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Trampling the First Commandment (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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April 19, 2023 6:00 am

Trampling the First Commandment (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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April 19, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Pastor Rick Gaston

How can one so wise and blessed and loved by God fall so horribly? You have to ask yourself that question when you consider this eleventh chapter. Well, he was weakened by wealth and luxury.

That's true, but that's not all of it. He was ensnared by the talent that he had because he exercised that talent without spiritual devotion. Just the intelligence, the wisdom that God gave him without God. He reached a point where I got this on his own.

First Kings, chapter 11. This is a big chapter. It's big because of what's going on in our relationship to God, our understanding of God, our purpose in life.

It all sort of just lands right here. The value to the seasoned believer on such a consideration is to take this to the world. To be stirred up and you are armed with a theme should God bring someone your way to share Christ. Rule number one with God. Don't honor non-existent gods. Don't put them in front of me and God is everywhere.

That means you can't put them anywhere. Exodus 20, verse 3, you shall have no other gods before me. He's not talking about in sequence or order. You can have God and then you can have another God. When he says not before me, he doesn't mean it that way.

He means that I don't want them put in front of me. And of course God sees everywhere. Verses 1 through 8 tell us about the women that Solomon turned to. Now he turned from God to them.

He sought to kind of figure out a way to make them both work. Verses 9 through 43, the adversaries that turned on Solomon because Solomon had turned from God. And hopefully we'll get that next session. I always feel like when I say next session, we might not be here for the next session. There's always that chance of rapture and I want to just comfort you with these words. I will teach you in heaven the continuing sections. You know, Lord be so busy doing other things that I figure.

So tell me what happens. Anyway, I want to introduce this through Ezekiel the prophet who is sort of one of the unsung prophets of the Bible. I don't know why he doesn't get more recognition. There's so much in that he's a weirdo prophet in some ways, but he delivers the point every time. So anyway, one of my favorites, Ezekiel chapter 8 verse 14. He gets a vision. God is giving him a vision. They come to, they gathered before Ezekiel, the captives there in Babylonian captivity and they gather before him and God gives him this vision while they're there. And part of the vision comes to the events that are taking place on the temple mount where the house of God is in Jerusalem. Of course, they're removed from it as captives.

The temple has not yet been destroyed. Ezekiel says, so he brought me to the door of the north gate of Yahweh's house and to my dismay women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. This is, he's devastated.

He says, to my dismay. It was devastating. He understood the value of the women in the home and therefore the kingdom. He understood that if the devil taught the women, the women would infect the children. And thus the kingdom. Here these women were weeping over this fake God that according to the doctrine of that God, he died in the wintertime, but he would revive in the springtime and bring with it, you know, the fruits and the harvest and all these things that everybody, you have to live with, live by.

But he wasn't finished. Seeing the women worshipping this fake God weeping over, oh he's dead, he's gone, but he'll rise again, kind of a bogus resurrection that Satan had infused many of the pagans with and that's not the only God that was like that. Anyway, he continues in verse 16, so he brought me into the inner court of Yahweh's house and there at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, between the place of sacrifice and the entrance to God's presence, were about 25 men with their backs towards the temple of Yahweh and their faces toward the east and they were worshipping the sun toward the east.

Well, you know, an agrarian society, they lived off of the land and the sun and the crops and all these things, life support for them, but they worshiped the created things and they bypassed the creator, trampling the first commandment at God's house. Well, Solomon is the one that really imported this stuff. I mean, Saul tried to put all of the witches out of Israel and then he goes to one towards the end of his life out of desperation. Even Saul did not import this, not on nowhere near the scale that we're going to find Solomon does in this chapter and I'm approaching this as though you're already kind of an idolatry he brought into the house of God. Ezekiel knew men were the first line of defense and they weren't defending, they were doing the devil's work by trampling the first commandment. Again, Ezekiel chapter 8, now the 17th verse, Yahweh speaking to him, Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here?

For they have filled the land with violence, then they have returned to provoke me to anger. This is what the unbeliever needs to hear. You can't make up God.

You cannot choose how you worship God without consequence. The ruins of a godly king, Solomon, this is what he leaves behind in this 11th chapter, just a pile of ruins after all God had built in this man and now it's all just rubble. This is one of the great sad and disappointing chapters in all the scripture. At this point in Solomon's life we are repulsed by what we find. He opened Israel's borders to idolatry, even subsidizing their shrines.

Evidence to prosecute Solomon was overwhelming. If you were going to prosecute him for importing idolatry, it would have been no case, there would have been no defense, but he was at the top and nobody was going to challenge him. How can one so wise and blessed and loved by God fall so horribly?

You have to ask yourself that question when you consider this 11th chapter. Well, he was weakened by wealth and luxury, that's true, but that's not all of it. He was ensnared by the talent that he had because he exercised that talent without spiritual devotion. He exercised just the intelligence, the wisdom that God gave him without God. He reached a point where I got this on his own, leaving us aghast and repulsed at the pile of ruined blessings.

