The Father's Way
Tonight I will be preaching out 1 Kings. My primary reference tonight is King Solomon; God’s promises, and how all of this applies to us.
As many of us know, King Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived, because God said so.
1Ki 3:12, “Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.”
Solomon was wise beyond measure, but that wisdom did not help him with spiritual discernment, and in a way I believe, caused him to use his physical mind to come up with his own answers, and not the Spirit of God. His wisdom was not to be a curse, but a blessing for the people. But Solomon was one who indulged in life, and that indulgence led him down a wide path to fail. So near the end of Solomon’s life, he strayed from God, and in so doing, God’s promises were not totally complete in his life. Solomon forgot the words his dad told him. How many of us have done that before?
After Solomon was named King, his father David spoke to him.
1Ki 2:1, “When David's time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, 3 and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn,”
1Chronicles 28:9 “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” Yikes!
It is surprising that in 1st Kings, it says that King David, commanded Solomon when he spoke to him. David gave an order of instruction to his son. He was dead serious. King David knew he was old and he was going to die. He knew that when he was gone, Solomon would be on his own. David knew that to survive as King of this great nation that had been assembled by God Himself, Solomon must put his trust in God, and not only trust God, know God, and follow God his whole life. And not just for Solomon’s sake, but for the kingdom of Israel’s sake.
King David as well as those before him, rested on the promises of God that they received, going back to the promises and covenants that began with their Patriarch Abraham.
Beginning in Genesis 12:2, God said to Abram, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
In Genesis 15, God said to Abram, “fear not for I am your shield.” As He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
Gen 22:17, ‘I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
Deut 28:1 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.
Deu 28:15 “But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.
The key to prospering and being great was obedience.
God told Joshua to meditate on His Word so he would be prosperous and have success, so all the words of King David to his son Solomon had weight. As David was great for listening to God, and believing God, and having a relationship with God, he knew that Solomon would only prosper as well as Israel, if Solomon walked in the same relationship as he did with God and like those before him.
David knew that God did what he said, and he also knew the history of his people and how they wandered from God, disobeyed God, so God did not allow them to live out the promises that He promised Abraham and Moses.
Add King Saul into the mix. He was another example to King David of a man that did what was right in his own mind, and he lost the kingdom. God tore it from him and his descendants because of his disobedience.
King David want to secure Solomon who was now King to follow the decrees of the Lord, to live for Him and Him alone so that Solomon would not deal with what he did because of his disobedience, and the disobedience of others before him.
God always fulfills His promises. Promises of the Covenant he decrees to perform; the promises he speaks to us directly about; the promises from His Divine Word. And also the promise of what happens when you do not keep up with your end.
Good examples for us today. God through Jesus Christ has laid out for us a life that we can have to be prosperous, but it takes our obedience to His Word and knowing Him for that life to be fulfilled.
King David knew that if Solomon honored the Lord’s Covenants and promises, they would be evident.
And just like what was referenced in the writings of Moses, in Exodus, and Deuteronomy, all of the people in that region would “know that God was the Lord of all!” God would be glorified through Solomon and his people.
Solomon had an encounter with God in 1 Kings 9, after Solomon blessed the now built temple, God says:
1Kings 9:4, “ And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
6 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, 7 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.”
So Solomon received a word just as his father David did. God made a covenant with him, and Solomon followed the Lord for much of his lifetime, and God blessed him, but Solomon had a thorn. He loved many foreign women the Word says. He knew what God had said, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” From Deuteronomy 7 and Exodus 34. It happened to the Israelites, and it happened to Solomon.
In 1 Kings 11:4, “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
So God says in 1Kings 11:9-11, “And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. 11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.”
So Solomon, who had everything a person could desire and more, let it slip away because of distraction and complacency.
We read in Ecclesiastes 2:10, Solomon says that “whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.” In other words, he used physical things in an attempt to satisfy himself. And Solomon says that in the end, “There was no profit” from it. In other words, he found no satisfaction in the things the world offered. Good word for us today with all of the excesses we have.
No profit. For us today, what is our profit? What do we profit from today? Could we in the same predicament as Solomon?
Solomon did know God, but left his first love for other loves that took his eye and his passion. Solomon probably didn’t even see it coming. I believe he was too busy running a huge kingdom, making alliances, and trying to please all those wives who led him to worship false gods.
