, Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord (v.6), and his heart was lost (vv.7-8). The builder of the House of the Lord now built high places for the disgusting gods.2

Jesus, the greater son of David, is the only king who didn’t have heart failure. His love and faithfulness to God was wholehearted and never failed (Phil 2:8-9). 

The Consequences of Solomon’s Failure (vv.9-13) 

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord (v.9a). This is the fundamental consequence to Solomon’s heart failure.3 Even after God had appeared to Solomon twice (v. 9b; 1 Kgs 3:5-14; 9:1-9) and explicitly tells Solomon not to turn away from Him towards other gods (v.10; 1 Kgs 3:14; 9:6), Solomon failed in his faithfulness to the Lord. So, the Lord said, because you failed to keep my covenant4 ‘I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates’ (v. 11b). Bombshell number two!!! The kingdom that the Lord established (2:12, 46) and that was promised “forever” (9:5; 2 Sam 7:13, 16) will now be torn from Solomon and given to another. But it won’t be like when God tore the kingdom away from Saul (1 Sam 15:28; 28:17), because God made a promise to David, I will be his father, and he shall be my son…. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you’ (2 Samuel 7:14-15). So, the consequences would not be immediate, for God would not tear the kingdom away from Solomon during his lifetime, but from his son (v.12), and they would not be entire, for God would not tear the whole kingdom away from Solomon, but give his son one tribe (v.13a). He does this, for the sake of David to whom he made the promises, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the place where the Name of the Lord dwells (v.13b). 

Not only is Jesus, the greater son of David, the only king who didn’t have heart failure, but he is also the atoning sacrifice for our sin (Rom 3:35; 1 Jn 4:9). At the cross, Jesus bore the weight of God’s anger on behalf and instead of sinners. 

The Results of Solomon’s Failure (vv.14-40) 

There is no longer peace and rest in Israel (1 Kgs 5:4-5). The Lord raises up adversaries against Solomon. (1) Hadad the Edomite (vv.14-22), (2) Rezon who reigned over Aram (vv.23-25), and (3) Jeroboam the son of Nebat (vv.26-40). Jeroboam is the most significant for he is the subordinate the Lord gives the kingdom too (v.11). Through the prophet Ahijah, the Lord promises to Jeroboam, I will take the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes.I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name’ (2 Kg 11:35-36). 

Solomon in summary (vv.41-43).

We finish with a summary: Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all of Israel for 40yrs. He died and his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king. But the Lord only gave Rehoboam one tribe to rule (Judah plus the tribe of Benjamin). Solomon was the promised king, but he was not the forever king, this was fulfilled through Jesus, the king of Kings (Rom 6:9).

Memory Verse

1 Samuel 16:7b

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 


It’s a Light and a Hammer (Awesome Cutlery)YouTube

Leaders PDF

This has been put together using purchased external material and therefore this resource may only be used by Dundonald Church. For more information please contact kids@dundonald.org

More about the author :

Dundonald Kids

Dundonald Kids is the team led by our Children's Minister Natasha Small that aims to partner with parents in growing young disciples of Christ.

More info More articles from Dundonald Kids