At the very beginning of 1 Kings 11, we are told about Solomon's vast number of wives and how much of a sin that is. Solomon's sin is even greater because barely any of his 300 wives are Israelites as God had instructed them to marry (Israelites to Israelites so they would not be corrupted by others). However, because of marrying all of these non-Israelite women, Solomon becomes corrupted and begins to worship other idols. Because of his disobedience, God punished Solomon by taking almost all the kingdom away from those who would succeed him. God did not completely take away the kingdom because of His love for David, who did almost everything as God had commanded him (the exception being his sin against Uriah the Hittite). After God had told Solomon this through a priest, that same priest met Jeroboam on the road. The priest tore his robe into 12 pieces and told Jeroboam to pick up 10 of them, explaining that it represented how many of the tribes he would rule over after Solomon's death.
In the next chapter, Solomon dies and his son Rehoboam takes over as king, and at first he is king over all of the kingdom, not just one. However, when the people come to him and ask to do less manual labor than Solomon had made them do, Rehoboam chooses the wrong advice. He asks the elders and they say to be kind to the people, but the Rehoboam asks his peers and they say to make the peple work harder, so he makes them work harder. Because of this, the people left Rehoboam to be ruled by Jeroboam, who was kind to the people but also created false idols for them to worship.
After this came several generations of kings that did not follow God's commands, until Asa of Solomon's decent did what God told him to, however, his story becomes shrouded by Elijah's as we come to 1 Kings 17, which is when we meet Elijah. When we meet Elijah, he tells the people that it will not rain until he asks for God to let it rain. Then God tells him of a stream to go to where ravens will bring him bread and meat morning and night. When the stream dries up, God directs Elijah to the home of a widow and her son and asks for water and a loaf of bread. The woman tells him that she has only enough flour and oil to feed her and her son for one last meal, but Elijah tells her that God will not let the flour or oil container ever be empty, and they aren't. Not long after, the widow's son becomes sick and stops breathing, but Elijah takes the boy to his room and prays to God for the boy to be healed, and he is. By this, the widow learns that Elijah truly is a man of God.
While reading about the various kings and who succeeded them and how almost all of them failed to obey God's commands reminds me of how important it is to follow God and obey His every command. And then, when you start reading about Elijah and see how he follows God in everything and trusts Him completely....we all struggle with that so much these days because there are so many ways to stray from God's word and His voice in our lives. I pray that we can all learn to quiet our own minds and listen for God's voice and ask Him what he wants to do with our life, not decide ourselves without ever having confronted our Lord and Savior with His plan for us.