Key Passage: 1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God.”
Big Picture Question: How should we love God? We should love God with all our hearts.
Christ Connection: No king led God’s people perfectly. Solomon sinned, and Israel was divided between two kings. God’s people needed a perfect king. God would send His own Son, Jesus, to be King. Jesus is a perfect King.
The Gospel Project for Kids continues to follow the life of Solomon today but gives another story of sin and its result. Solomon, with his God-granted wisdom, still made many mistakes. Solomon had married many foreign women and was led away from worship of the one true God to follow the gods of his foreign wives. God told Solomon that for the rest of his life he would be king of Israel, but once he died, Solomon’s son would have all but one tribe ripped out of his hands.
Jeroboam, one of Solomon’s servants, turned against Solomon. Once Solomon died and his son, Rehoboam, took the throne, Jeroboam led most of the nation of Israel to follow him north, where he set up his kingdom in Samaria. Rehoboam didn’t like being king of only one tribe and decided to attack the northern kingdom. God stopped his plans and the nation was divided.
Jeroboam formed two golden calves and told the people of the northern tribes that they could worship the golden calves instead of having to go to Jerusalem to worship God at the temple. From that point forward, the northern tribe of Israel started a steeply declining spiral into sin that they would never recover from.
King Solomon’s sin led to the division of Israel. Every king failed to lead God’s people perfectly. God’s people needed a better king, a perfect king! Through David’s family, God would send His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be King over God’s people forever. Jesus would lead the people perfectly back to God.
Family Activity: Take turns kicking a ball toward a target. Talk about how much the ball misses the goal if it is kicked slightly off the direction of the goal. Talk about how in the beginning Solomon’s sins probably didn’t seem “off the goal” to him, but they caused a huge, terrible result for his people: his kingdom became divided.
Go further: Use a knife or a saw to cut some things in half. Show your kids the inside of the objects. Explain how Jesus unites us with God and each other.