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God Gold and Goofs (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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April 11, 2023 6:00 am

God Gold and Goofs (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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April 11, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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You know, to follow God and not depart, to be raised in a Christian home and with the world enticing you with so many things, and to stand your ground and still develop as an adult is very honorable.

To look the world in the face and say, I didn't owe you anything. I owed my God before I owe you. You young Christians, I hope you're getting that. 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 1 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 1 Kings chapter 9 as he begins his message, God, Gold and Goofs. 1 Kings chapter 9. People ask me why I look 20 years old.

I tell them it's the humor. Alright, God, Gold and Goofs. That's the title for the message because of course God is going to be foremost. He's going to speak to Solomon in this chapter. Solomon is going to look to expand his enterprises and there's going to be gold involved between he and Hiram, King Hiram, and then he's going to make some goofs with that. So, here we are 13 years between chapter 8 and the end of chapter 8 and the beginning of chapter 9. There in chapter 8, Solomon dedicated the temple and we're told in this chapter that it's after the temple was dedicated and Solomon's house, his palace, was built that God then comes to him this third time. That took seven years to build God's house and then about 13 years for Solomon to finish.

So, a really 13 year gap between the two chapters. That would also mean that the prayer that Solomon offered in chapter 8, where he was praying for the people and asking God that whoever would face the temple, God would answer their prayers. If they repented, well God is going to address that. In this chapter, again 13 years later, God remembers the prayers, which is emblematic in Revelation when the prayers of the saints are retained by God.

That is inspiring, I think, that whatever you pray, God is very much listening to and we'll talk about some of those who play games with God and then come to him in prayer and how God will address that with Ezekiel and Zephaniah. Now, this third appearance here, again comes after his palace is also finished. 26 years earlier, he was made king. So, he's been king now for 26 years. 20 years earlier, God first appeared to Solomon in a dream.

This will be the second appearance in a dream because it's specified that God appears to Solomon as he did at Gibeon and that's in chapter 3. He seems to have been a righteous king for all these years, these first 26 years of his monarchy. But the last 15, he begins to decline in his righteousness. You know, there's this danger of being so familiar with things of Scripture and God for the individual that eventually you become bored with him. You have to fight that because what happens is you begin reading other materials about God at the exclusion of the material from God. You start craving best sellers and other Christian books and there's not always a problem with that. Sometimes there is, most of the time I think, but of course not all. The Christian has to watch out.

Especially pastors, if they're into studying the word and commentaries, they got to watch. They don't get bored. Well, I know that already. Familiarity breeds contempt. How do you overcome that? Zeal for the Lord and recognizing that it ain't easy.

You got to fight for it. All right, well, verse 1, and it came to pass when Solomon had finished building the house of Yahweh and the king's house and all Solomon's desire, which he wanted to do, that Yahweh appeared to Solomon the second time as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. Well the second appearance is the same type. It's the third time God's going to engage Solomon because he did it at the dedication of the temple also. He's matching the style and the dream. God appeared to him and he's doing it again.

You would think that if you experienced something like this, you would not decline in your faith. But, you know, he had more temptation than most of us will ever face just because of his wealth. So in verse 1, Solomon's desires that the projects described were going to get them in verses 15-28, his building projects, he was expanding. Jerusalem right now, well the temple is the greatest building on earth at this point in history.

Homer is just getting started in Greece. Babylon and Assyria are not yet world powers. Egypt, their glory days are behind them. Israel is the world power. This is the golden age of the kingdom, David and Solomon.

After this, of course, it begins to crumble. This vision from God in the dream is not as pleasant as the first one. In the first one, he asked for wisdom. God granted it and more. And at the end, God said, and by the way, you need to abide with me.

Here, that's going to be the emphasis. God is going to say, you need to stick with me or else there's going to be some penalties for this. Going back to chapter 3, at Gibeon, Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream by night.

