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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dividing a Kingdom

Dividing a Kingdom
1 Kings 12:1-24

  1. Background
    1. Solomon...ended poorly
      1. Started pagan worship in Israel because of his wives
      2. Because of this sin, God determined to take most of the Kingdom from him
      3. The latter years of his reign were plagued with rebellion
        1. Enemies rose up...to pester Solomon
          1. Hadad the Edomite
          2. Rezon of Damascus (Syria)
          3. Jeroboam the Ephraimite
            1. Solomon made him a leader over building projects
            2. Got things done” (11:28)
    2. Jeroboam
      1. Some commentators call him a tax collector, or “enforcer” of sorts...
        1. If this were so...if he were hated as tax collectors were...
          1. If he were an “enforcer” who would naturally make many enemies...
        2. Why would the 10 tribes bring him back from Egypt to negotiate for them with Rehoboam?
        3. Why would they make a hated tax collector their King?
        4. No, He had earned the people's love and respect
          1. Much as David did under Saul...
      2. God saw something in him...which he failed to live up to
        1. Lost potential...how many people fail to live up to their potential?
          1. How many people with remarkable talents, gifts, blessings...end up living in mediocrity?
          2. Or have failed to follow what is right and ended up on the Highway to Hell? Dragging everyone they can, along with them?
            1. Misery loves company, after all, doesn't it?
      3. Prophet Ahijah sent to him...
        1. A point is made to mention Ahijah's new garment
          1. Tears into 12 pieces
          2. God would give Jeroboam 10 tribes
          3. Rehoboam would receive 1 tribe
            1. Equals 11 tribes...Benjamin is almost always implied when Judah is named...
            2. It was on the northernmost edge of Judah and contained Jerusalem within it's boundaries
        2. Would “afflict” the House of David
          1. But not forever” (11:39)
          2. A time is coming when the house divided, will once again become the “house united”
          3. But, that will be in a much distant future...under the rule of the Son of God and His Millennial Kingdom
      4. Solomon apparently hears of this prophecy and tries to kill Jeroboam in order to squelch rebellion
    3. Egypt
      1. Throughout the centuries of biblical history, many have fled to Egypt for protection
        1. Jacob and family—famine
        2. Hadad the Edomite—fleeing David
        3. Jeroboam—fleeing Solomon
        4. Many inhabitants of Jerusalem take Jeremiah and flee to Egypt from the Chaldeans
        5. Joseph and Mary and Jesus—from Herod
      2. Pharaoh’s duplicity
        1. Gave Hadad protection from David
          1. Gave him a house, lands, food, Pharaoh’s sister-in-law as wife
          2. Allowed him to return to Edom to pester Solomon
        2. Made treaty with Solomon
          1. Gave his daughter as wife
        3. Gave aid and comfort to Jeroboam during his treaty with Solomon
        4. Five years (5) after Solomon's death, during Rehoboam's reign, he invades Judah and loots Jerusalem
          1. Carries away money, shields, anything of gold
      3. Shakespearean plot
        1. Indeed, much of the history of the Kingdom (both united and divided)
          1. Reads like some Shakespearean play, filled with intrigue, deceptions—allegiances made, allegiances broken...
        2. Stories from Shakespeare...stories of King Arthur...and countless others
          1. Would seem to have their roots in Biblical history...
          2. Fiction copying fact...because the facts are so captivating!
          3. Why would anyone have to make anything up when the truth is so compelling?
  2. Seeking Godly Counsel
    1. Pr 11:14; 15:22; 24:6
    2. You would think that being raised in Solomon's household, Rehoboam would be much wiser...
      1. Followed his father's example—not his words
      2. Actions speak louder than words
    3. Rehoboam sought counsel...
      1. What he wanted to hear...not what he needed to hear...
      2. Many do the same today...
        1. We seek what we want...not what we need
        2. We'll move from one thing to another
        3. One faith to another
        4. One belief...one church...etc
        5. We gravitate toward what we want...
          1. Not what necessary...
    4. This young generation had grown up in Solomon's court and had no idea how the world worked
      1. They had probably grown up being “yes” men to Rehoboam...
      2. Letting him hear what they knew he wanted to hear...
      3. Stroking his ego in order to receive favor from the heir apparent
      4. And look at their level of confidence!
        1. Instead of recommending a course of action
        2. They actually presume to tell him what he should say...
          1. They put bold and defiant words in his mouth!
    5. Such is the way of the young and privileged!
      1. It isn't uncommon to see the offspring of those who've worked and built an empire
        1. Ruin that which their parents worked so hard to build
      2. They had no hand in the building of it...
        1. If they don't know what it takes to build something...
        2. What makes them think they can keep what they've inherited and maintain it?
      3. They grew up among the privileged and therefore thought that the life they had was theirs by “right” of their “rank” or “privilege”
    6. And, they weren't all that young...
      1. Rehoboam went to the throne in his early 40's
        1. So, that just goes to show you that wisdom doesn't come so much through upbringing, wealth, or education
        2. Wisdom is from God
          1. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...” (Ps 111:10; Pr 9:10)
  3. Father's Matter!
    1. Last week, we looked at Solomon's life
      1. How he gained wisdom and was world renowned for his wisdom and judgment
      2. We also looked at the other side of the coin, so-to-speak
        1. He was a womanizer, driven by the lust of his flesh to marry 1000 women
        2. How he became an idolater, and actually set up altars to foreign false gods for his wives
        3. We also noted that the scriptures indicate that Solomon died as an unrepentant, idolater
      3. All of this had an impact on his son, Rehoboam
        1. The father's unfaithfulness had a powerful influence on the son's unfaithfulness.
    2. To illustrate just how important the father is in determining their children's future
      1. Let me tell you of a study that was done by the Swiss in 1994.
      2. They wanted to see what the truth was concerning faith and family...and the results were astounding...
        1. Mother and father regular = 33% of their children will also be regular church attenders
        2. Father irregular & mother regular = 2% become regular
        3. Father regular & mother irregular or unbeliever = 38% if mother is irregular, and 44% if mother is an unbeliever!
        4. These numbers are astounding!
          1. What do numbers like these tell you is in store for the church if we fail to bring in and evangelize men? And father's?
      3. Father's and prisoners...
        1. The vast majority of prisoners come from households where if there was a father present...it was only infrequently
    3. Rehoboam grew up with even more going for him than his father did
      1. Solomon grew up in a kingdom being built
      2. Rehoboam grew up in a kingdom already built
        1. He had every advantage...but failed the test
        2. All the great things that his father had accomplished
          1. Didn't have the influence on the son that his failings/his sins had
  4. Close
    1. The influence of a father on his son is great
      1. But the influence he has on his daughter is equally as great...
    2. One of the things I point out to the guys in prison is also the importance that the father has on their daughter
      1. The tendency of daughters is to end up marrying someone very similar to their father
      2. And I'll ask you the same thing I ask them...
        1. How does that make you feel?
        2. Do you get comfort from that knowledge? Or, does it scare you out of your mind?
    3. If you know that your son is probably going to be more influenced by the bad you've done...than the good
      1. Do you think maybe you need to repent...and renew, your commitment to Christ?
    4. Whether you're a man or a woman, youth or child...
      1. Are there some changes that need to occur in your life?
        1. Have you followed after foolish counsel...or wise...
        2. Have you believed in Christ with all your heart, soul, and mind...and followed him in baptism?
        3. This altar area is open to anyone who wishes to come...

