Solomon had begun to allow his heart to become confused (11:1-8). His political alliances brought much wealth and much satisfaction in intimacy. However, it brought much confusion also (11:4). Many years previous to Solomon’s birth, the Lord told another king that his kingdom was going to another who had a heart in accordance with the Almighty (1 Samuel 13:14), now Solomon was going to learn something similar (11:9-13). It is interesting to note how the Lord uses men to do His bidding. Solomon turned away from the Lord, and now the Lord turned his attention to and against Solomon via other men (11:14-25). The men who opposed Solomon were thorns in his sides, but there was a man the Lord raised up to be king over a nation that would come from within Israel, often called the northern kingdom. The name of this man was Jeroboam (11:26-43).
Application: With all the wisdom and wealth given to him by the Lord, why in the world would Solomon turn away? There could be many reasons, but they all fall under the umbrella “world” (cf. 1 John 2:15-17). We learn a great lesson in this chapter about what and how a man sows can come back to haunt him, and if not him, the generation that follows him. Those things that we do in life can leave an impression, an impression that is either good or bad. This is why it is so important that we walk in the Lord’s way. We will still leave an impression with people, and it might be that some take strong exception to the impression left. Is it not, however, better to leave the Lord’s impression with people? Surely it is. When some take exception to it we will know that it is because of the Lord’s way, and not particularly because of who we are.