There’s no debating the fact that the final part of the reign of King Solomon, as recorded in 1 Kings 11:9-43, is something that he would not have been proud of. With the seeds of lust, power and greed sown deeply in his heart, there’s little surprise that these seeds bore fruit. But what is surprising is the speed with which it all ended, pretty much like a snowball rolling downhill gathering speed and momentum. And what of Solomon himself? No-one can say for sure if we’ll see him in glory, but we will see his greater Son, Jesus!
• Things going downhill…fast! • The ‘snowball effect’ • Solomon’s sins hit the nation hard • Note from the text how it tells us of…
The just anger of God (v.9-13)
The chastening hand of God (v.14-38)
The amazing faithfulness of God (v.39)
The final demise of the King (v.40-43)
Lessons we learn through Solomon… Jesus the better, unfailing King!
Much of what we read in 1 Kings 1-11 concerns the heights to which Solomon’s reign reached. The visit of the Queen of Sheba was one of the highlights along the way, but cracks have been appearing, and in today’s text of 1 Kings 11:1-8, those cracks just get wider and wider. The text tells us of Solomon’s 700 wives and 300 concubines, but more than that, it goes to a deeper level and points out a more serious problem – his heart. What led him to marry all these foreign women and worship their gods and abandon the Lord? His heart. His heart was the problem – and with us, the story is no different.
• Solomon in all his glory, at the top of the mountain • ‘King Solomon however…’ • How was it that his wisdom failed him?’ • Note from the text how it tells us of how he fell for…
The trap of unholy alliances (v.1-3)
The trap of a deceitful heart (v.4-8)
Say ‘no’ to ‘fooling around’ with sin! Say ‘yes’ to an ‘undivided heart’…
The text of 1 Kings 10:14-29 records the growth in King Solomon’s wealth and his armory. The world had never seen a King like him before – so wealthy, so wise, so much glory! But while all these things could be seen as the fulfilment of God’s promises to Solomon, they could also be viewed as things can could (and did) become a snare and a trap for Solomon. For very good reasons, Paul reminds us that the ‘love of money is the root of all evil’ (1 Timothy 6:10) and this was so true in Solomon’s case where even good things (God’s gifts to him) became that which his heart became enamored with – and so began his downfall.
• Solomon in all his glory, at the top of the mountain • One way from here …down • ‘The best of men are men at best’ • Note from the text how it tells us of …
The King’s worldly wealth (v.14-25)
The King’s military might (v.26-29)
What Jesus said about storing up treasures The trap that the King cannot see!
There’s little doubt that the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, as recorded in 1 Kings 10:1-13, was the highpoint of Solomon’s reign over Israel. While there is much speculation over who she was and where she came from, the main point of what the text records is not so much about her, but about the glory of Solomon that she saw and praised the God of Israel for. When Jesus later confirmed the truth of her visit in Matthew 12:33-42, he pointed out the part she will play on the day of judgement – given that she travelled so far to see Solomon, and yet the people who saw Jesus and his miracles, rejected him outright!
⦁ That top of the mountain… ⦁ Solomon’s rapid climb ⦁ Solomon’s increasing glory…now reaches a peak ⦁ Note from the text how it tells us of …
The King met the Queen, a seeker (v.1-5)
The King met the Queen, a believer (v.6-9)
The King met the Queen, a giver and receiver (v.10-13)
With the completion and the dedication of the Temple now behind him, the Lord spoke to Solomon in 1 Kings 9:1-28 to call him to daily and full obedience to His law. You wonder if the Lord did this at this time, because He knew that Solomon’s heart would soon be led astray? Or if He knew that the temptations for Solomon that were just around the corner would bring his downfall? Either way, with cracks beginning to appear in Solomon’s ‘perfect’ kingdom, the Lord’s words were apt. We are called to obey Him with a thankful and believing heart. Nothing less will do.