Terry Lee Hovey: The Fall of Camelot

Terry Lee Hovey: The Fall of Camelot: The Fall of Camelot 1 Kings 11:1-13 Introduction Solomon – the Bible's wisest fool No one began with a brighter star...he had more pro...

The Fall of Camelot

The Fall of Camelot
1 Kings 11:1-13

  1. Introduction
    1. Solomon – the Bible's wisest fool
      1. No one began with a brighter star...he had more promise than any king before or after
        1. Born a Prince—raised in priviledge
        2. Annointed as King, he was known throughout the world (and history) for his wisdom and understanding
      2. Good beginnings though...don't mean good finishes
        1. Because the way of sin is down-hill; those who have gotten into it...can't easily stop themselves
      3. He drifted...then finally defected
        1. Solomon failed to “examine himself” to see if he remained in the faith (2Cor 13:5)
        2. Without constant vigilance, the one who goes around like a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”
          1. Devoured Solomon, and may devour us if we don't stay vigilant
    2. Highlights of his life
      1. Could do no wrong—he had a flawless description (1 Kgs 4:29-34; 10:23-24)
      2. But he had a fatal disease (1 Jh 2:16)
      3. His final downfall (1 Kgs 11:4-6)
        1. And what makes his downfall even more tragic...is that there's no record of his repentance
        2. When his father sinned and was confronted by Nathan...
          1. Repentance
          2. Psalm 51—one of the most eloquent prayers for forgiveness and restoration ever penned
        3. But with Solomon...we have no evidence...
    3. What caused his disastrous demise?
      1. Compromise!
      2. The Fall of Camelot can be boiled down to one word—Compromise

