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Solomon’s Mixed Qualities (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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March 21, 2023 6:00 am

Solomon’s Mixed Qualities (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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March 21, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

It is not enough to claim you love the Lord. And we meet Christians that will say, I love the Lord, but they're going completely opposite of scripture. And some of them are just flat out unbelievers lying about their faith. Others may be really struggling.

Each case is different. Solomon achieved magnificence in the eyes of the world by living the way he lived, this double standard. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of First Kings.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the Book of First Kings Chapter 3 with his message called Solomon's Mixed Qualities. Pagans, they believe their gods were honored if they were worshiped in elevated places like hills and mountains and things like that. In the Mayans, you know, you look at their ruins and a lot of steps to get up to where they were sacrificing. So where it says here in verse 2, meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, the Israelites were not supposed to do this. These open air centers for worship the Jews inherited, and then they just, you know, got rid of the pagan gods and started worshiping Yahweh at these places. So today, well with the Christian holidays, all of them have been Christianized. They have pagan holidays that have been Christianized.

Well, that's what they were doing here. And Numbers 33 forbade this. Numbers 33 said, when you go into the Promised Land and you get rid of all those idols, destroy their high places. And this was a feature in the kingdom that the kings could never rid the people. It wasn't until after the Babylonian captivity did the people stop with the idolatry. Many of the good kings, they tried to get rid of this practice. It became a sacred cow. And in Christianity, there are sacred cows. There are churches that practice things that are forbidden, and you just can't get rid of them in those churches that do it. A pastor would come in and if he condemns it, they fire him. It is sinful behavior and sinners not to be over, you know, not again the word self-righteous, not to come against them.

Well, you know, the kings failed. Now it's not easy to wrench these kind of practices from a people. It says here in verse 2, because there was no house built for the name of Yahweh until those days. Well, offering sacrifices at places other than the temple was forbidden way back in Leviticus, in Moses' law, in Deuteronomy 12.

You shall seek the place where Yahweh your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put his name for his dwelling place, and there you shall go. But the temple that was in Gibeon that we'll get to in a little bit when Solomon goes there, the altar of Moses, the brazen altar, there were two altars the Jews had, the golden altar where the incense was burned inside the holy place, and then outside the brazen altar where the blood sacrifices were offered. And this brazen altar was still there, the very one from the days of Moses. But the Ark of the Covenant wasn't there. They were separated because David took the Ark of the Covenant and he brought it to Jerusalem and put it in a tent, and they were offering sacrifices there too. So there was this fragmented approach to worship, which is why it probably enabled the people to get away with going to the high places to offer sacrifices to God.

In fact, Gibeon, where the temple was, is referred to as a high place also at this time. So the things were less than ideal, but there was hope. There was a lot of hope. You know, you could get legalistic and go back in time and just point your finger at all the bad things and miss all the good things. God would say, well, I can just kill everybody, because they just can't get it together, but he's not going to do that. God works with what he has, and we're watching this unfold in this chapter of Kings where it is far less than perfect, but it is far better than what it could have been. Jesus, of course, will tell the woman at the well. He says, woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. I was talking with a pastor friend the other day, and he was telling me about another pastor who was just into Israel to a fault. And he says, what do you think about this? He's having rabbis, unconverted rabbis, go into this pulpit and preach.

Well, that's a problem. That's ecumenicism at the least, blasphemous at the worst. And he justified it by saying, well, they're building the third temple or they're part of the red heifer and they're just getting ready.

So what? That's not Christianity. We have Christ. And Jeremiah rebuked them for this overzealous approach to the temple, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord of disease. He was mocking them and rebuking them, really. And no pastor should be so excited about the third temple to where they're no longer excited about integrity. John says, he who denies that Jesus Messiah has come into the flesh is an antichrist. That's the way it is.

That's the separation. And a Jew would understand that because the Jews were persecuted. Let's just take, of course, the days of Nazi Germany. They were persecuted wherever they went in most parts of the world because they insisted on being separate from everybody and they became the scapegoat that way. The Jews, many of them made it to Shanghai and they were doing well there and then they got persecuted there when the Japanese came. But much of this was because they remained distinct as a people to this day.

Nobody else has pulled it off. Anyway, back to this in verse three, in Solomon, now we turn to verse three. And Solomon loved Yahweh walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.

Well, they're the mixed qualities. He loved the Lord, but he's still violating the law. And it's just very, you know, rather than trying to consider why God even blessed the guy, I'd rather concentrate on the goodness of God that leads to repentance. What would have happened if God just slammed the Jews with an iron hand? They wouldn't have survived. Same with the church. What happens if God still treated the church like sapphire and ananias? You'd be in big trouble. You told the lion church, gone.

What do you think of my hat? Depends on what I can get away with telling you. Anyway, you know, again, if you lied, then you're by that standard.

So a good beginning does not guarantee a good ending. It is not enough to claim you love the Lord. And we meet Christians that will say, I love the Lord, but they're going completely opposite of scripture. And some of them are just flat out unbelievers lying about their faith. Others may be really struggling.