And that's it right there. Like Samson, who was sort of the counterpart, you know, he was the athletic type, the athletic celebrity, and Solomon is the billionaire celebrity. Both of those men are great enigmatic characters.

You just are perplexed by them. How could Samson be so stupid? How can Solomon be so idolatrous? Listen to 1 Kings chapter 3, and Solomon loved Yahweh walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at high places. So it was there early on, but he restrained it, he kept it under control until later in life he removed the restraints and he sought to make a deal, a bargain. Well, that's how he began to live, you know, I'll marry this one and I'll have peace with that kingdom and I'll marry, and he began to become, you know, the art of the deal.

Nothing wrong with that in its proper place, there's something very wrong with that in the place of God, in the house of God, it's not about making a deal, it's about obeying God, which is hard enough. And that, the Bible proves that throughout. Still, with that prayer, and Solomon loved Yahweh. Maybe you've heard, yeah, but I know they love the Lord. Yeah, they love the Lord, but they may be just messing everything up.

Maybe they shouldn't love him so much and we can fix them, I say that sarcastically. Still, Solomon, here he is loving God, God could not give Solomon or anyone else their free will. He will not do that, he will not force us, again, contrary to the silly doctrine of Calvinism that so many intellectual, wise men, smart men, not so much wise, intelligent men, godly men, drink that Kool-Aid. God could not force him to obey, God influenced Jonah, but he never forced him. He would have saved the fish in digestion if he could just force him, but he did not.

Alexander White was a great Scottish preacher, and he writes, I wish I could speak like this, he probably spoke this way, and I'm sure he rolled his R's, because those Scottish preachers did. If ever a ship set sail on a sunny morning, but all that was left of her was a board or two on the shore that night, that ship was Solomon. In other words, he started out so nicely, a sunny morning, and by nightfall, he was shipwrecked. And that is his life.

That is true. But, because of his contributions to Scripture in the Psalms, the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, which is so greatly misunderstood, I think, because of these contributions and the prophecies associated with his life, I believe Solomon is in heaven. However, there's more to it. He has left us with this heartbreaking debate. He's made it debatable.

It's not like, oh, absolutely. It's, well, I believe he's in heaven, here's why I believe that. And someone can come up, well, I don't believe he's in heaven, here's why I believe that.

And it is a viable argument. If ever it was said over a soul, where sin abounded, grace did much more, I believe Solomon would be that man. He was saved, but so as by fire. Paul talks about that in his Corinthian letter. Misspent blessings.

That would have been a good title, but not, it's too weak. It doesn't capture the ruin that he imported. From God's end, God could have been saying, you know, somebody's going to import the wickedness. And Solomon, he's going to do it. But it'd be better if Solomon do it than someone else because it might have even been worse. We don't know.

We can only speculate on these things. I try to lean towards grace because God has been so gracious to me. That's my motivation for not bulldozing people into hell. Oh, he's in hell, he's going to hell, that's it. Some people say it almost as like, you know, they're going to hell, I'm not going to hell, and that's a good thing. And it's a good thing you're not going to hell, but it's not a good thing they are. And we need to temper our judgment.

Who wants to be a little self-righteous, annoying? If I have not love, I am annoying. That's what God says.

And he goes on to say, if you have not love, you're nothing. And that ought to cool our heels a little bit to stick by what God's word says without being too aggressive in our condemnation of others. I think it's pretty easy. A person doesn't admit that Christ as Lord and Savior died for their sins and they are sinners in need of the Savior and that's the only one.

They're going to hell. But that's clear. But Solomon, let's open him up a little bit more, open up the story because there are other little twists and turns.

So be ready to be nauseated a little bit. Verse 1, oh look at that, I didn't push the timer. Okay, we start now. Sorry.

Okay, calling all cars, calling all cars. Some of you weren't there for Dick Tracy and you're just never going to be the same now. Anyway, verse 1, But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Amorites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. Why did Solomon have all these women? Because he could. That's why. Because it impressed the men of the world, the men around him.

There's not just one reason why. Well, he did it to make deals. That's part of it, but there's a whole lot more to it. Only a desire to center the life on God could have protected him from this getting out of control. And by centering his life on God, the word of God would have had to have been part of that. This is why God said to the kings, you need to write a copy of the law with your own hand.

Write it down. This book of the law shall not depart from you, God told Joshua. You shall meditate in the day and night.

Then you'll have good success versus carnal success. Anyway, he did not keep God the central force in his life and therefore the protection wasn't there. He put the kibosh on devotion in his own life. This is going to show up in the life of his only named son, Rehoboam, because he was wiser than Moses in his head.

He excused himself from the commandments Moses delivered. I believe that's a big part of it. I believe he felt, you know, I am pretty smart. I've not met anybody who can outthink me. And he factored out God. He was wiser than all, but he wasn't spiritual. It's not enough to be anything without the spirit. And it's not enough to be spiritual and a dummy and everything else either.

