Farewell Solomon

1 Kings 11:14-43
14 And the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom.
15 For when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army went up to bury the slain, he struck down every male in Edom
16 (for Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom).
17 But Hadad fled to Egypt, together with certain Edomites of his father’s servants, Hadad still being a little child.
18 They set out from Midian and came to Paran and took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house and assigned him an allowance of food and gave him land.
19 And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him in marriage the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
20 And the sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house. And Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house among the sons of Pharaoh.
21 But when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me depart, that I may go to my own country.”
22 But Pharaoh said to him, “What have you lacked with me that you are now seeking to go to your own country?” And he said to him, “Only let me depart.”
23 God also raised up as an adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah.
24 And he gathered men about him and became leader of a marauding band, after the killing by David. And they went to Damascus and lived there and made him king in Damascus.
25 He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon, doing harm as Hadad did. And he loathed Israel and reigned over Syria.
26 Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also lifted up his hand against the king.
27 And this was the reason why he lifted up his hand against the king. Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the breach of the city of David his father.
28 The man Jeroboam was very able, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious he gave him charge over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph.
29 And at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had dressed himself in a new garment, and the two of them were alone in the open country.
30 Then Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces.
31 And he said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and will give you ten tribes
32 (but he shall have one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel),
33 because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and they have not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my rules, as David his father did.
34 Nevertheless, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of David my servant whom I chose, who kept my commandments and my statutes.
35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and will give it to you, ten tribes.
36 Yet to his son I will give one tribe, that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name.
37 And I will take you, and you shall reign over all that your soul desires, and you shall be king over Israel.
38 And if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.
39 And I will afflict the offspring of David because of this, but not forever.’ ”
40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled into Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon? 42 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
43 And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

Solomon makes his choice and continues to worship the idols of his many wives. Upon his death, the consequences for that decision are played out, just as God promised. In a graphic object lesson, Jeroboam is handed 10 of the 12 Tribes which will become the Nation of Israel. From this point forward, they are known as the Northern Kingdom, with Judah and Benjamin being the Southern Kingdom, or the Nation of Judah. Never again are they reunited as one. God’s plan of sending a Savior through the descendants of Abraham is not thwarted, but the nation never regains the splendor that was Israel during the reign of King Solomon. It is a sad day. Solomon’s death ends the time of the 3 great kings (Saul, David, and Solomon). From now on, God’s people are plunged either into civil war or war with the surrounding nations. Divided, they do not carry the strength that they possessed as a nation united.

Our decisions in favor of sin have far reaching effects. We live in a culture today that believes that we can do anything we want as long as it “doesn’t hurt anyone else”. Our sinful flesh tells us that we live in a vacuum and our children need not be troubled with our bad decisions. But of course that is not the case. The sinful choices we make, even if they look like no one else will be affected, always reach beyond us. Even though he was warned, Solomon continued to choose idolatry and the generations that followed him paid the price (although they could have made the choice to turn that around and cease idol worship – they did not.)

When we believe that our decisions have no bearing on others, we are mistaken. Every choice (evil or good) has a rippling affect across our relationships and into the lives of others. God has designed us to be interconnected and what we do has consequences – especially in the lives of our children! But as always, God’s grace can cover us and bring peace and recovery from our sinful past. While the past cannot be undone, God can build us back up and change the course of our lives when they are handed over to Him. Even if your parents made mistakes you are struggling with today God can bring healing and recovery. Even if you have made mistakes with your own children (and who of us hasn’t!) there can be recovery and grace. Jesus blood has brought us the forgiveness we need to make a new start –every day.