Through it all, Solomon’s eyes which were set on God in the beginning, slowly pulled away from God until his eyes and his thoughts were on other things. Objects of his new affections. +
And through those other affections his sin probably didn’t bother him anymore, God was not an object of Solomon’s affection anymore, it slipped away. Solomon probably thought he had it all, which he did. But he took his eyes off of Him who gave it to him. The Lord God.
Solomon came to a point of worshipping something that had no real power. A fixed image. He worshipped to please, and worshipped something real detestable that his people saw, and Solomon probably caused many of his people to fall. After a while, Solomon pretty much cut himself off from God.
You wonder if God gave Solomon some hints? I can’t say, because the Word doesn’t say. It does say Solomon was willful. 1 Kings 11:11, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you,”
Praise God that He gives us hints today. His Holy Spirit hints to us all of the time. He speaks to us. Solomon’s thoughts betrayed him, and our thoughts betray us too when they stray or get too involved in some of the things in this life, and we must listen to the Holy Spirit, because over time we will not hear, and we will end up like Solomon.
For Solomon, there was the truth of what God said to him directly, and God’s Word. We have the truth too. The truth of God’s Word for us through revelation from his Word and the Holy Spirit. We must consume that truth, and live that truth.
When Solomon wandered away from God like Israel did in the wilderness 400 plus years earlier, he as well as his people paid for it. Disobedience always hurts us and those connected to us. Some of us know that on a personal level.
The only saving feature for Solomon was that God did keep His promise because of the faithfulness of his father David. Starting at verse 11 of 1 Kings 11:11,
11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 12 Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.”
The faithful life of Solomon’s father David over shadowed Solomon. That is a good for us. That our faithfulness to the Lord overshadows our children. We continue to pray for our children who have gone astray, or who never knew God believing that He will intervene on our behalf because of our faithfulness. Amen!
Preaching to the choir here, brings me to a long final point.
As God made covenants with the people of Israel and with Kings He put on thrones, and those associated with them, He has made covenants or promises to us.
Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
God does not nullify his promises to us. We are heirs, grafted into the vine per the Apostle Paul.
As the children of Israel received the promises, so do we.
Romans 4:16-17 That is why it depends on faith, kin order that the promise may rest on grace and lbe guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham.” Or have faith like Abraham, and believe in what God has said.
We must believe that what God has spoken to us in His Word and over us, will come to pass. We must have patience in God that He will do what He says He will do. Patience, a word that drives most of us crazy because we really deep down hate that word.
I believe that tonight we the Lord is speaking to us, and me, because He knows us. He knows our hearts, He knows our ways, He knows our frustrations with circumstances, and he knows that at times when life is piled on us that we must go to the well. He is the well. He is the life. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is the life. We must go to Him.
We must believe in the promises we have received by the Spirit, by the prophets, and through revelation of the Word of God. We must hide His Word in hearts. We must believe like Abraham, and we must have undying devotion like King David, but we must learn from King Solomon not to be caught up in the deception of this world. Because our enemy the devil is always trying to steer us to follow false god’s whatever that false god is, even if we are trying to please. But we must also repent and run from the willful sin in our lives that erodes our relationship with God and turns our hearts from him in due time.
God is saying, “Stay the course I have called you to. Keep your eyes on my Son Jesus. Know me, and know my Word. Listen to me when I speak to you, and I will give you more than the desires of your heart.” “Did I not give Solomon more than his?”
Joshua 21:45, “ Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”
Will He not do that for us?
Consider Genesis 17:7, God said to Abraham, "I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout this generation for an everlasting covenant to be God to you and to your descendants after you."
The heart of the Abrahamic covenant is that God will be God to us. He will be our God. Jeremiah tells us what it means.
He quotes God: "They shall be my people and I will be their God . . . I will not turn away from doing good to them . . . I will rejoice in doing good to them . . . with all my heart and with all my soul" (32:38–41).
If God is God for us, then all his omnipotence is engaged all the time to do good for us in all the circumstances of our lives.
So we must believe that all of the good things in God’s Word is for us, and we must not doubt it even in trials, and wait and see that the Lord is good, and does everything He says He will do. He is a good Father and cares for His children and sets up a path to follow that will enrich our lives and the lives of others.