Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11
Soon, Jeroboam would become the king of the northern part of Israel. He would be responsible for the government, of course – but he would also lead his people in matters of religion. So it was important for him to know how Solomon had acted wrongly. It was Solomon’s evil behaviour in matters of religion that caused God to hand over the country to Jeroboam.
As a young man, Solomon had led his nation wisely in their relationship with God. He had even built the temple, the great house of God in Jerusalem. It was only in his later years that Solomon began to turn away from the true God. On the hills round Jerusalem, he built places to serve the false gods of other nations. He did it to please his wives who were from other nations – but the effect of this behaviour was to make the real God angry.
That was only the most public part of the wrong deeds of Solomon and his nation. It happened because Solomon was no longer eager to please God in everything. Solomon loved pleasure, and especially, he loved women (11:1). His wrong desires were the reason why he did not obey God’s law.
So God was warning Jeroboam that, as Israel’s king, he must not behave like Solomon. Instead, God urged Jeroboam to be like David, Solomon’s father. David truly loved God and he was eager to please God. Although David did some seriously wrong things, each time he then turned back to God. At the end of his life, he was still making plans to encourage his nation to serve God loyally in the future (1 Chronicles chapters 28 and 29). That was how Jeroboam should behave, too.
Next part: God's promises to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:34-39)
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