And God said, ask, what shall I give you? Well, the terms of God abiding with Solomon is Solomon and the kings abiding with him, and it is extended to other kings also. So, in chapter 3, that first appearance of God in a dream at Gibeon, in chapter 6, at the building, getting ready to build the temple and building the temple, of course, the theophany at the temple is dedicated here after the dedication, and then he's going to appear to him one more time. It doesn't specify how, and there it's going to be to rebuke him.

Great lessons for us all. Verse 3, Yahweh said to him, I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before me. I have consecrated this house which you have built to put my name there forever, and my eyes and my heart will be there perpetually.

Now, chronology is not showing up in this section. The historian is just giving us information, because this reads as though God is answering him right at the dedication of the temple. We've already established that's not so, because he dedicates the temple, then 13 years later he finishes his palace, and we're told here God appears to him after that palace, and that's where we get our 13-year gap. So, God is now saying 13 years later, I heard your prayer. That's why we come to the Bible, to learn how God does business, so that when he doesn't speak to us, we can say, well, you know, it doesn't mean he didn't hear. It doesn't mean he's not granting. Although Solomon knew God had approved, but God ignited the altar, we knew there was an approval, but God is revisiting this with him.

I think this is very informative. This is why I come to the Bible. I want to know about God. Verse 4, now if you walk before me, as your father David walked in integrity of heart and in uprightness, do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and my judgments, then I will establish, verse 5, the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, you shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel. In verse 6, but if you or your sons at all turn from following me, do not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them. We're going to pause the mid-sentence there before we get to verse 7, because it's just a lot here. You know, to follow God and not depart, to be raised in a Christian home with the world enticing you with so many things, and to stand your ground and still develop as an adult is very honorable. To look the world in the face and say, I didn't owe you anything.

I owed my God before I owe you. You young Christians, I hope you're getting that, because, you know, it's hard to be interested in the Bible at your age when you've got so many things happening for you. When am I going to work? Am I going to continue in school?

When am I going to do this and that? Well, whatever you do, you stick to the Lord. God expected these kings to abide with him no matter how much prosperity they enjoyed, no matter how much they had going on as kings.

He expected them to abide with him. And as hard as David fell into sin, his sin was never, ever idolatry, not even close. Dave, the thought never entered David's mind to depart from Yahweh and to look at other gods.

John's gospel, then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, if you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. I'll get to a quote from David in a minute. Here in verse 6, he says, but if your sons at all turn from following me, and we know the sad story, that's why we have the story. God is not saying, well, this is only for those who are of certain age.

It's for anyone who can understand what's being said. And God is saying, you can be like the kings whom I judged, or you can be like the kings who embraced me, and I embrace them in return. Unfortunately, these conditions were not kept by the majority of Israel's rulers. The penalty included that their temple would be destroyed, that they would lose the kingdom, and they would lose their light, the lampstand, that light, that service to the Gentile. Well, it's the same thing God does in Revelation 1 and 2, where he tells the pastors of the churches that are departing from the truth, you better watch it, I'm going to come take your lampstand from you.

Well, Israel has precedence, and many churches have succumbed to that over the years. John's gospel chapter 15, verses 4 and 7, is quite, you know, that 15th chapter is very inviting on one hand before boding on another. Verse 4, abide in me, and I in you, Jesus speaking in John 15, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit, for without me you could do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, is cast out as a branch, and is withered, and they gather them up and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, I will ask, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you. Yeah, because you're walking with the Lord and you're going to ask anything that's goofy.

That's the primary sentiment behind that. You're in fellowship with God, in union with the Lord. And so when you say, Lord, can I have this job? And then at the end you say, not my will, but your will be done. And God says, okay, I'm going to do my will. So he's just answered your prayer.

It's that unity. That's simplifying a very simple reality. Anyway, here back to Kings chapter 9 and verse 6, he says, but if you go serve other gods and worship them, that's the deal breaker. And David never crossed this line, as Solomon did and many others.

