These small group studies through the lives of David and Solomon contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Solomon Falls – 1 Kings 11 Inductive Bible Study


I. Solomon multiplies wives to himself (1-6)
II. Solomon turns from the Lord (7-13)
III. God raises up adversaries to discipline Solomon (14-26)
IV. Consequences of sin (26-40)

I. Solomon multiplies wives to himself (1-6)

Discussion Questions

  • What is the problem we see in verse 1?
  • What may have attracted Solomon to these women?
  • Why may Solomon have persisted in chasing after them even though he knew it was against God’s commands? Do you think Solomon intended to turn away from God? Then how did it happen?
  • What was the result of marrying all of these foreign women?
  • What does this teach us about God? What does this teach us about people

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. However – Solomon is an example of a person who started well, but he didn’t finish well. He was extremely wise. Solomon wrote much of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. In the book of Proverbs he warns his son again and again about going after women. See for example Proverbs 6-7. Solomon was well educated. He knew the commands in the Old Testament about intermarriage. He not only knew them. He told/taught others about them. He repeatedly gives warnings in the Proverbs about adulteress and ungodly women. Solomon’s sin was not a sin of ignorance. He knew exactly what he was doing.

2. Pride – Perhaps Solomon’s sin was a sin of pride. In chapter 10 we see the Queen of Sheba heaping praise on him. People came from all over the world to visit Solomon and see the splendor of his kingdom. He was revered for his great wisdom. Perhaps he thought that he could handle it. He could outsmart his wives. He could “win” them over to worshiping the true God. He could convince them with his great wisdom.

3. God is always right – God told His people what would happen if they intermarried with other nations. It is exactly what happened with Solomon. Sometimes we think that we are smarter than we God. In our pride, we think that we know better. “That would never happen to me!” And yet, we don’t know better. God is the Creator. He knows who we are better than we do. He knows our weaknesses more clearly than we do.

Application: Believe God. Heed His warnings.

4. Solomon held fast to them in love – This is the sin of willful disobedience. Solomon knew what was right, but he didn’t do it. He loved the women more than God. He enjoyed the sin more than God. It was an idol in his heart that he wasn’t willing to give up. Perhaps he thought that he could segment his life, meaning he could keep serving God in other areas while doing his own thing in this area. But sin is sneaky. It doesn’t just stay inside of a container you put it in. It will seep and creep and spread until it infects everything. In that way it is similar to a small piece of mold on bread. If you leave the mold there

5. As Solomon grew old – Sin is a step by step progression. We see with Solomon it started off when he made a political alliance marriage. But it got bigger and bigger until the situation was out of control and he had over 1000 wives/concubines. See 1 Corinthians 7:38.

Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

6. Verse 5 – Solomon followed all of these false gods. These are not things he planned to do. He didn’t wake up one day after following God faithfully and say “I am going to go worship Ashtoreth today instead of YHWH.” It was a process. See James 1.

Discussion what kinds of slippery slopes Christians today may slide down:

  • A. Same as Solomon. Women. Lust.
  • B. Stop reading the Bible little by little.
  • C. Stop going to fellowship little by little.
  • D. Drinking. Bars.
  • E. Laziness at work.
  • F. Marriage relationship problems

Almost any sin can be like this.

How can we keep our heart from turning away from God?

1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

II. Solomon turns from the Lord (7-13)

7-8 – Solomon’s sin kept getting worse and worse. He not only married these women. Then he worshipped their gods. Then he built their gods. This influenced all the people of Israel to worship these gods, which many did for hundreds of years after this. We see sin spreading from one person to another to another, corrupting first one and then a nation. You see, you can’t put a lid on sin. You can’t contain it. The only hope is to get rid of it completely.

2. God’s response – God was angry with Solomon. He was angry because Solomon directly disobeyed His commands. Discuss the result of Solomon’s sin. See 2 Samuel 7 (God’s covenant with David.) Solomon had broken the covenant and his people would face the consequences.

III. God raises up adversaries to discipline Solomon (14-25)

1. The Lord raised up an adversary – In God’s sovereignty he uses people to accomplish his purposes. Here we start to see the consequences of Solomon’s sin.

IV. Consequences of sin (26-40)

Discussion Questions

  • What are the consequences of Solomon’s sin?
  • How does this teach us of God’s nature?
  • How is the grace of God seen in these verses?