Rehoboam took over for Solomon and immediately had some choices to make.
1. Man's will or God's will? - Rehoboam had his own will and showed that was his choice by going to Schechem to be made king.
2. Man's counsel or God's counsel? - Unlike his father, who asked God for wisdom, Rehoboam only sought advice from men.
3. Man's reward or God's reward? - Rehoboam was more interested in the approval of his peers and the temporal reward of material things than in God's approval and the reward of strong relationships and God's blessing.
All of us must daily choose our path. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death" - Proverbs 14:12!
Often these days you will hear of someone being hospitalized for heart trouble. Today's passage speaks of something far more dangerous than physical heart trouble - spiritual heart trouble! Solomon disobeyed God's warning and multiplied foreign wives to himself and then began to worship their false gods. Solomon gave his heart to these false gods and it resulted in the nation of Israel being divided.
1. Distraction - focus on the physical rather than eternal.
2. Disobedience - married many foreign women which God had said not to.
3. Destruction - As a result of wanting to please these women and himself more than God, Solomon lost his kingdom.
Pride is a deception that will cause us to walk the pathway to destruction. Guard my heart from pride. Look for ways to humble myself today.
Walk with the Lord and avoid heart trouble!!!
These verses record the building of the temple. David supplied much of the material though he was told by God he couldn't build it. Solomon in his wisdom was now to build it.
Going beyond the dimensions I find something very interesting in verse 7. The stones were all made ready in the quarry and brought to the temple site and all they had to do was put them in place in the wall. My imagination does not go far enough to exactly realize how this was done. There had to be some kind of blueprint somewhere. A type of figure is that of God's church of our day which is made of living stones with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. It is God the Holy Spirit who writes these living stones into our modern day Temple of God. I am not smart enough to imagine all of this either. My point is God made me a living stone in the church. However, by leading people to be saved we have a part in the building of God's true temple today.
Next, we are left with the promise that if the children of Israel walked in God's way that He would dwell in that temple.
I hate to say it, but like Paul Harvey I know the rest of the story about the destruction of that temple and the departing of the glory of God. This could happen to the church too if we don't continue to walk with Christ. However, we will not be lost but go to Heaven with only wood, hay or straw. (I Corinthians 3:12-33)
Solomon had followed his father's instruction and asked God for wisdom. This passage is an illustration of using the wisdom of God.
1. Availability - Wisdom is available to all who will come to God to receive it. Proverbs says that "wisdom" cries out "whoso is simple let him turn in hither". James says "if any man lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally". Solomon was available to the "least" (two prostitutes) to share God's wisdom.
2. Assessment - Wisdom is the application of God's knowledge to life's situations. Compassion is an indication of a pure motive and right heart. When a person is truthful they are also compassionate rather than condemning, selfless rather than selfish.
3. Achievement - Wisdom reflects back on the greatness of God. Solomon was honored not because he had Solomon's wisdom but God's.
Do I acknowledge my need for wisdom and ask God daily to give me wisdom? Do I walk in Word daily so that I have knowledge of God that can be applied as wisdom? Am I willing to share the wisdom of God with others and do I do so in a way that He receives the glory?
Walk with the Lord and use God's wisdom!!!
I find the way David instructed his son Solomon very interesting. First of all he gave him the charge to walk in the ways of the LORD, to keep all the statues and judgments. If he followed that with his children, there would always be a king on the throne of David. However, Solomon failed miserably and his son Rehoboam lost half of the kingdom after Solomon's death.
Next David gives a quest of how to deal with some of the people in the kingdom. I will try to write about them one by one. First there was Joab, a very ambitious man who won the right to be captain of David's army by capturing an enemy stronghold later named Jerusalem. The chief fault of Joab was that he killed two men in cold blood who might endanger his position as captain. Solomon was asked to do the right thing.
Then there was Shimier who cursed David when he was fleeing from the revolt of his son Absalom. David then promised that he would not take his life. Now he gives this charge to Solomon to do what he thinks best.
I saved this one for last. There was the good man named Barzilla, the Gileadite who came to bring provisions to David and his men when they were fleeing from Absalom. David never forgot this kindness, and Solomon was to reward him by letting his sons eat at his table. David never forgot kindnesses and we should not forget things like that either.
In this final section Peter discusses showing meekness as a church as we battle satan. Meekness is yielding our rights to God. Christ is the greatest example of meekness. If we will submit to God and resist the devil in conflict we will show Christ in the power of His grace through meekness.
1. Be alert to spiritual danger - "sober".
2. Be attentive to spiritual duty - "vigilant"
3. Be aggressive in spiritual defense - "resist"
4. Be assured in spiritual deliverance - "stablish", "strengthen", "settle".
Walk with the Lord and show meekness in trouble!!!
In verse one Peter is speaking to what we call elders. These are seasoned believers who have the task of ruling over the Lord's people. Peter calls himself an elder and so he was. I would hope I am too, but I will let the people of God, and Heaven determine that.
Elders are to be sheep feeders and overseers over the flock of God, not for personal gain of any kind. We are to have a ready mind to do God's will. Peter was told three times because of his love for the Lord to, "Feed my sheep." Feed my Lambs." "Shepherd my sheep." I want to be that kind of elder. Elders were not to be lords over God's heritage. They were to lead not drive the sheep but were to be examples over the flock. We will get a crown of glory when the Chief Shepherd Christ appears. Now the younger ones are to submit to the elders, but we are all to submit to each other and be clothed with humility.
God is never for the so-called proud. God resists the proud but gives more grace to the humble. We all need more grace. I will never say that I have enough of that. Now we can be free to cast all our cares upon Christ for He cares for you. I give up all my cares to Him. Can you do the same?
Peter continues to share how God wants us to "show" Christ through meekness in the church. Meekness is yielding our rights to God. Jesus is the greatest example of meekness.
As the Church show meekness:
1. In teamwork - 3:8-12
2. In testimony - 3:13-22
3. In triumph - 4:1-6
4. In treatment - 4:7-11
5. In trial - 4:12 -19
6. In task - 4:20 - 5:4
7. In trouble - 5:4 - 5:14
This passage gives instruction in showing Christ in treatment.
*In treatment - If you will walk together in care you will show Christ. Practical care is shown when I am willing to limit my freedom, when I pray, when I love others, when I share hospitality and when I use my spiritual gift.
Walk with the Lord and show meekness in the Church
In the society we live we are more safe in our environment if we are followers of good. I am not sure about the statement about happiness when we suffer for doing good, but it is the word of God and I must accept it that way. So far I have not experienced that so I can't say. The term sanctify the Lord God in your hearts means that Christ should be everything to me and when the time comes that someone would ask me why I live like I live, I can tell them that they need the Lord Jesus Christ, and they can have the same kind of heart happiness I have. Then I can lead them to trust Christ for eternal happiness. A conscience is what Adam and Eve got when they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, there are people with a good conscience and evil consciences. When we trust Christ and live for Him we have a sanctified conscience and believe me it does make a difference. Christ the totally "Just One" suffered for me the not just one. He brought me to God through the blood of His cross. Now I am free. Baptism never washed my sins away, but it is a figure of what Christ has done in His death and resurrection. Noah's life is a type of the perfect safety we have in Christ. Now Christ is gone into Heaven and everything in this world is subject to Him.