Each case is different. Solomon achieved magnificence in the eyes of the world by living the way he lived, this double standard. David, not so much. David is not held up by the world. David, you know, people refer to Solomon's mines or, you know, treasures or whatever. But the name of Solomon never moved the true Hebrew that was devout to Yahweh. The name of Solomon never moved their heart as David did. To this day, you know, the believer, Christian, reads the life of David than when you understand it.

And you get blessed. But Solomon is just this enigma. He says here in verse 3, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places. After the temple was built, worshipping at the high places became a blatant disobedience. Before the temple was built, it was tolerated by God and really was still wrong. They should have gone to where the altar or the ark was.

But many of the people were not at these satellite locations that were forbidden. Verse 4, Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. So Gibeon, the true high place in the context of worshipping God in the promised land on elevated locations because the tabernacle and the altar was there at this point. 2 Chronicles chapter 1.

And 2 Chronicles 1 through 6 really give you a little bit more information on this whole thing. But it says now the bronze altar that Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, you can't ever read the guy's name Hur without saying it's a man, a man named Hur. Anyhow, the son of Hur had made, he put before the tabernacle of Yahweh. Solomon and the assembly sought him there.

So it's talking about the same event. This is the same altar from the days of Moses. Solomon is now going there at Gibeon where the altar is, about five miles north of Jerusalem. This time he brings the leaders with him. The statement made to the nation that it's a unified leadership, that was wise, where it says a thousand burnt offerings.

Well, it doesn't say it here yet but yes it does. Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on the altar. The use of the word thousand in the Hebrew, sometimes it's an expression of a large number. There's room to believe that. This was evidently a festival in that at last it wasn't just one day.

Solomon spends the night there at least once and he gets this dream. And I just point that out because a thousand, it could have been a thousand, I'm not saying it wasn't, but that's a lot of burnt offerings. You've got to just do the math and the whole, they were, the burnt offering, the whole thing was burned up except for the skin of the animal which was given to the priests. The priests were making out with all these skins.

But anyway, just a big event. Now he's going to top this when he dedicates the temple and it will be a literal tour. But here I'm just saying that some of the scholars think that there's room to say it's just sort of, you know, we would say just, or some of you might say, buku offerings. Verse five, at Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream by night and God said, ask what I shall give you. See this is the mercy of God. Instead of showing up and saying Solomon, you know, I've got a problem with you in these high places and these marriages, God just keeps him focused, focused on the mission, find the solution, get this done within the limitations of his grace and mercy. And Solomon has this dream and it's connected to his worship here at the altar.

And in this dream he enters into dialogue with God. Now David had Nathan and Gad the prophet, for example, his counselors, but we don't read of any counselors around Solomon. Even though Solomon were right, it is wisdom in the counsel of many, we don't really read of counselors around him. I'm sure he had court advisors, but he doesn't seem to have had a close religious advisor.

Nathan and Gad may have retired and wanted to stay retired by this time. Well, God spoke to Solomon twice and he appeared to him twice. Four direct engagements with God.

The mixed inequalities of this man. So the next time Satan comes along when you have failed God and wants to disqualify you, don't make it easy for him. Understand how kind and gracious God is. Again, I repeat the verse from Paul. It's the goodness of God that led me to repentance. God did not have to be good to Paul. He is persecuting Christians.

God could have persecuted Paul, but he saves his soul because God knew that in Paul there would be this response under these conditions. God appears to Solomon in the dream here at Gibeon. And then he speaks to Solomon during the construction of the temple in chapter six. He appears again to Solomon during the dedication of the temple, a manifestation for his lifestyle. Solomon was seeking those gods before you in truth, in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with you as it is this day.

Does he even hear what he says? He just lays out this map of how David found favor with God. Here's the way from point A to point God. And he doesn't follow it, but he acknowledges that this is the way. So David's blessings are joined to David's solemn pursuit of God. And of course God's going to receive this. He's not going to rebuke him. And God knew that in spite of David's failures, he loved the Lord and sought to serve him with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.

He says, you have continued this great kindness for him. So he is admitting that Solomon is admitting that Solomon is on the throne because of David, not because Solomon is so smart and special. Unlike Saul, none of Saul's descendants are on the throne.

They were disqualified. He says, and you have given him a son to sit on his throne as it is this day because God honored promises to David and extended the benefits to Solomon and giving him every opportunity to be blessed like David and more, having started out with so much more than David started out. David started out with somebody else's sheep, his father's sheep. Solomon starts out with kingdom handed to him. The question is, how old is Solomon now?

Well, let's look at that. Verse 7. Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child.

I do not know how to go out or come in. Now, he's of course not literal. He's not seven years old, you know, laying out this marrying, you know, guy's daughters and stuff. He's a grown, well, he's probably, you know, they're all over the place. The rabbis, you know, they're way off, twelve years old. No, that's not it because he has a child at this point. Josephus says, ah, he's fourteen. More than likely, looking at the age of his children, how long he was on the throne, factor these things in, he's anywhere between seventeen and thirty.

