Thursday, 9th September 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
In I Kings, we continue to see God’s truthfulness and men’s ungratefulness. God appeared before Solomon twice but Solomon’s heart was unable to fully commit to God. In Solomon’s 40-year reign, he departed from God, despite of having the wisdom from God.
Section One V1-8 The Ungrateful Solomon
The Bible never mentioned the name of Pharaoh’s daughter, because she was not chosen by God. Solomon’s heart deserted from God since the time he married Pharaoh’s daughter. This was the first thing he did when he became king because he was afraid of Egypt. Furthermore, Solomon had 1,001 wives in his lifetime, he was unsatisfied with what he had. When our lives are being enslaved by this world, we will never feel satisfied and will keep on seeking the worldly gain to fulfil our emptiness. Solomon never grew fully mature in his lifetime, there was always insecurity in him.
When David was old, he forgot about Bathsheba and Solomon until Bathsheba came to him. From this we can see that Solomon was neglected by his father as a child, which caused his insecurity and ungratefulness. Solomon was a hurtful child, but God told him at the beginning, if Solomon followed God faithfully then God will be with him. Solomon didn’t treasure God’s promise for him, he still sought the worldly gain and let his lustful desires take over.
Do we long for God’s presence? Are we willing to let go of our weaknesses and desires for this world, deal with our flesh and follow God wholeheartedly? Solomon knew he had to trust God but he was unwilling to do it. He continued to be willful so when he was old, his wives turned his heart to other gods. David also made mistakes but he was willing to repent and return. God is merciful and compassionate. He keeps His covenant as long as we are willing to admit our mistakes and come back to Him.
Deuteronomy 17:17 says, “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.” God already reminded the Israelites through Moses about not marrying multiply wives. But Solomon didn’t listen. In his heart his desire for the world was more than his desire for God. Every morning for us is a battle between the godly and worldly gains. We must grow into maturity, choose the godly ways, then ourselves and our children will be blessed.
Section Two V9-13 The Covenant-Keeping God
In V11 the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.” Solomon was able to teach his servants the words of wisdom, but ironically his kingdom was later taken over by his servants. When we are unwilling to repent and move forward, then people after us will take over our position.
Yes God is a covenant-keeping God, He still fulfil His promise for David and for Solomon, let he reign as king for 40 years. Because of Solomon’s wilfulness, only the Tribe of Judah was left. Again and again God gave him opportunities to return, but when Solomon was stubborn, unlike his father David, then finally God took away the favours for him.
Section Three V14-43 The Grace-Giving God
Solomon worshiped the foreign gods and displeased God. God’s presence left and Solomon’s enemies were raised up. From outside there was Hadad the Edomite, from inside there was Jeroboam the Ephraimite. When God’s presence leave us, we will desert further and further away from God’s blessings for us, therefore we must seek the wisdom from God. Not only God raised Jeroboam, He also told him in V37-38, “So I will take you, and you shall reign over all your heart desires, and you shall be king over Israel. Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you.”
This was the same promise God gave to Solomon. God gave everyone opportunities to receive blessings, but unfortunately Jeroboam also didn’t fully obey Him, because he was also afraid. God didn’t need Jeroboam to do anything with his strength, but Jeroboam used his own ways to make idols. Do we believe God when He said He will bless us? If we don’t believe it then we’ll easily rely on the worldly gain and displease God.
V36 “And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there.” God left a light for Solomon’s decedents. Do we really see God’s light for us? He is a grace-giving God but we must believe in it, hold onto it and turn back from the world to follow Him.
Worship: Lord, I Praise You with All of my Heart 我要一心稱謝祢 https://youtu.be/oSrGuuhX1O0
Prayer & Pursuit
Lord, thank You for encouraging us with Your Word, to remind us Your blessings and promises for us. Thank You Lord for being a covenant-keeping and grace-giving God, You have given us so much blessings and You have been waiting for us to turn back to You. Help us to be like David, to admit our mistakes and weaknesses, to turn from our wicked way and worldly gains, then Your presence will not leave us. Lord You want to embrace us with Your arms, You are giving us Your Rhema everyday so we can continue to walk on this path for You. Amen.
当所罗门的心偏离耶和华神，他就跟着自己的妃嫔去拜那些令人厌弃的“可憎的”外邦神，甚至“。。。丘坛”。神一早已经借着摩西跟以色列警告过，作为王，“他也不可为自己多立妃嫔，恐怕他的心偏邪，也不可为自己多积金银”（申命记17:17），但所罗门不愿意倚靠神。每一天清晨来到晨祷对我们来说都是属灵争战，我们的心是否渴慕神？神是最大的，我们不要一直长不大，不要只体贴自己的肉体。有一颗爱神的心，再难的事也能做到。所罗门一错再错，结果自己孩子的江山都拱手让人，离开神的祝福。示巴女王曾说所罗门的臣仆能够在所罗门身边听他智慧的话语是有福的，但最后神赐给所罗门的国就被这些他所教导的“臣子”拿走了（V11 “夺回” ）。我们常会对自己做不到神的话而妥协，但“长江后浪推前浪”，我们若一直停留在安逸的幼童阶段，不愿意接受成人要面对的挑战、冲击，不愿意吃苦、成长，我们后来的人反而会兴起超过甚至取代我们。
神兴起了很多所罗门的敌人: 包括以东人哈达（V14）和以利亚大的儿子利逊（V23） – “他恨恶以色列人，且做了亚兰人的王”。所罗门一开始国泰民安，然而晚节不保，年老时去敬拜外邦的神，神的同在就离开他。他的臣仆“尼八的儿子耶罗波安也举手攻击王”(V26)，使所罗门面临外忧内患。“耶罗波安是大有才能的人”，被指派监管建造宫殿的事，下面的人都听从他。当我们离开神的时候，本来给我们的祝福都会离我们而去。求神给我们大智慧，知道要跟从神。
神对所罗门仍然有慈爱，说“还留一个支派给他的儿子，使我仆人大卫在我所选择立我名的耶路撒冷城里，在我面前长有灯光。”(V36) 神看重“灯光”，我们每一天早晨在晨祷就是领受从神而来的光。 所罗门在位四十年，得到很多人的赞赏，但他越走越偏离神。神爱我们，所以不断提醒我们住在他的里面，让我们白天黑夜都能在神的殿中欢欢喜喜。