PART ONE: THE UNITED KINGDOM 1:1–11:43

1 KINGS:  DIVISION I

THE RISE AND REIGN OF SOLOMON AS KING: BEGINNING IN GLORY AND ENDING IN SHAME, 1:1–11:43

(1:1–11:43) DIVISION OVERVIEW: flowing from Second Samuel, First Kings continues the history of Israel's monarchy, the rule of the kings. There is a natural flow from Second Samuel into First Kings, from the reign of David to the rule of his son Solomon. First Kings opens with David still on the throne, but he is aged and critically ill. His health is rapidly declining. The transition of power to Solomon takes place, but it is far from smooth. Solomon's older brother Adonijah launches a plot to seize the throne; but before David dies, he is able to rally his strength enough to counter the plot and to make absolutely certain that Solomon is crowned king (1 Kings 1).

After Solomon consolidated his power, the very first thing he did was seek the Lord for wisdom. Graciously, the Lord heard Solomon's prayer and flooded him with a spirit of unparalleled wisdom and discernment. Throughout the early years of his reign, Solomon used his God-given wisdom for good. He served the people…

•  by making wise decisions and executing justice (1 Kings 3)

•  by structuring a strong political administration and government (1 Kings 4)

•  by making thorough preparations for building the temple and the palace complex and completing the construction of both, as well as the temple furnishings (1 Kings 5–7)

•  by establishing worship within the temple and by challenging the people to be faithful in worshipping and serving the Lord (1 Kings 8)

•  by continuing to personally seek the Lord (1 Kings 9:1-9)

•  by continuing to strengthen the nation economically, militarily, spiritually until Israel became one of the most powerful nations in the world, a fact acknowledged by the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 9:10–10:29)

However, in the latter years of his life Solomon began to decline spiritually. Luxury and pleasure became his downfall. The Lord had blessed Solomon beyond measure, and he had achieved the summit of power and wealth, fame and influence. But shockingly, the end of his life took a tragic turn. During his adult life, luxury and pleasure gradually began to eat away at Solomon's character and commitment to the Lord. Sadly, by the end of his life he had turned away from serving the Lord and the people. He began to severely oppress the people through taxation and a compulsory draft into government service. Failing to persevere to the end, he forsook the Lord and gave himself up to a life of luxury, indulgence, immorality, and false worship. Having begun his life in glory, he ended it in shame.

 

THE RISE AND REIGN OF SOLOMON AS KING: BEGINNING IN GLORY AND ENDING IN SHAME, 1:1–11:43

A.  The Plot of Adonijah and the Succession of Solomon to the Throne: A Picture of Rebellion and Mercy, 1:1-53

B.  The Death of David and the Consolidation of Solomon's Power: A Picture of Death and of Justice, 2:1-46

C.  The Request for Wisdom by Solomon and His Wise Justice: A Lesson on Wisdom and Discernment, 3:1-28

D.  The Government or Political Administration of Solomon: A Picture of Capable Leaders, 4:1-34

E.  The Preparations for Building the Temple: Making the Commitment to Build a Place of Worship, 5:1-18

F.  The Building of the Temple: A Lesson on the Living Temple, the Believer in Whom God's Spirit Dwells, 6:1-38

G.  The Palace Complex of Solomon and the Temple Furnishings: Being Diligent to Put God First, 7:1-51

H.  The Dedication of the Temple (Part 1)—Solomon's Placement of the Ark in the Temple and His Message: A Picture of God's Presence and His Faithfulness, 8:1-21

I.  The Dedication of the Temple (Part 2)—Solomon's Prayer of Dedication: A Picture of the Temple As the "House of Prayer," 8:22-53

J.  The Dedication of the Temple (Part 3)—Solomon's Benediction: A Challenge for Obedience and Total Commitment, 8:54-66

K.  The Second Appearance of God to Solomon and Solomon's Achievements: A Need to Be Obedient and Diligent in Life and Work, 9:1-28

L.  The Wisdom, Wealth, and Power of Solomon: A Picture of Seeking Truth and of Being Materially Blessed by God, 10:1-29

M.  The Shocking Decline and Death of Solomon: The Tragic Consequences of Extravagance, Shameful Indulgence, and Compromise, 11:1-43