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Bible Pathway - Apr. 25, 2011

Read 1 Kings 9


God visits Solomon again and explains the two paths before him and the consequences of each (I Kin. 9:2-9). Solomon's fame spreads, but, sadly, chapters 10 & 11 explain his shame. He gradually forsakes the Lord and worships idols (I Kin. 11:4-10). He is an example of: What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matt. 16:26).

Everything about Solomon was the world's greatest. His gigantic enterprises impressed the world. When the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and . . . house . . . And . . . meat . . . and . . . servants . . . there was no more spirit in her (I Kin. 10:4-5). But the underlying corrupting influences of his wealth, policies, and pagan wives, and his ignoring the Word of God destroyed the foundation of David's kingdom. It seems a pity that during Solomon's 40-year reign, he had not asked a prophet to help him be faithful to God.

Solomon ignored the basic principles that God required. Consequently, His compromise with the world and rejection of the Word of God deadened his spiritual discernment. The king who built the most famous Temple to the Living God also built other temples to please his many heathen wives. Solomon seemed to be too busy to think about the great appeals of his godly father, David to keep the charge of the Lord thy God . . . and His Commandments (I Kin. 2:3).

Solomon did not, as did his father, inherit a kingdom in ruins; he inherited a kingdom which had been established in righteousness. As he advanced in wealth and popularity and as his mind expanded into the vast fields of intellectual research, the simplicity of his trust in God continued to diminish.

There was no repentance from Solomon — no tears like those his father shed over his sins. And just as God had warned, Solomon's kingdom crumbled because of his many sins.

God had said that Israel's future kings should not multiply wealth, horses, or wives for themselves (Deut. 17:14-20), but Solomon multiplied all three.

Solomon surpassed all others with wealth, fame, and pleasure, but he wrote: Vanity of vanities . . . all is vanity (Eccl. 1:2). He also wrote: Therefore I hated life . . . for all is vanity (emptiness) and vexation of spirit (2:17). If any man could ever have been satisifed by having all his heart's desires, he would have been Solomon. Solomon's life illustrates the self-life having its full fling, but at the end concludes with emptiness.

That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15).

Thought for Today:

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (I Cor. 15:58)

Christ Portrayed:

By David who lived to please the Lord in integrity of heart (I Kin. 9:4). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52).

Word Studies:

9:13 Cabul displeasing, as worthless; 9:15 levy tax in the form of forced labor; 9:22 bondmen slaves, forced laborers; 9:24 Millo a mound of earth raised as a fortress just north of Mount Zion and outside the original city of David; 10:2 train loyal attendants; 10:5 there was no more spirit in her she was breathless, overwhelmed, amazed; 10:19 stays armrests; 10:26 bestowed stationed; 11:1 strange foreign; 11:5 abomination horrible, detestable idol; 11:31 rend tear.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Official: Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ) • Country: Czech Republic (10 million) in central Europe • Major languages: Czech and Slovak • Religious freedom • 63% Catholic; 7% Protestant; 4% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is faithful to keep His promises (Heb. 10:23).

Optional Reading: Acts 26

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:12

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