Solomon’s Wives (1 Kings 11:1 – 13)

Scripture Text:

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1 Kings 11:1 – 13

1. All other things being equal, how many wives or husbands could you afford to keep?

2. Why is intermarriage forbidden in Jewish law (Deuteronomy 7:1 – 4)? What purpose do royal weddings serve (see 1 Kings 3:1)? Why have concubines?

3. What happened in the worship of Molech (verses 7 and 10; see also Leviticus 20:5; 2 Kings 23:10)?

4. Why is God so harsh, knowing these shrines are only for the wives (verse 8)?

5. Why does God soften the judgment on Solomon (verses 12 and 13; 2 Samuel 7:11 – 16)?

6. It appears to me that Solomon:

  • ignored wisdom in his love life
  • knew what he was doing
  • didn’t know the consequences
  • gradually fell away from God
  • was fortunate he was David’s son

7. How did Solomon turn away from God as he got older?

  • Fame and fortune filled his needs.
  • He tired of resisting temptation.
  • He let others influence him.
  • He forgot his heritage.
  • He wavered in his commitment.

8. What weakness hurts your relationship with God? With others? With health and long life?

9. In Solomon’s case, what would “devoting his heart to the Lord” mean?

  • celibacy
  • a busy day in divorce court
  • giving away his wealth
  • living by the wisdom he knew
  • destroying the foreign gods
  • getting off the fence

10. What difference has it made (or would it make) to be fully devoted to God: in your social life? In your family life? In your job? In your church?

11. What gods divide your attention today? What’s wrong with 90% devotion to God and 10% modern idols? What is easier to do: get your attention or divide it? Isn’t some devotion better than none?

12. Is it wrong to date a non-Christian? To marry one? What’s your advice to “mixed faith” couples?

13. Devoting myself to God has been:

  • an event
  • a process
  • a struggle
  • a confusing obligation
  • a daily commitment
  • something I’ve been putting off

14. Why don’t we practice polygamy anymore? If it’s so bad, why was it practiced in the Old Testament era, even under the Law?

15. I notice myself drifting away from the Lord when I:

  • focus on material things
  • get too busy
  • don’t go to church or small group
  • am under stress
  • give in to my bad habits
  • let others negatively influence me

16. What keeps you from going off the deep end (spiritually, morally, etc.)?

  • my church
  • Christian friends
  • a sense of humor
  • physical activity
  • my devotional life
  • God’s grip on me
  • other: ________

Additional Comment: Solomon probably married his 700 foreign wives as part of treaty arrangements with surrounding nations. Because of his wives’ religions, he built shrines and encouraged pagan worship right in Jerusalem.

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