This book begins with the glory of Solomon and ends with the glorious works of Elijah. In the middle of this glory, there is a civil war, resulting in the split between the Northern and Southern kingdoms, and the beginning of the end for both kingdoms of the Israelite nation.

The destruction of Solomon's great empire was due to sin. Because of sexual lust (see Sir 47:19), Solomon was unfaithful to the Lord. Later, Jeroboam, the king of the Northern kingdom, committed the almost unpardonable sin by setting up two sanctuaries to rival Jerusalem (12:28).

The Israelite people were also unfaithful. Elijah, "the only surviving prophet of the Lord" (18:22), challenged the people: "'How long will you straddle the issue? If the Lord is God, follow Him; if Baal, follow him.' The people, however, did not answer him" (18:21).

Key verse    "When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the Lord, his God, as the heart of his father David had been." —11:4
Command verse    "Take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, following His ways and observing His statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do." —2:2-3
Promise verse    "After the earthquake there was fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound." —19:12
Difficult verse    "He had seven hundred wives of princely rank and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart." —11:3
Surprise verse    "Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel. But the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, who girded up his clothing and ran before Ahab." —18:45-46
Prayer: Father, may I never trade Your glory for sin.