Worship. Sunday November 7 2021
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
  • Be Still And Know
  • In His Time
  • It Is Well With My Soul
  • Here I Am To Worship
  • We’re continuing through our series of Casket Empty. We’ve been through Creation, Abraham, Sinai, and we’re in Kings. And I’m only touching on the kings we encounter as leaders of Israel. We started with Israel walking away from their relationship with God in many ways, and choosing instead to be like the other nations around them, rejecting God as their king and wanting a king they could see.
    Saul was the first king, and he was indeed a king like all the other countries had. Last week we looked at king David - considered a “man after God’s own heart,” despite all of his failings.

    Davidic Covenant

    God made a covenant with David that actually leads us all the way up to Expectation and Messiah in the New Testament. This covenant is God’s Word to David when he wants to build a temple for God to reside. God tells David he is not to build the temple, but his son will and he assures David with a covenant.
    Let’s read together the covenant made with David:
    2 Samuel 7:8–17 ESV
    Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’ ” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
    So David isn’t to build the temple, but his son is. And we see, just as we did in the Abrahamic covenant that there is a sense that through David the world will be blessed, and that God will establish his throne forever. And who is his son? It’s Solomon.
    Solomon consolidates the kingdom of Israel. Let’s take a peak at the person Solomon is:
    1 Kings 3:5–9 ESV
    At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”


    So Solomon is honored for his pursuit of wisdom. It is said that there was no one as wise as he. He records three thousand proverbs, knows many songs, and his wisdom surpasses all the wisdom in Egypt. God also chooses to bless him with riches, something that Solomon did not ask for. Carol Kaminski summarizes: Under the rule of Solomon, the kingdom of Israel is extended and the surrounding nations bring tribute to the king (1 Kgs. 4:20-25). Since there is peace in the land, Solomon decides to begin construction on the temple in accordance with God’s prior word that David’s son would build God’s house (2 Sam. 7:13; 1 Kgs. 5:5; 1 Chron. 22).
    When Solomon dedicates the temple almost five hundred years after the Exodus, God’s glorious presence fills it.
    Kaminski, Carol. CASKET EMPTY: God's Plan of Redemption through History. Old Testament Reader (p. 113-114). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Kindle Edition.
    This is one of the great climactic moments in the entire history of Israel. Still, we must remember that God’s covenant with David and even Solomon was that he would dwell with his people ONLY if Solomon and his sons walked in God’s ways.
    Now when we think of Solomon, we think of three things typically.
    His wisdom.
    His riches
    His multiple wives and concubines.
    In 1 Kings 8:56-58 Solomon blesses God saying,
    1 Kings 8:56–58 ESV
    “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers.
    This prayer reminds us that forgiveness and mercy are in God’s hands, not in our own. God reminds Solomon again and again that if he and his sons do as the Lord commanded, keep the statutes and rules of God, then God will establish Solomon’s royal throne over Israel forever as was promised to David.
    And what if he doesn’t?
    1 Kings 9:6–7 ESV
    But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
    This is a dire warning to Solomon and Israel.
    Unfortunately Solomon doesn’t walk in all the commands and statutes of God. He marries many foreign women as a way os securing alliances with surrounding nations. This demonstrates a lack in trusting God’s promise. Remember God had commanded Israel not to marry foreign women because they would turn their hearts away from the Lord.
    Not only does Solomon have 700 wives and three hundred concubines, but many of these are froeigners and they bring with them pagan religions that Solomon slowly gives into.
    God becomes angry with Solomon and announces his judgment against Solomon’s idolatry later in Kings, and takes the kingdom not from Solomon, but from his son. And so we will see the division of Israel.
    So what do we learn from Solomon?
    I think some of what we learn can be summed up in writings from the New Testament:
    James 1:5 ESV
    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
    Which one of us does not need wisdom with the myriad of decisions we have to make? Ask God for wisdom.
    Yet, in doing so, we need to recognize also that we need to be without reproach (that’s a fancy way of saying we don’t sin). Well, we know we all sin. So does that leave us without a prayer? No! We know from throughout the Old and New Testament that our God is able to forgive.
    We’ve seen it with David who was not the purest of people; having not only committed adultery, murder, and then having lied about it, when he repents God forgives him. Yes, there were consequences as there always are to sin. We don’t sin in a vacuum. Yet, our God is faithful and able to forgive us and restore us.
    Another thing we learn from Solomon is again summed up in James:
    James 1:22–25 ESV
    But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
    Solomon at some point heard God’s law, but didn’t do it. He deceived himself by not doing it.
    Lastly, something we learn from Solomon is that God’s will is not thwarted by humanity’s response. Even though Solomon and sons might break God’s covenant, God has made a promise that his covenant will not be broken.
    Jeremiah 33:17 ESV
    “For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel,
    Even though David commits adultery with Bathsheba, orchestrates the murder of her husband, God’s promises stand. Even though Solomon has 700 wives and 300 concubines, and even though he turns and worships and sacrifices other God’s there will still be a remnant left, even as the Kingdom is torn in two - the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.
    The northern will comprise 10 tribes and the southern the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
    Folks, it really comes down to one thing. Where is our focus? Is it upon God or is it upon the world. This is a constant inner battle.
    Proverbs 13:20 ESV
    Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
    As we come to communion this morning, we are choosing our primary companion along this journey of life - our Lord Jesus, the Christ. And we are also choosing our secondary companions - fellow believers in the Lord. We are choosing to continue to gather together, to worship and to praise, to encourage and lift up one another as we seek to follow our Lord, to obey God’s Holy Word, and to shine the light of Christ to the world.
    Let’s take a moment to quiet ourselves in preparation to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion.
      • 2 Samuel 7:8–17ESV

      • 1 Kings 3:5–9ESV

      • 1 Kings 8:56–58ESV

      • 1 Kings 9:6–7ESV

      • James 1:5ESV

      • James 1:22–25ESV

      • Jeremiah 33:17ESV

      • Proverbs 13:20ESV

  • Let Us Break Bread Together
  • Give Thanks
  • Make Me a Blessing

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