Psalm 16 is a psalm of David. He says, their sorrows will be multiplied who hasten after another god. Their drink offering of blood I will not offer, nor take up their names on my lips. David says, I'm not going to give them any free publicity. I'm not going to repeat the names of these gods. They don't need to be spoken by me.

They will not be found on my lips. He's going back all the way back to the days of Moses. People, many of the Jewish people would stampede to sin if the king wavered in his devotion. And that's what we read.

We read about the king, you know, becoming a pagan, an idolater, and the people following him. Not all of them. There's always that remnant. Well, this is true of churches. If the pulpit goes liberal, the people who stay join it. Hebrews 4.14, seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens. Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. Let's not leave what we know is true and trade it to go to hell. Verse 9, then I will cut off Israel. Now, this is a consequence to verse 6 if they depart. I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them. And this house which I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all people. God is no respecter of persons, or temples, or any other little thing that departs from him.

This is magnificent, I think. Of course, before we savagely judge, pass judgment on the royal line of David, let's consider how many churches, schools, Christian schools, how many Christian ministries, missionary outreaches, paraministries, how many of them have abandoned Christ? We could write Ichabod over the edifice of many a church that still pretends to be a church, and they've locked Jesus out. And they will knock out anybody that is upholding him, his word, from their congregation. Many of these places, again, that once honored God. Where Christ is locked out, that's usually very easy to see and say, okay, that's an apostate church that we wish wouldn't call itself a church anymore. But what about the ones that mingle Christ with other things?

They're worse. I think what kind of creeps most of us out about snakes is more than anything is that they sneak up. I mean, their stealth ability is, I don't know, maybe the mosquito can outdo them, but they're just, that's why a lot of us don't, they're just there. And if you could see them coming, if they had, you know, wore a cowbell, we'd like them more. But, you know, that would mess up hunting, I'm sure. That's why tigers want no part of the cowbell on them. The shame of it, tiger with a cowbell. Anyway, trying to sneak up on the deer, clunk, clunk, clunk. The deer would die laughing.

The tiger could eat him. Anyway, God warns that he will not reward the wicked. And we need to get it in our heads and seeing churches kind of mingle things that come out of the world as though the Bible weren't enough. Is that just the very thing that is warned against in the scripture? We're going to come to that when I quote Zephaniah, one of my favorite verses from Zephaniah, Israel is entitled to nothing except the judgment. But, grace is offered nonetheless.

Same with Christianity. And that's why God departs the temple. He's saying to them in Ezekiel chapter 10, we see the Shekinah depart the temple and God is saying you're not entitled to this.

You have to, to earn this, all you need to do is abide with me and not pick up any hell-born ideas. Verse 8, as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and will hiss. Now remember, this is God talking. And say, why has Yahweh done thus to this land and to this house? Jeremiah, when he writes the lamentation, the weeping of Jeremiah, it's because he's tried so hard to stop his people from going into idolatry. And not only did he warn them with words from their own scripture and use logic, but he exercised prophecy that was fulfilled right in front of their eyes. You would think they would look at this, see the madness of sin. Sin makes us so dumb, humans that is.

It makes us all dumb. Lamentation 2.15, this is what Jeremiah wrote out as the city is now destroyed, the people are taken captive. He says, all who pass by clap their hands at you, Jerusalem he's speaking to, they hiss and shake their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem. Is this the city that is called the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth? Well I mentioned that Israel's temple was the greatest building on earth at this time in human history. But so was Jerusalem, the greatest city at this time. Other cities had fallen by the wayside. You know, in Memphis and in Egypt and other cities in Egypt, they were no longer these splendid places, Jerusalem was. So God says here to Solomon, your kings are going to mess up, your people are going to follow them and I'm going to pass judgment and people are going to hiss at you and say, what happened to you? I thought you were the righteous city. God was blessing you.

