Bad Kings – 1 Kings 11:1-13 – Bible Study Notes

These are notes from the ninth part of a Bible overview series (see notes from the eighth).

1. Create a story arc for the passage.

  • Status quo: Solomon and his unlawful marriages (v1-2)
  • Conflict: Solomon had too many wives (v3)
  • Rising action: Solomon’s wives turn him away from God (v4-8)
  • Climax: God is angry with Solomon (v9)
  • Falling action: The kingdom will be torn away (v11)
  • Resolution: It won’t happen in his time because of David (v12)
  • New status quo: Not the entire kingdom will be torn away (v13)

2. What were the problems Solomon had?

He loved many foreign women. God gave a general warning to Israel to not intermarry with these nations. He didn’t have the wisdom to apply this simple command to his own life (Deuteronomy 17:17).

3. Solomon had an unbelievable number of marriage partners. What do you think was the cause?

  • He followed the bad example of David (2 Samuel 5:13-16)
  • Lust. If one wife isn’t enough, 1,000 won’t be either.
  • Hunger for power and prestige

4. How was Solomon’s heart turned away from God? How did he let this happen?

His wives did it. He turned from true love. Age didn’t make Solomon wiser. His heart wasn’t loyal to God.

5. How does God respond? Is his judgement justified?

He announces his judgement. He had appeared to him twice and so had special reason to be displeased with him.

6. What do we learn about how God treats sin? How does he still show mercy?

He treats it very seriously. Yet he still shows undeserved mercy with deserved judgement.

7. Do you think we’re tempted to downplay our own sin, to think we can get away with it, or think that because we’re doing okay spiritually, we don’t need to worry?

We might think that spiritual experiences will keep us from sin and will keep us faithful to God. This wasn’t the case with Solomon and it won’t be the case with us either.

8. If this happened to the wisest man who ever lived, how can we ensure we constantly depend on Jesus?

Pray. Let this example drive us to greater dependence.

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