Guard Against Worldly Influences
1 Kings 11:1-13
LifeWay's Explore the Book Lesson for April 06, 2003

Solomon developed a heart problem. It caused him to pay attention to worldly influences. The word heart appears six times in the text and five times it relates to Solomon's heart being turned away from God. The other occasion speaks of David's heart remaining true, what a contrast.

1. Guard Against the . . Attraction of Worldly Influences. v 1-3
Solomon was attracted through his desire for the opposite sex. Isn't it interesting how Satan uses natural desire, and perverts it? His desire led to disobedience as he neglected the Word of God. In the New Testament James says: "but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:14-15)

The king has one thousand women at his command. That many women with special attachment pulling him away from God certainly affected him. If you take a mid-size town, it might have the number of women who could have been wives or concubines of Solomon. Imagine how that might turn his head and heart? If these persons were set on moving one toward their god, it could be a strong temptation. Note the text says he "held fast to these in love." Solomon listened to the flesh more than to God.

How could Solomon get involved like this? He was a wise man but he neglected true wisdom.
His fall began slowly and the pleasures involved excited the flesh. A prominent preacher of the day says "don't let sin be a friend." Many factors of the world encourage the flesh but the spiritual has to be encouraged by discipline.

2. Guard Against the . . Accommodation of Worldly Influences. v 4-8
When the king got up in years, the worldly influences weakened his stand for God. Solomon accommodated his foreign wives and they turned his heart. It is hard to believe he began to pay tribute to these false gods as he built altars, or high places. His actions encouraged other to participate in this false worship. How could he do this? Simply stated, Solomon neglected the commands of God.

3. Guard Against the . . Affliction from Worldly Influences. v 9-13
How do you guard against affliction? Don't get involved with the attraction or accommodation of worldly influences. Have you ever sensed the anger of God because of your actions? I do not think I have, but neither do I want this experience. I find it sad that Solomon got to the place where his actions angered God. We need to learn from his mistakes; sin carries a price. The king, by his actions, annulled the commands of God. Of course the Word of God remains the same, but Solomon's actions negated the promises of God for the throne. The king's deaf ear and wayward actions brought the judgement of God. Let us be careful to follow the commands of God. Amen? Amen!