Friday, October 25, 2019

LISTEN TO THE ADVICE OF YOUR ELDERS


PROCLAMATION
“Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime.  ‘How would you advise me to answer these people?’ he asked. … But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.”  1 Kings 12:6-8 (NIV)

EXPLANATION
After King Solomon died, his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king. (1 Kings 11:42-43)  When Jeroboam, Solomon’s son who had rebelled against him in his old age and then fled to Egypt, heard that Rehoboam was king he returned to Israel. (1 Kings 12:2-4)  Jeroboam asked King Rehoboam to lighten the burden which Solomon had placed on him and said that he would serve him.  Rehoboam told him the go away for three days and then return, to allow him to consider his request.  Then he consulted the elders of Israel and rejected their advice.  He decided to follow the advice of the young men that he grew up with.  This eventually caused him to lose the support of the people (1 Kings 12:16-17) and led to the division of Israel with only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin supporting Rehoboam.  Jeroboam became king of the ten northern tribes, and he built shrines and two golden calves to be their gods and led them to worship idols. (1 Kings 12:28-33)

APPLICATION
All too often the young ignore, reject, and do not follow the advice of their elders.  They feel that they know better and that their elders are “old fashioned”, uninformed, and out of touch with reality.  If they listen to any advice it is usually that which comes from their friends and peers.  Rejecting good advice usually results in bad outcomes.  Only after they mess up and get into trouble do the young realize that their elders, their father and mother, really did know what was best for them. (Proverbs 5:12-14 and 30:17)  Listen to the advice of your elders for with age and experience comes some wisdom.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

DON'T BE A FOOLISH OLD MAN


PROCLAMATION
“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to The Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.”  1 Kings 11:4 (NIV)

EXPLANATION
For as wise as King Solomon was as a young man, his wisdom began to fail him as an old man, or maybe it was just his weakness for women.  Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, many of whom were from foreign nations which The Lord God had told the Israelites not to marry. (1 Kings 11:1-3)  Solomon did evil in the sight of The Lord and worshiped the idol gods of his wives. (1 Kings 11:5-8)  He would still go through the motions of worshiping The Lord God, but he was not fully and completely into it.

APPLICATION
It does not matter how wise, or smart, or educated, or intelligent we are, if we cannot control our behavior.  The uncontrolled worldly sinful lust has caused many great men, and also many average men, to fall and to lose their influence.  There are countless examples of men who did a lot of good as leaders, but they are now remembered for their shameful downfall.  As we age and get older, we should also get wiser and benefit from our years of experience.  Some of us get so caught up in ourselves and our desires, and we make even bigger mistakes in our old age.  The dictionary defines foolish as “lacking in sense, judgment, or discretion.”  There is a saying, “There is no fool like and old fool.”  As the number of days in front of us gets much smaller than the number of days behind us, let us reflect on our past and see where The Lord God has brought us from and all that He has brought us through.  Let us thank Him and praise Him for all that He has done, let us draw closer to Him in our old age instead of drifting away from Him and making foolish mistakes.

Monday, October 21, 2019

BLESSED BEYOND IMAGINATION


PROCLAMATION
“King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.  The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.”  1 Kings 10:23-24 (NIV)

EXPLANATION
King Solomon was the wisest man in the world, and he was also the richest man in the world.  When the Queen of Sheba, who was rich in her own right, heard of King Solomon’s wealth and wisdom she did not believe what she heard.  She went to Jerusalem to see for herself and to test Solomon’s wisdom. (1 Kings 10:1)  After she talked with Solomon and saw his palace, his officials, his servants, and the feast that was prepared to feed them, she was overwhelmed and said that his wisdom and wealth far exceeded the report that she had heard. (1 Kings 10:2-7)  There was no throne like King Solomon’s throne. (1 Kings 10:18-20)  His wealth was greater than anyone could even imagine, and he was clearly the wisest man in the world.  Remember, Solomon did not ask God for wealth and riches, he asked for discernment so that he could do a good job judging God’s people. (1 Kings 3:9)  All of this was a blessing to him because God was pleased with his heart and his desire to do a good work. (1 Kings 3:10-13)

APPLICATION
We may not have Solomon’s wealth or wisdom, but we can be abundantly blessed.  Jesus, The Christ said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)  Not only a physical life but a spiritual life and an eternal life.  Additionally, we can have an abundance of grace, spiritual blessings, joy, and happiness.  We are already blessed in more ways than we can count, and this abundance is on top of that.  If our prayer requests are for things that will give God glory, they will be granted (John 15:7-8) and then we too will be abundantly blessed.  If you only want to be rich in money, then you are really very poor. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

CONDITIONAL BLESSINGS


PROCLAMATION
“The Lord appeared to him a second time … The Lord said to him: ‘I have heard your prayer … I have consecrated this temple … and My heart will always be there … if you walk before Me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness …’”  1 Kings 9:2-4 (NIV)

