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Bible Pathways - Apr. 25, 2008


April 25

1 Kings 9

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The second appearance of God to Solomon is both good news and bad news. If he keeps the Commandments the news is good (9:4-5) but if he rejects them the results will be tragic (9:6-9).We read that Solomon worships idols.

Everything about Solomon was the world's greatest. His gigantic enterprises impressed the world. But the underlying corrupting influences of his wealth, worldly policies, many pagan wives, and ignoring the Word of God destroyed the foundation of David's kingdom. It seems a pity that during his 40 year reign Solomon had not encouraged a prophet to help him to be faithful to God.

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

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

What happened to Solomon can happen to anyone who allows physical pleasure, riches, lust, or any other thing to crowd out their opportunities to give their best to Christ.

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.

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

The man who surpassed all others with wealth, fame, and pleasure at the end of his life wrote: Vanity of vanities . . . all is vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2). He also wrote: Therefore I hated life . . . for all is vanity and vexation of spirit (2:17). If any man could ever have been satisifed by getting all his heart's desires, that man 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:

God reminds all who believe that success in life is measured by acquiring an abundance of material things: Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:20).

Christ Portrayed:

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

Word Studies:

9:8 hiss =scoff, ridicule; 9:13 Cabul =unproductive wasteland; 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 Mt. 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; 10:21 nothing accounted of =not considered of value; 10:24 sought to =consulted with; 10:26 bestowed =stationed; 11:1 strange =foreign; 11:5 abomination =horrible, detestable idol; 11:31 rend =tear.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East in memory of Paul Harkus • Staff: Bernice Rathbone • Government Official: Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ) • Country: Mali (10 million) in West Africa • Major languages: French and Bambara • Religious freedom despite Muslim majority • 81% Muslim; 17% animism and spirit worship; 2% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God even in times of adversity (Acts 16:22-25).

Optional Reading: Acts 26

Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:22

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