That help? So, he's probably more likely early twenties, if that. And he is admitting that he is, well, he's being honest and he's being humble at this point. He is inexperienced, but he is mature already. This is a very mature prayer. Remember, he's dreaming. That's why it was a mature prayer.

In your dreams, he says I do not know how to go out or come in. In other words, he did not know how to conduct himself in the office of a king. Daunting even for a matured man, verse eight. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Well, the kingdom is probably numbered about four million people at this time. I know that because I read it on a census report.

No. Well, we did in 2 Samuel when we numbered the troops and you just said, well, they're married and kids and you just estimate it's probably about four million people at this time in Israel. So, verse nine. Therefore, give your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil.

For who is able to judge this great people of yours? So, he's humbled enough to ask and literally, and you know, in the proper use of the word, he is saying to God, asking God for a hearing heart, is the Hebrew. That's a sensitive heart, that he would be in touch with the people. He knew it was not enough to be wise. He needed feelings also.

He needed to have a connection with God's people. Proverbs 4 23, keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life. And when the Jews talk about the heart, as did the Greeks, it was the whole of the person. It was your, you know, your emotions, your thoughts, and your will that made up the heart.

Unless you were a cardiologist, of course, then it was the heart. But you know, in my life, in your life, I'm sure you'd rather plant good seeds than weeds, and this is what he is asking. He prayed for wisdom. David influenced him.

We talked about this in chapter two. David, you know, I charge you, you know, be strong. Stick to the word of God.

In dealing with these people that I'm telling you, you have to take care of. Be wise. You're wise. And so I think David stirred that up in Solomon, and Solomon's receiving it, certainly humbled at this point in his life, in saying, I don't feel very wise, which is a wise statement. First Chronicles 22 verse 12, a good thing about the Bible.

You say something that you need to move from, just get a verse to quote. First Chronicles 22 verse 12, only may Yahweh give you wisdom and understanding and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of Yahweh your God. Those are David's words to Solomon. So when David dies, Solomon has already been primed to understand that wisdom is something he's got to have as a king.

It cannot be just this prodigal king wasting away as many kings would become after him. It was by hard work that he benefited from his education. He was a smart guy. Not only was he wise, that was the gift, but his intelligence was a product of his education.

Hard work. It would be unrealistic to think that he was just a God-imparted knowledge to him. So when he knew about when the Queen of Sheba comes and he talks to her about everything, you know, insects and everything, it's because he worked hard.

He's not a stupid man. And God used this, I mean, to write Ecclesiastes. Sometimes you've got to reread some of those verses.

And he seems to have it just flow from him, but it still wasn't enough. He says to judge your people. He wanted wisdom, the sensitive heart, to judge the people, God's people, the ability to make right decisions.

Many people are smart enough to make a good living, but not wise enough to make a good life. And certainly not a good life before God. A believer's life will have a series of adjustments, an unending series of adjustments through life.

But those adjustments hopefully will look to honor God. And Solomon doesn't do that with the wisdom he gets, because again he felt at some point he was better coming up with solutions than trusting the Lord. Have any of you young men felt that you could just sort of carve your future without God? That you could just get by because what, you're smart? Well, if you thought that way, you're improving, you weren't too smart. It's that dependency on God.

It doesn't make you a weakling. It causes you to get to a place where you identify what your strong points are and you develop them in Christ. If I were really good at mathematics, and I would recognize, okay, God's given me this.

Now I have to look for a forum to use it, to develop it. And wherever that place lands me is my field of ministry, my personal field of ministry. I mean, I have my public ministry in the church, I have private ministry of people that come in touch with my life.

This is the ideal, and it takes a lot. For me, when I became a steelworker, I knew God gave me, just, he made me like Joseph, and I had this superpower. I could hover. Okay, really, I couldn't. But I recognized that God gave this to me. And I'm telling you one of my victories. I'm not telling you my defeats. So don't think I'm up here saying, you know, look, I'm special, I did it the right way. Well, I got this one right.

We won't talk about the others. And it's true for all of us. To be able to discern the good from the evil because God has told us, but that's not enough. I need God to narrow it down certain events so that I can clearly see through the fog. I need God to do that. And proclaiming that does not mean that you're somehow a loser because you have to depend on God.

It makes you the winner. It's what David did. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He's the one that leads me and provides for me.

I really won't have a need for much, really for anything essential. The time would come when Solomon, knowing good from evil, will allow the evil. The life of Solomon should scare us all. Every single believer should be saved. But these blessings, these benefits did not guarantee that he would serve courageously.

And God can give me things, it doesn't guarantee I'm going to use them the right way. And so that should make me, of course, get more head in the game. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross-Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 1 Kings has had a lasting imprint on your life. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series or share it with someone you know, please visit Cross-Reference Radio dot com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit Cross-Reference Radio dot com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's Cross-Reference Radio dot com. Our time with you today is about up, but we hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the Word of God. Join us again as Pastor Rick covers more in the book of 1 Kings on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-21 06:12:38 / 2023-03-21 06:21:49 / 9

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