  1. He Compromised His Wisdom
    1. He was blessed with great wisdom (1 Kgs 3)
      1. Could have asked for anything...but asked for wisdom
      2. And because of this, he was given so much more...
      3. Used it wisely for many years...(1 Kgs 4:29-34)
      4. But like any human being...we see he had feet of clay
        1. The one who was so famed for his understanding and sound judgment
        2. Was in the end, a fool who fell victim to his own lusts
    2. He became the world's wisest fool
      1. First hint that there's a problem – (1 Kgs 3:1; 11:1)
      2. 700 wives...300 concubines (1 Kgs 11:3-4)
      3. Controlled by his passions, when it came to women
        1. The one who had so often, and plainly warned others of the danger of the love of women...was himself so wretchedly bewitched with it
        2. The book of Proverbs is filled with these warnings...
      4. God's warning against foreign wives (1 Kgs 11:2; Deu 7:3)
        1. No record of any Jewish wives, only foreign...
          1. I wonder...were the daughters of Israel too common...too modest for him?
          2. Was his lust so unbridled that none of the daughters of Israel would have him?
        2. And of all these foreign women, there wasn't a good one among them (Ecc 7:26-28)
        3. An example of what Paul speaks of in 1 Cor 6:14...unequally yoked
          1. He was unequally yoked in the sense that he was a believer, married to unbelievers
          2. But also unequal in number...1000 to 1
      5. As Christians, we must be careful with the relationships we form...
        1. Wrong people lead to wrong decisions (1 Cor 15:33)
        2. Doesn't apply just to marriage, but all human relationships...

  1. He Compromised His Wealth
    1. Blessed with great wealth
      1. Everything was gold
        1. He had no silver drinking cups or utensils because it was considered as nothing (1 Kgs 10:21)
        2. In Jerusalem it is said that silver was as common as rocks on the ground (1 Kgs 10:27)
    2. Queen of Sheba was amazed (1 Kgs 10:4-7)
      1. Yet, his great blessing became a snare/stumbling block for him
      2. Began to trust in riches more than Jehovah
    3. Money can be a wonderful servant...but a hard task-master
      1. With it you can accomplish great things
        1. But as we are blessed/prospered--we should also bless/prosper others
        2. There's no excuse for not giving – blessings are blocked when we don't (Mal 3:8-10)
      2. If you've been blessed with wealth...He will hold you accountable
        1. Even if you don't have much...you should remain faithful in giving (1 Cor 16:1-2)
        2. Because you will be just as responsible as the wealthy... with what you've been given
          1. Whatever you have...if you haven't used it wisely...even what you have will be taken away! (Mt 25:28-30)
          2. So, not having much...is no excuse!

  1. He Compromised His Worship
    1. Didn't fully follow the Lord (1 Kgs 11:5-8)
      1. Built pagan worship centers—no wonder God was angry
        1. Directly across from the Temple, on the Mount of Olives...were altars to the detestable idols of Moab and the Ammonites (1 Kgs 11:7)
      2. Did he himself take part in the idolatrous worship? Or did he simply let these women have their shrines?
        1. I believe that he actually did worship foreign gods
        2. How could it be said that his wives “seduced” him to follow other gods, if he were only giving them lip service
        3. Why would the scripture tell us that he “did not completely follow the Lord” (11:4,6)
          1. If he weren't trying to straddle the fence between two opinions
      3. God alone is our sole focus of worship
      4. 1st & 2nd Commandments (Ex 20:3-4)
        1. Anything less is not acceptable
        2. Must worship in Spirit, and in Truth (Jh 4:24)

  1. He Compromised His Witness
    1. Bad example before an unbelieving world
      1. In stead of influencing them for good...the world influenced him for evil
      2. No wonder why God tore the kingdom from him (1 Kgs 11:11-13)
      3. And stirred up enemies against him (1 Kgs 11:14-25)
    2. As we will see next week, Solomon's bad example had far reaching effects...
      1. His son, Rehoboam, would become king after him
        1. And would follow his wicked example
      2. One bad act by a good man can have much more serious consequences to others than twenty of a bad man
    3. When we compromise...expect trouble
      1. The world says that we should compromise...in order to keep from turning people off or shutting them out...
        1. It tells us that we'll get more people in the door if we dilute the message...
      2. But there can be no compromise with the Gospel of Jesus Christ...
      3. When we sin...we try to justify ourselves...even bending scripture to ease our conscience
    4. God will remove the protective hedge that's around us if we turn away...
      1. In order to bring us back to our senses...
      2. He chastizes those He loves in hope that they'll repent...

    1. Solomon may have been wise...
      1. But Christ is Wisdom
    2. Solomon may have built a Temple
      1. But Christ is the true Temple...as well as Priest...and Sacrifice
    3. Solomon's name meant “peaceful”, and his land had outward rest for much of his reign but was darkened in the end by war and rebellion...
      1. Christ is the Prince of Peace, and of His dominion there shall be no end

  1. Close
    1. (Mt 6:33) Seek ye first the kingdom...
      1. This should be our primary goal
        1. God's kingdom first and foremost
          1. The Kingdom of our Prince of Peace
        2. Even over and above family...parents, wives, children
        3. God is to be first in our lives
      2. Everything else will be added to us if we do this...
      3. Choose ye this day...whom ye will serve...