1 Kings 11:1-13 – Too Big for His Britches

Read 1 Kings 11:1-13

jeans hanging on a clothes line extended between buildings

After all the good things we’ve been reading about Solomon in the last several passages, this may have come as a bit of a surprise. What was Solomon thinking? Did he think he was “untouchable” by God? Did he not realize his disobedience “might” have a consequence or two?

More on that to come, I’m sure. How can one man have that many women? Is that being heroic or too big for his britches? Not sure where that old saying came from. Google defined it simply “behaving as if you are more important than you really are.”

That sums up Solomon’s actions. All of the wisdom and provision has clearly gone to his head. His brain has left the room, and he seems to be thinking with another part of his anatomy. Pardon my bluntness. I can’t get past the fact that in all of his wisdom, the part about being obedient to God, the one who had given him such riches, seems to be non-existent.

“The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command.” Who doesn’t listen to the Lord? Plenty of people.

Sometimes we all get a little “big for our britches” when we think we can do it without God’s help. That help will look different for each of us. You know what those areas of weakness are for you, I’m sure. You don’t have to struggle alone.

Remember what Paul told us the Lord said about weakness in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

That’s a promise I rely on. When I look back at times in my life when I felt the most weak and vulnerable, I am amazed at how I made it through. But then I remember how God made it possible for me to make it through. It was his power at work inside me. I had to surrender and let him do “his thing.”

Do you think Solomon was so happy doing his “own” thing with lots of women that he forgot what God had warned him about? I’d like to believe he wasn’t being that selfish, disobeying and disrespecting his Creator in such a visible and obvious way. He was not setting a good example to be sure.

God hints at Solomon’s punishment. “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants.” Out of respect for Solomon’s father, King David, the LORD is not going to so this right away. We have a beautiful foreshadowing here of the split between Israel and Judah and what brought it about in the first place.

We can do something about our disobedience. The Holy Spirit who lives inside us can be our guide if we set aside our stubborn heart’s desire. Take some time to reflect on your relationship with the Creator. Are you pleasing him with your behaviors?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, may I be mindful of your presence in my life. Thank you for how you have rescued me and set me on a path that draws me closer to you. Help me to act in ways that are pleasing to you. May I never lose sight of your glorious mercy and power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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