The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD , the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command.
So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
Then the LORD raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom. And God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. He gathered men around him and became the leader of a band of rebels when David destroyed the forces of Zobah ; the rebels went to Damascus, where they settled and took control.
Rezon was Israel’s adversary as long as Solomon lived, adding to the trouble caused by Hadad. So Rezon ruled in Aram and was hostile toward Israel. 1 Kings 11:9-14; 23-25
God was heartbroken. As much as He loved Solomon, the king could not go unpunished. Therefore, God slowly began to remove His divine protection from the nation He loved. After years of peace, Israel now found itself in a series of minor skirmishes and small wars.
Whether it was Hadad the Edomite or Rezon, son of Eliada, the tranquility of Solomon’s kingdom was beginning to be threatened. Tragically, despite these divine chastenings, Solomon continued in his sin.
The king, because of God’s love for his father David, would be spared from the full consequences of his sin. His son Rehoboan would not be so fortunate, for he would lose all but one of Israel’s tribes.
Although there are many lessons that can be learned from Solomon’s stubborn refusal to repent of his sins, we will only concentrate on two of them.
First, like Solomon, the consequences of your sin may well affect the lives of the people you love the most. Even as Solomon’s sin affected the kingdom of his son, so the sinful patterns in your life have the ability to mar the marriages, friendships, and careers of your children.
In some cases, these destructive effects are simply passed on to our children through their emulation of our bad example. In other cases, our sinful patterns can create a generational stronghold that will affect our families for decades unless it is broken.
In either case, it is critical that you deal with the sinful habits that are threatening both your life and the lives of those you love.
Second, when we refuse to repent, God in His mercy will chasten us. Even as He raised up adversaries to discipline Solomon, so He will use our circumstances and even the attack of the enemy to bring us to repentance.
Tragically, when we do not respond to God’s loving chastening, He has no choice but to let us face the full consequences of our sin. Even when God comes to this point, however, His heart is filled with mercy.
As our loving Father, He will always forgive us if we simply repent.
© Copyright 2005 by Jim Laffoon