What happened? They do this today with a church. You know, some unbelievers can't wait for a church to fail. They can't wait for the pastor to fail. Oh, you know, that's why I don't go to church or something like that anyway.

And unfortunately, we hand them, we tend to hand them victories that they don't deserve. Verse 9, then they will answer because they forsook Yahweh their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and have embraced other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore Yahweh has brought all this calamity on them. I have read through these passages before and there are people who were present, who are no longer present, who are no longer walking with the Lord and you just scratch your head.

Why? They read the same Bible I read. The two thieves on the cross heard the same sermon, saw the same things. God does nothing without cause. Ezekiel 14, 23. And God will not reward those who refuse to honor him. And why we have highly intelligent human beings that expect God to reward them for turning their back on him is ridiculous, but they do it all the time. And they get bitter and blame God. I'm not going to, he's not a loving God, how could he let this happen? Why would you expect him to bless you when you won't even acknowledge him?

You write forgery on his universe. God didn't do that. God didn't build that.

Sound familiar? Jeremiah 22, and many nations will pass by this city and everyone will say, this is before the city fell, before the lamentation. This is part of Jeremiah, his old ministry was trying to save the city. Isaiah succeeded, well God did through Isaiah. Couldn't do it with Jeremiah, not because of Jeremiah, he's a profound prophet. And many nations will pass by this city and everyone will say to his neighbor, why has Yahweh done so to this great city? Then they will answer because they have forsaken the covenant of Yahweh, their God, and worshiped other gods and served them. Well, Jeremiah comes along after Solomon, he had the same book of Kings. Chapter 9, verse 9, even though there were no verse divisions, verse and chapter divisions yet, he still had the text and he knew this and that's what Jeremiah is quoting.

He's saying this is God, God said this already and you're making it happen, you're fulfilling the prophecy. The disobedience of the Jews became legendary. Just like the hypocrisy of much of Christianity has become legendary. And then there's false Christianity. Roman Catholicism's leadership is false, all of it, all of her leadership is false Christianity, the biggest cult on the planet. And yet, within that cult, there are those that can't find their way out, their hearts are right, but God has to do that work. Anyway, that's a whole, you know, people want to debate that, you'll lose.

Don't bother, just the grace of God. Anyway, their disobedience, as I mentioned, became legendary. The destruction of their kingdom and the dispersion of their people.

And it didn't happen just once. So, you know, we look at the history of the Jewish people and we say, you know, God called it all. None of this is like, ooh, what has happened to us? We don't understand. We'll get to something from the rabbis more there. The rabbis' rabbinical Judaism has menaced the Jewish people because they've departed from the scripture and they just, you know, walk around patting each other on the back and have embraced other gods. Why?

Why? Well, because the other gods let you do things. Jehovah would never let you do. You can go to work on a Sunday, on a Sabbath day, a Saturday. You can go to work on a Sabbath if you follow, you know, the Ashtoreth of somebody and other things. Embrace is an accurate translation of the Jewish word used here. It is a thorough word because that's what they did. They didn't tinker with other gods.

They embraced them, going so far as to name their children after them. Fallen nature is drawn to false worship, to idolatry. That's part of the curse, but there's a solution and it's doable. It's a never-ending fight to keep many Bible-professing Christians from mixing in that which is sensational and false at the same time. It feels so good. They'll pick it up, Pastor, what do you think about this? Wanting that endorsement. It is anathema.

You know, you got to be careful. After a while they stop asking and that's nice. I mean, you know, some folks when they ask you to bless something, to endorse it, they've made up their mind.

You better endorse it. They don't care about a genuine opinion. They just want you to side with them and when you don't, they're crushed. And, you know, I don't know if they ever hear me snickering as they're going away.

No, I don't do that because I have the answer to God and I am way more afraid of God than anybody else. So far, so good. 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 crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.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 / 2023-04-11 07:07:02 / 2023-04-11 07:16:32 / 10

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