EXPLANATION
When King Solomon had finished building the temple of The Lord and his palace, The Lord God appeared to him a second time. (1 Kings 9:1-2)  He was pleased with Solomon’s efforts and said that His eyes and His heart would always be there.  He would watch and watch over His chosen people.  Then He made a conditional covenant with Solomon which was dependent upon his behavior.  The Lord God spelled out what would happen if Solomon was faithful and obedient. (1 Kings 9:4-5)  He wanted Solomon to obey Him and to walk before Him “faithfully with integrity of heart”, to be sincere and righteous.  He also spelled out what would happen to Israel if King Solomon or his descendants turned away from The Lord God and worshiped other gods. (1 Kings 9:6-9)

APPLICATION
We receive a lot of blessing from The Lord God, many more than we can count.  However, there are some blessings from The Lord which are conditional blessings.  These blessings will only be received when we fulfill the specified condition which is required of us.  They can be referred to as “If … then …” blessings.  There are several conditional blessings presented in The Bible.  My favorite one is: “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

KING SOLOMON BLESSES THE PEOPLE OF GOD


PROCLAMATION
“May The Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors; may He never leave us nor forsake us.  May He turn our hearts to Him, to walk in obedience to Him and keep the commands, decrees and laws He gave our ancestors.”  1 Kings 8:57-58 (NIV)

EXPLANATION
After all of the work on the temple was finished, King Solomon had all of the things that his father David had dedicated, the silver and gold and all the furnishings, brought into the temple. (1 Kings 7:51)  Then he summoned all of the elders of Israel to Jerusalem.  When they had arrived, he had to priests to bring the ark of The Lord and the tent and all of its furnishings to the temple. (1 Kings 8:1-5)  When the priests withdrew from the temple, a cloud filled the temple of The Lord. (1 Kings 8:10-11)  Then Solomon prayed for the people, (1 Kings 8:12-21) and he prayed a prayer of dedication for the temple. (1 Kings 8:22-53)  Solomon then pronounced a blessing upon the people of God, (1 Kings 8:54-61) after which he observed a festival with all of Israel and the celebration lasted fourteen days. (1 Kings 8:65)

APPLICATION
We all need to understand that we need God’s help to walk in His way.  It is by His grace and mercy that we make it through each day.  Solomon’s request that “The Lord God be with us as He was with our ancestors” was a great blessing for us because we need God’s help.  Only He can turn our hearts from our worldly appetites to walking His way and doing His will.  Only He change our hearts.  He can harden our hearts, as He did with Pharaoh, (Exodus 7:13, 9:12, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, and 14:8) or He can turn us over to our reprobate minds, (Romans 1:28) or He can give us a new heart and spirit. (Ezekiel 11:19)  That is why we should pray, as David prayed, that He will create within us a clean heart and a right spirit which is focused in Him. (Psalm 51:10)

Friday, October 11, 2019

THE TWO PILLARS OF THE TEMPLE


PROCLAMATION
“He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple.  The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.”  1 Kings 7:21 (NIV)

EXPLANATION
When the temple was completed, King Solomon sent for Hiram, the artisan, who was a skilled worker in brass.  Hiram cast the two large pillars at the front of the porch of the temple in brass. (1 Kings 7:13-22)  He also cast the capitals at the top of each pillar in brass.  When Hiram had finished, Solomon named the two pillars Jachin and Boaz.  Jakin (Jachin) means “God shall establish” and Boaz means “in it is strength.”  The concepts of strength and beauty are part of the temple sanctuary. (Psalm 96:6)

APPLICATION
There is beauty in the worship of The Lord, and there is strength in the salvation of His people.  These two concepts should be part of the spiritual life of all believers.  It is His power and strength that saves us and delivers us from the penalty of sin.  The Bible teaches us to worship Him in the beauty of holiness. (1 Chronicles 16:29, Psalm 29:2, and Psalm 96:9)  Our bodies are also temples and we are also beautifully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)  It is by His strength that we are able to accomplish things. (Psalm 78:4)  It is The Lord God who gives strength to His people. (Psalm 29:11)  We should praise The Lord God for who He is and for what He has done.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD GOD


PROCLAMATION
“The Word of The Lord came to Solomon: ‘As for this temple you are building, if you follow My decrees, observe My laws and keep all of My commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father.  And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon My people Israel.’”  1 Kings 6:11-13 (NIV)

EXPLANATION
It was during the fourth year of his reign as king, that Solomon began to build the temple of The Lord. (1 Kings 6:1)  The Lord God let King Solomon know that building this temple for The Lord did not excuse him from following, observing, keeping, and obeying laws of God.  The temple was built in relative quiet and silence, as if working on it was a religious exercise, there was no hammering, sawing, or chiseling done at the site of the temple. (1 Kings 6:7)  The entire inner sanctuary was overlaid with gold. (1 Kings 6:19-22)  It took them seven years to complete building the temple. (1 Kings 6:38) 

APPLICATION
This temple, which King David wanted to build, (2 Samuel 7:2 and 7:12-13) that King Solomon built was to be the resting place for the arc of the covenant of The Lord. (1 Kings 6:19)  It was not intended to be a house for The Lord God to live in.  The Holy Spirit of God is omni-present, He is everywhere all at the same time.  The body of each believer is a temple of God and The Holy Spirit of God dwells within each of us. (John 14:17 and 1 Corinthians 3:16)  We should be very careful regarding how we treat God’s temple.