This lesson plan continues our series about the Kings of Israel. It continues the story of Solomon where he turns away from God and worships the false gods of his many pagan wives. This Bible story is a warning to all of us the danger of disobedience. Even this wise man was deceived by his own sin. It should remind us how much we need God’s grace everyday.
This lesson was prepared for older elementary students and can be adapted to your ministry needs. Following the lesson are additional resources. Click here to see the lesson index.
Bible Story: Solomon Turns Away from the Lord
Scripture: 1 Kings 11
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, print-outs for activities,butcher paper,
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate their understanding by answering review questions and personally identify ways they can guard against turning away from God.
Learning Activity #1: Warning Sign Activity (free from Kids SS place)
Learning Activity #2: Ecclesiastes Fill in the Blank Activity (free from eBible teacher)
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Joshua 22:5 “But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
Teaching the Memory Verse: On butcher paper write a phrase from the verse and tape to wall. Play music and have the students travel around the room where each phrase is taped. When the music stops each group says their phrase as the verse is recited. Play several rounds and when the students are familiar with the verse, take a phrase off the wall.
Bible Lesson: Solomon Turns Away from the Lord
(Option: Ask students some rules that they have in their classrooms.)
Mrs. Price had a poster on her classroom wall with rules for her fourth grade class. Raise your hand when you want to ask/answer a question. Respect your classmates (do not speak unkind words, do not harm physically). Finish homework on time and do not cheat. She had these rules posted so the students would know what was expected in her classroom. Each rule had a consequence if it was broken. If a student spoke out in class without raising his/her hand they received a warning. After two warnings the third time it happened the student would lose a recess. If a student spoke unkind words or hit another student they would lose their recess. If the rule was broken again the student would be sent to the principal’s office.
Why do teachers have rules in their classroom? (To make an environment that helps others to learn) What happens if the teacher has rules but never punishes the students who break the rules? (Students will ignore the rules and the class will not be a good environment for all students to learn.) If the teacher doesn’t enforce the rules will students feel that the teacher is fair? Can you trust a teacher who doesn’t keep his/her word?
God has given us rules to follow in His Word. Why do you think God has rules? (So people will know how to live in this world) What are some rules that God has made that people should obey? (Do not lie) Why would God make a rule like ‘do not lie’? (So people can trust each other.) Are there consequences for people who break God’s rules? (Yes) What are some consequences to lying? (Being grounded by parents, failing a class because you cheated on your work, people won’t believe you)
Unlike Mrs. Price’s classroom, God keeps His Word. He tells us in the Bible that He will bless those who obey Him and He will curse (or punish) those who disobey Him. “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse-the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28) In the New Testament Jesus says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28) If people choose to reject God’s ways and not follow Him, the Bible tells us that God “will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
In the world you and I live in many people break laws but not everyone always receives the punishment for the laws they break. God is perfect and righteous in all that He does. He keeps all of His promises and that includes the consequences of disobedience to His laws. (Romans 6:23) God can always be trusted to do what He says He will do.
Let’s review what we learned about Solomon last time. God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he wanted. What did Solomon ask God for? (Wisdom) How did God answer Solomon’s request? (He gave Solomon wisdom and also riches and honor 1Kings 3:12-13) God made a promise to Solomon when He said He would give him those things.
Choose a volunteer to read 1 Kings 3:14. Some of God’s promises are conditional. What was God promising Solomon? (A long life) What was the condition? (If Solomon walked in God’s ways and obeyed His commands)
As Solomon walked with God and obeyed His commands God blessed him and the people of Israel. Let’s look at some examples of God’s blessings on Solomon.
- 1 Kings 4:20 (The people were numerous, ate drank and were happy)
- 1 Kings 4:24b-25 (Peace on all sides)
- 1 Kings 5:4 (Lived in safety)
- 1 Kings 10:1-9, 23-24 (Famous for the wisdom and riches God gave Solomon)
If Solomon were living in our day he would probably own a t-shirt or two that says “Life is Good”. As he walked with God and obeyed his commands Solomon experienced a life full of blessing. He had more than he could ever ask for.
