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Fireheart 1945


"Defend your clan, even with your life." - Warrior code, Warrior cats novel series

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  • 7 weeks
    Warnings before a fall

    In the book of 1 Kings, King Solomon, in the first ten chapters, seems to be a good and capable ruler, one leading a prosperous kingdom. Chapter Eleven thus seems surprising; Solomon falls to pagan worship, leading to the one living God dividing the kingdom in the time of Solomon's son, Rehoboam, and the raising of adversaries to Solomon during his lifetime (1 Kings 11:14-40). How could this have

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Jun
18th
2020

Warnings before a fall · 6:17pm June 18th

In the book of 1 Kings, King Solomon, in the first ten chapters, seems to be a good and capable ruler, one leading a prosperous kingdom. Chapter Eleven thus seems surprising; Solomon falls to pagan worship, leading to the one living God dividing the kingdom in the time of Solomon's son, Rehoboam, and the raising of adversaries to Solomon during his lifetime (1 Kings 11:14-40). How could this have happened without warning?

It didn't.

There are numerous warnings that Solomon's life and rule were flawed even before we reach Chapter Eleven. In 4:26, we find that Solomon built thousands of stalls for his force of some 12,000 horses. In Deuteronomy 17:16, God forbids kings from gathering many horses for themselves, and specifically forbids the people from going back to Egypt to get horses, because God has forbidden them to return that way. We know from 1 Kings 10:28 that Solomon imported horses from Egypt, in disobedience to this command.

In addition, Solomon disobeyed the very next verse of Deuteronomy (17:17), which forbids kings from having multiple wives and from gathering much gold and silver. The part about not taking multiple wives is specifically because they would turn the heart of the king away from God, and naturally, gold and silver can turn people to materialism, which is also turning away from God. In addition, Solomon broke rules in Exodus 34:16 and Deuteronomy 7:1-3 that forbade taking foreign wives, because they would turn the hearts of the people away from God and toward the pagan no-gods. Solomon took not only a wife from Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1, 9:16) the king of Egypt, but accumulated some 700 wives and 300 concubines in total, according to 1 Kings 11:3.

Furthermore, in 1 Kings 6:38-7:1, the Bible states that Solomon spent 7 years building the temple, but spent 13 on building his palace. 7:2-5 also reveals this; in 6:2, the Temple's size is described as "sixty cubits (1 cubit is roughly 18 inches) long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high." But 7:2 says that the size of "the House of the Forest of Lebanon," which was one part of the palace, was 100 cubits long, 50 wide, and 30 high. This part alone of the palace complex is bigger than the temple. In other words, Solomon spent more time and effort on building his own palace than the temple.

These practices aren't outright condemned the way that Solomon's follies in chapter Eleven are, but they are early warnings, especially for those fluent in the Torah/Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy), that Solomon disobeyed God long before his apostasy in chapter Eleven. God was justly angered by Solomon's evil actions, and the penalty was - in addition to raising up adversaries to Solomon - that God divided the nation into two pieces; Judah and ten of the tribes of Israel (1 Kings 11:9-13, 26-39, 12:1-24).

What does all this have to do with us today?

Quite a bit, actually. All this happened despite God appearing twice to Solomon (3:5-14, 9:2-9). All this happened despite the OT law being known; Solomon blatantly disobeyed the law.

Sadly, the same is true for us. It's true that Christians are under a law of grace instead of the Mosaic Law, but Solomon lived back in a time when that Law was still in force. In essence, much of the OT law finds equivalents in the Lord Jesus' commands and in what was revealed to the apostles. God gave us instructions through Christ Jesus that we are to follow. We're called to be pure, to be holy; we are called to be blameless. We are commanded to love our neighbor and forgive offenses. We are ordered to not be hypocritical; we are to be truthful, to be righteous. While Christians don't physically circumcise themselves in order to obey the OT, we have been called to have circumcised hearts.

And... the result is that in this life we always fall short of God's standards. Badly. Even saved people still sin. Jesus had to die on the cross so that any who truly repent, love and submit to Him as Lord can be saved.

This moment in history - on the one hand the greatest showing of love by God to Man, on the other a horrific treatment of the Savior sent to redeem Man by Man - is indicative of how much the fall in the Garden of Eden has damaged creation's relationship with God, and how far we've fallen. It is also, more encouragingly, the ultimate example on how far God is willing to go to rescue His creation, at least those who lovingly and willingly accept Him as Lord and Master.

Solomon may be among the saved. The book of Ecclesiastes is a book that is described as depressing, and even confusing. However, when we examine it, we can see that this is because the human author himself is depressed. He has lived a life apart from God, and finds no joy in anything (1:12-2:26). To paraphrase the words of Matt Chandler, if Job is a book about a man who lost everything (worldly), Ecclesiastes is a book about a man who gets everything (worldly). "The Preacher (Hebrew, 'qoheleth')" had it all; money, wisdom, pleasures of all kinds, just about everything pleasant in the eyes of human beings. But ultimately, it all became hateful to him; it was, and is, "vanity (the Hebrew word translated 'vanity' can also be translated as wind or vapor; in any case, something temporary and non-fulfilling)". He began to realize that nothing is fulfilling without God. As he says in 3:14, "I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him (KJV)."

This "Preacher" is identified by many and perhaps most Jewish and Christian theologians as Solomon. Solomon fits the description of the "Preacher;" he is the son of David, he is king in Jerusalem (1:1), he collected and made proverbs (12:9), and he is one of the wisest men to have ever been on the face of the planet (1 Kings 4:29-30, Ecclesiastes 1:16), aside of course from the Lord Jesus, who as God is infinitely wiser than any man, even Solomon. Although Solomon lived a life that was often questionable and horrendously wicked at worst, if the "Preacher" is Solomon, it seems that in the years before his death, he looked back at his life and regretted his folly. If the "Preacher" is indeed Solomon, Solomon seems to have come to the realization that he had been wrong and pursuing folly for most of his life. Whoever the "Preacher" really is, he wrote an account of how life without God is empty, and that we need God in order for our lives to have meaning. In the end, he advises young people to remember God while they're still young so that they won't, in their old age, come to regret their lives (12:1), tells his audience to obey God (12:13), and assures and warns us that God will judge all things (12:14). The "Preacher" adds in 12:11 that words of wisdom from from "one Shepherd," i.e., God, though this may also be a Messianic verse.

We can often see that a person is headed for a cliff long before they get there; people who choose to go on mass shootings, those who smoke, those who drink to excess, those who become overweight, those who go fornicating or cheating, among others. We can't just ignore it. We should try to help them to change; pray to God, talk to the person in question, try to convince them that they need to reform well before they come anywhere near the cliff edge, do our best to lead them to stop hurting themselves and keep them from hurting others. Unfortunately, not everyone will accept the warnings given to them, but it's our duty to try - to a godly and lawful extent - to stop people from running off the aforementioned cliff, and from taking others with them.

To sum up what's been said, there are usually warnings that are evident to those paying attention before something bad happens. There is also a way out of that badness if the person truly loves and trusts God through Christ Jesus.

Sources;

ESV Study Bible

NASB Study Bible

https://www.amazon.com/Explicit-Gospel-Paperback-Matt-Chandler/dp/1433542110

https://www.gotquestions.org/was-Solomon-saved.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Ecclesiastes.html

https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-wisdom-books/ecclesiastes

https://www.biblegateway.com/

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