Archive for October 14th, 2013

The Road to Destruction

October 14, 2013

Here  are the sermon notes from 10/13/13.

Introduction:  Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba.  You might recall that Bathsheba was the woman with whom David had committed adultery.  She had become pregnant and David had her husband killed in battle so that he could marry her in an attempt to cover up the sinful act.  That baby did not live, but she had another child, Solomon, whom David appointed to be his successor.

Solomon, at the beginning of his reign asked God for wisdom to be able to rule the people.  God blessed him with wisdom, wealth, and a long life.

Solomon also built the first temple dedicated to God.  It was a magnificent temple.  It is as the dedication ceremony that we join in the story.

I.  The Glory of the Lord:  I Kings 8:10-13

And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

12 Then Solomon spoke:

“The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
13 I have surely built You an exalted house,
And a place for You to dwell in forever.”

This was probably the highlight of Solomon’s  religious life.  Can you even imagine the experience of the cloud filling the house of the Lord?  After this,  Solomon offers a prayer of dedication that is absolutely beautiful.  What a day that must have been!

I am sorry to say, that from this point.  Solomon’s religious fervor begins to go downhill.

II.  Wrong Emphasis:  I Kings 6:38 & 7:1

And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

It took seven years to build the temple.  That is a long time.  It was a magnificent building.

 But Solomon took thirteen years to build his own house; so he finished all his house.

The word “but” is a small word with a large meaning.  It took thirteen years to build his own house.  Even for a king, that is extravagant  I believe that it shows a wrong emphasis on the part of Solomon.

We are told in Matthew 6:33:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

God should always be our top priority.  For Solomon, early in his life, he begins to go off track.

We are told in Colossians 3:2:

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

I suspect that Solomon had his mind set too much on the things of this earth.

We are told in James 4:3-5

You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

God is meant to be our top priority.  It is easy to get caught up in the affairs of this world.  We should regularly examine our own hearts and lives to see if we are keeping the right emphasis in our lives.

How can we tell if we have the right emphasis?

First, are we taking the time for our daily devotions?  By that I mean, are we spending time each day in the Word of God, and in prayer?  Life can get busy and things can get squeezed out of our schedule.  We should be taking the time to be in the Word and in prayer.

Second, and these are not necessarily in any specific order, we should be taking the time for corporate worship.  Are we going to church?  We are not meant to serve God in isolation, but as part of a community of believers.

Third, are we honoring God with our finances?  Does the portion that we give to God in tithes and offerings come off the top, or does God get what is left over after we have satisfied our own needs and desires?

Fourth,  are we willing to serve God?  Do our lives reflect that service.  Are we honoring God in our jobs?  Do we use any of our free time to serve God, or others?  Or are we simply building our own lives?  Do we pray about how we use the resources that God has given us of time, talent, and money?

III.  The Road to Destruction: I KIngs 11:1-4

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.

Solomon knew what the Word said about marriage.  He knew, but he ignored it.  If we get to a point in our lives that we are saying “I know the Bible says, but…”  then we are in serious trouble.  That is the road that leads to destruction.  We should never be in a place where we are consciously choosing sin, relying on God’s grace.  We are to rely on God’s grace to enable us to make the right choices, not the wrong ones.

Solomon slowly drifted away.

Let us guard our hearts and our lives, zealously following after the Lord our God.