If you have believed in the Lord Jesus to save you from your sins, you are God’s child and have His promise of blessing for obedience in your own life. (Luke 11:28, John 8:51) As believers we have more than we could ever ask for. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 We may not completely understand what this verse means but if we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing we can be assured that we are richer than Solomon!
God has given us everything we need to live a life of obedience to Him. He has given us His Word to teach us how to live. His Holy Spirit lives in us to guide us and direct us in our lives to continue to live a life that pleases God. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Let’s turn to 1 Kings 11:1-6. What happened to Solomon? (Allow students to respond) How does this make you feel as you read about Solomon? It is disappointing when we see a person blessed by God turn their heart away from Him.
If you and I are obeying God and enjoying His blessings can our hearts turn away from God? (Yes) How does such a terrible thing happen in our hearts when we know and believe that God loves us and His plans for our lives are best? (Sin)
What happened in Solomon’s life happened in the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and Eve and gave them everything they would ever need. He gave them one rule. What was that rule? (Not to eat from the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) With the multitudes of fruit to choose from how did Adam and Eve end up eating from the one tree God told them not to? (The serpent tempted Eve and told her she wouldn’t die but she would become like God)
Because Adam and Eve sinned every person born after them is born with a sinful heart. (Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:23) Satan is God’s enemy and he knows that God created His most special creation (man and woman) so He could have a close relationship with them. Satan hates God and he knows the only way he can hurt God is by turning His most special creation (people) away from Him. Satan tried to destroy Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and has worked hard throughout history trying to destroy God’s people. (Revelation 12:9)
Solomon began his reign with his heart following God and obeying his ways. When he obeyed God, he experienced God’s blessing. Somewhere along the way Solomon stopped guarding his heart and was drawn away from God’s ways and he began to do evil.
God promises to bless those who obey Him. He also says He will punish those who disobey. Read 1 Kings 11:9-13. Because Solomon disobeyed, God was going to take away His Kingdom. The remainder of the chapter tells us how God raised up enemies against Solomon. When Solomon was obedient he and the Israelites were living in peace and safety. When Solomon’s heart turned away from God his disobedience became punishment instead of God’s blessing.
Let’s read 1 Kings 11:41-42. The Scriptures do not tell us if Solomon repented and returned to God with an obedient heart. Solomon began his reign pleasing God and ended his reign under God’s punishment. Whatever God has written in His Word is to help followers of Jesus to live a life that pleases Him. (Romans 15:4) What do you think God wants believers to learn from this lesson about Solomon? (Allow responses)
- He wants us to love Him and walk in all His ways. (Joshua 22:5)
- He wants us to guard our hearts. (Proverbs 4:23)
How can you and I live a life that stays focused on Jesus and doesn’t turn away?
- Immediately repent of sin. (1 John 1:9)
- Stay focused on Jesus daily. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
- Depend upon God’s Holy Spirit to enable you to live the Christian life. (Zechariah 4:6; John 15:5)
If you have listened to this story and you have not yet believed in Jesus to save you from your sins you are not a follower of Jesus. You cannot live a life that pleases God because your sins separate you from Him. He has made a way for your sins to be forgiven. He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross in your place for your sins. Jesus was buried and was raised from the dead three days later. When you admit that you are a sinner and believe that Jesus died for your sins and call upon Him to save you, He will save you. If you would like to talk to us more about this please speak to us and we will share with you personally from God’s Word how you can be saved.
As we close in prayer think about what God has shown you that you need to do so you can obey what He has taught you from His Word.
Close in prayer.
- What does God promise to do for those who obey Him? (Bless them)
- What does God promise to do for those who disobey Him? (Punish them)
- How did Solomon begin his reign as King (Obedient to the Lord)
- How did God bless Solomon’s obedience? (Wisdom, riches, peace, safety)
- What did Solomon do that angered the Lord? (His heart turned away and he worshiped false gods)
- How did God punish Solomon? (Took away his kingdom, raised up enemies against him)
- What can we do to protect our hearts from turning away from God? (Obey Him, walk with Him every day, stay in His Word, allow His Holy Spirit to control your life)