• When you’ve reached the top of the mountain… • A high point at the end of chapter 8 • Cracks now appearing! • Note from the text how it tells us of …
The King facing an internal review (v.1-9)
The King facing an external challenge (v.10-28)
The danger of drifting The importance of daily obedience
There are a fair number of long prayers in the Bible, and in 1 Kings 8:22-66, we have a record of King Solomon’s rather long prayer on the occasion of the dedication of the Temple. The prayer itself is not only long, but it is rich in content and full of many theological themes and truths that tell us about the God we serve, and the way we can approach Him in prayer. But more than this, the King’s prayer reminds us of our King Jesus, whose prayers are recorded in Scripture, but who is also before the throne of God ‘interceding for us’ (Romans 8:34). What a Saviour!
• Long prayers in the Scriptures • Solomon’s prayer – a model prayer • Note from the text how it tells us of …
The God to whom the King prayed (v.22-30)
The way the King prayed to God (v.22-57)
The feast, God, King and people, enjoyed together (v.58-66)
The God you pray to and the way you pray… The King’s ongoing praying for us!
It would be missing the point completely to read all about the building, the decoration and the furnishing of the Temple and never think about the One who inhabited the Temple. Solomon didn’t build the Temple for himself but for the God who promised He would come and inhabit it. And the text of 1 Kings 8:1-21 tells us that He did. Once the Temple was completed, the Lord came down to that Temple and allowed His glory to fill it, so that none could stand in His presence, keeping people out. What a sight that must have been! But what a greater sight when God became flesh in Jesus and in doing so, hid that glory, even on the cross, so that by His abundant grace, we may come right on in!
• What we’ve noted about the temple • Let’s not miss the One who would be within it! • The day the Temple was opened – and God was there! • Note from the text how it tells us of …
The mercy of God in the temple (v.1-9)
The glory of God in the temple (v.10-12)
The praise of God in the temple (v.13-21)
Meet the King who came from His heavenly temple! Know His sacrificial death for us so we can come in!
Once the task of building the Temple was completed, King Solomon set about to furnish the Temple with the items that would have been prescribed by God to Moses in relation to the tabernacle. 1 Kings 7:13-51 records the many items, some made of bronze, and others of gold, that were soon part of the temple’s furnishings. While some of them sound strange to our ears, they were all of significance and from them we can glean something of God’s redemptive work in saving His people Israel, and also be reminded of the saving work that Jesus would complete for us.
Message (with thanks to Peter Phillips who ‘read’ Philip’s manuscript in his absence due to illness)’
‘The King furnishes the Temple’ • Moving house… rearranging furniture • Everything where it should be • Maybe not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’… • Note from the text how it tells us of …
The outer items of bronze (v.13-47)
The inner items of gold (v.48-51)
See…the care of our Father See…the people of His Church See…the work of our Saviour!
King Solomon not only built the Temple of the Lord his God, but also a palace for him and his family to live in. The rest of 1 Kings 7:1-12 records this fact, informing us that as part of the palace where various Halls where Solomon would perform his royal duties. One of those halls was the ‘Hall of the Throne where he was to pronounce judgment, even the Hall of Judgment’ (verse 7). This hall reminds us that one of Solomon’s tasks was to rule over His people and be their judge, reminding us that King Jesus is now seated upon His throne, from where He ‘will come to judge the living and the dead’ and who is now building a palace for all His own!
Message (with many thanks to Andrew Kerr who ‘read’ Philip’s manuscript after he was unable to attend due to illness)
• God’s good gifts to Solomon… • Misusing those gifts • From the Temple to the palace… • Note from the text how the text tells us of …
The priorities the King put in place (v.1)
The buildings the King put in place (v.2-6,8-12)
The throne the King put in place (v.7)
The King who had nowhere to lay His head The palace our King is now building…
God didn’t care only about the appearance of the exterior of the Temple, but also the interior. The text of 1 Kings 6:14-38 tells the reader about the carvings, woodwork, gold and furnishings that could be seen inside its walls, all of which were designed to reflect something of God’s love of beauty, His evident glory and His all surpassing holiness. And yet, while the Temple is with us no longer, God’s interest in beauty, glory and holiness remains – all combined so wonderfully together in the cross of our Saviour, Jesus.
• Getting to know you by seeing your house! • The same is true for God… • Progress in the building of the Temple… • Note from the text how the interior reflects…
God’s perspective on beauty (v.14-18)
God’s expression of glory (v.19-22)
God’s character as holy (v.23-38)
The God of beauty, glory and holiness… His beauty, glory and holiness in another place!