Imagine if you were just very spiritual but you drove on the wrong side of the road. Anyway, 1 Kings chapter 3 verse 12. Behold, Solomon speaking, I have done according to your words. See, I have given you a wise, God speaking to Solomon, wise and understanding heart so that there has not been anyone like you before, nor shall any like you arise after you.

I'm going to make you so smart that no one's going to ever be as smart as you. Spiritually though, he became a dummy. Daniel, Daniel was as righteous, more so, and certainly wiser than Satan. In fact, every believer is wiser than Satan.

I'm not talking about in doing evil. Satan, Paul said I wish that you were ignorant in doing evil but wise in doing good. We're wiser than Satan because we don't rebel against God like Satan. Lucifer I'm talking about. Because when we say Satan, we mean all the enemy realm in the spirit world. But to single it down, to narrow it down to their leader, Lucifer himself, Daniel as I mentioned, is held up by God again by the prophet Ezekiel, which shows the influence that Daniel had.

Daniel was alive in those days. And he had such an influence that God spoke to Ezekiel about the people and he says to the people through the prophet, behold, well he's speaking actually to the king of Tyre. And much of what he says to the king of Tyre is applicable intentionally to Satan himself but also to the king.

A dual application. And to anybody else who wants to line up on that side of the road, behold are you wiser than Daniel? There is no secret that can be hidden from you. So Daniel was so, God was so spiritually in tune with God that it stands out even to the great prophet Ezekiel. Well Solomon was not wise spiritually. That's the point. He may have been smarter, he was smarter than Daniel.

He could beat him in a spelling bee. He just could not carry out the righteousness like Daniel could and God wouldn't speak to Solomon anymore like he spoke through Daniel. Daniel's prophecies are unfolding before us to this day.

Well that's some of what was going on. We have this really intelligent man who spiritually let himself drift away and all he was left with was the one leg of intelligence without the spiritual. Paul was intelligent and he was spiritual.

Peter, what he lacked in intellectual prowess, he made up for with his spirituality, his closeness to God. It says here in verse one, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh. He married many foreign women as well as he singles out now Pharaoh's daughter. This is the last of five references to that marriage. The historian just really, he writes as though he's just irritated with Solomon sometimes.

I get that sense. And how could he not be? Solomon built a house for Pharaoh's daughter, this princess whom he married, giving her a special status and privilege and of course it became the court for his wives. Just think about just in ancient Israel when Jesus lived. What did people do with the trash?

Human waste? I mean what did things look like then? So you imagine this giant complex would have required an army to support, to keep it clean and the Jews were known to be clean. It was baked into their scripture. This was to have 800 wives, likely all of them living in Jerusalem because you just couldn't let them go out far away and then other people target them and become hostages and just things like that. So this was a significant complex and the Pharaoh's daughter, she was the queen but she's not called. None of the women in Israel were referenced as queens until we get to Athaliah and that's a whole dumb story. But this marrying, this Egyptian princess was going back to Egypt, another step away from the Lord because the kings were not supposed to do this. He secured this bride from Egypt and thinking he's going to better establish a relationship with the Pharaoh.

He's patting himself on the back. It was really the might, the military that kept the peace. Solomon's thinking it's his wheeling and dealing. Yeah well if you take away your chariots and your cavalry and your troops, your treaties are nothing.

They're not arrow proof. His father David had written, some trust in chariots, some in horses but we will remember the name of Yahweh our God. Well David trusted in chariots and horses, well whatever weapons he had available but not without the Lord.

Solomon does it a little differently and it shows up. He wanted horses so he could not only have them for his military but so that he can engage in trade and bring in revenue. So he's thinking this is pretty good. I can buy these Arabian horses, I can buy these other horses and sell them to make this profit and I can also build up a stronger military. Our horses will be superior to their horses. And the chariots of course, that was the mechanized army that he had during that day. And so these actions reveal Solomon's doubts about God but his confidence in himself. So I can do better than God. Now if you would have walked up to Solomon and said can you do better than Yahweh? Of course he would say no I cannot. But that's not how he lived.

He lived as though he could because he's breaking these cardinal rules as we would say given to the Jewish people particularly the Hebrew kings by Moses whom he thought he was evidently thought he was smarter than. All of this to me is something that is relevant today. People who have a lot of money, you know again if you have a lot of money people think you know everything.

I guess you can tell them about anything. After all you figured out how to get money. Well some people that's all they can do is get money and keep it and not a lot more. I mean what's the stock guy, I don't want to say his name and don't say it, but he's all about making money. He writes books to tell you how to make money so he can make more money selling the books. But I bet you he can't fix a flat tire. I bet he probably can't even bake a cake. There's a lot of things he can't do but he's very rich. Well he can outsource it.

He can hire somebody. Yeah but that's not the point. The point is that people who have a lot of money don't know everything. And Solomon, he knew a lot more than everybody else and he didn't handle it the right way. Egypt represents bondage of the old life, the old world.

And the wilderness that the Jews experienced pictures the consequence of doubting God after coming out of the bondage. 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 / 2023-04-19 06:45:03 / 2023-04-19 06:54:10 / 9

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