Evangelical Community Chapel at Liberal: a Molalla, Oregon Church

Molalla, Oregon

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Solomon – Fathered Many, but Father to None

June 21st, 2009 by Vic

1 Kings 2-11

David did not discipline his boys (1Kings 1:6).  One arrogant son caught his hair in a tree and was killed.  Another son (Adonijah) with the wicked heart wanted to be king so he could have David’s servant girl.  When Solomon became king he saw his brother’s impure motives and killed him.  Solomon was not described as a good dad either.  Yet Solomon wrote the Proverbs and knew how to be a good dad.  He just did not do it.

Solomon was known as a very wise man, but sometimes he chose to be a fool.  He seemed to know everything about everything.  He made Jerusalem the center of all sacred, judicial, and commercial decisions.  He controlled all trade by building fortified cities around the major wells so that all caravans stopped, paid toll, and spent money.

He developed the export trade with wine, olive oil, and honey.  Olive oil was a substitute for butter, lard, and medicine.  Oil made him rich.  Honey was the major sugar of the day.

He imported fruits, woods, metals, animals, and beautiful flowers.  He had a ship building industry.  He was a horse trader.  He had 180,000 men in the timber industry.

He was a magnificent builder.  The splendor of the Temple and his palace has never been matched in history.  Silver had no value because gold was so plentiful.  His gardens were considered one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.

Read 10:9 and note that God was not left out of things.  Solomon’s social position and wealth revealed the handiwork of God.  Men and women could see his good works and glorify the Father which is in heaven.

The queen comes to the palace and smells the alternating fragrances of cinnamon, saffron, calamus, frankincense and many flowers.  She sees the organization of the servants, the glitter of the precious stones, the splendor of the construction.  She hears the water falls, the music, the joy on peoples faces.  She is overwhelmed.  She is ashamed of the half million dollar gift that she had brought.

Remember that Sheba was at least 600 miles from Jerusalem.  This queen did not have to come.  It would have been a lot easier to stay home and send another committee to examine the facts.

There is a lesson here for us.  Most people want to know the Truth, but they want the truth to come to them.  Jesus said (Matt 12:42) to these kind of people, “The Queen of the South shall rise up in judgment of this generation and condemn it, for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear Solomon, and lo a greater than Solomon is here.”  And you are not listening.  You are not making even a little effort to know the truth.

Another lesson here is the fact that the grace of God is always greater when we see and believe for ourselves.  When God’s Spirit begins to show us how great and deep and wide is God’s love, the beauty of His holiness, the peace of His presence, we say with the Queen, “The half was not told me.”  If the beauty of holiness does not amaze you, you need to ride a camel 600 miles.

1 Kings 3:3 “Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense in the high places.”  He was worshiping in places where he should not have been.  Pagans worshiped in the high places.  Solomon is forgetting the word of God.  He has not hid God’s word in his heart.  Do we worship in ways that are more pagan than Christian?  Get into the Word.  The good news is that God sees our heart.  We may be worshipping in the wrong ways, but God can still speak to a humble heart.

3:14 “If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments as your father David walked, then I will prolong your day.”  Solomon, the wisest man that lived, forgot God and died at 60 years old.  He forgot how God had blessed his dad and how quickly his dad had repented of sin.  Solomon did not demonstrate a godly life to his sons.  I don’t think he ever repented.

6:38 Solomon worked 7 years to build the temple for the name of the Lord.

7:1 Solomon worked 13 years to build his own house.

8:11 The glory of the Lord filled the temple and the priests could not stand or move around.  They just had to stop doing the routines and let the glory shine.  1 Cor 6:19-20 says our body is to be the temple of the Holy Spirit and His glory is to shine through us.  Together we are the body of Christ and when we get together and assemble (8:1-2) around God’s word.  Together we can do much more than we can individually.  Geese flying in a “v” can fly 70% farther than a goose flying by himself (Cal Tech study).  There are no isolated Redwood trees.  They have a relatively shallow root system and need each other to stand.  There are no giant loners.  They support one another.

Before the glory of God will fill our temples, there needs to be a sacrifice (8:5).  Jesus is our sacrifice.

816 God does not choose to make places sacred.  He chooses people.

9:1 The Lord appeared to Solomon.  It had been 20 years since the last appearance.

10:1 The queen of Sheba visits Solomon.

10:14 He received 25 tons of gold a year.

10:16 Gold shields were not practical.  They were decorative.  In our abundance we like flashy things.  That is not a good sign to desire the showy.  Things that have value are less valuable when there is excess.  When nothing is special, we lose a thankful heart.

11:1  Solomon loved many wives.  He was the wisest man that ever lived, but did not use his wisdom.  In Ecclesiastes he said he chose to be a fool.  Deut 17 lists 3 warnings to any future leaders.  Don’t multiply horses, wives or gold.

11:2 He held fast to this sin.

11:9-10 The Lord was angry with Solomon.  He told Solomon his kingdom was going to fall apart, but Solomon did not repent.  God stirs up 3 adversaries.

11:14 It did not make sense for Hadad to return to Israel and cause trouble.  He was royalty in Egypt.

11:23 When Solomon became king God had scattered his enemies.  But now the Lord is lifting His hand of protection and stirring up their hearts to return.

11:26 Jeroboam had been a skilled and trusted servant.  God gives Jeroboam the same promise he gave David and Solomon (11:38).   Here is your chance to be a great king.  What are you going to do?

11:43  Solomon died.  He could have reigned longer.  Sin ages us quickly.  When we reject God we lose His protection and life is a lot harder.  There is no record that Solomon repented.  His father repented often.  He was a man after God’s heart.

I hope you all have good memories of your father.  When I commented to James on Friday that he knew how to work, that he must have had a good father, he just said his uncle taught him that.

One of my childhood memories was watching my dad and some of you building this building.  My family demonstrated faithfulness to me.  I saw the faithfulness of many people used by God to build this building debt free.  I’m sure my memory is not accurate, but I trust the Lord can still use me.  When you read Jewish history in Kings and then read Jewish history in Chronicles you’ll notice many differences.  They were written from different perspectives at different times for different reasons.  Your memories are different than mine.  God can use our different perspectives.

I don’t remember details, but I remember dad’s testimony about seeing a vision across the windshield of his truck in a snowstorm on Mt Hood.  Truck drivers know that hallucinations are not uncommon, but it is not something you talk about a lot.  Dad did not mention what he saw until my mom struggled to tell him what she felt the Lord was telling her.  But I’m a little ahead of my story.

When my folks were first married, they had no running water in the house.  Dad was a custom farmer, mom worked on our farm.  I remember ice cream was a special treat.  In our modest little house that now sits up in Hollywood, mom had a dream.  She drew up some plans for a new home.  She showed them to her mom and was told that she could not afford that nice of a home.  Mom was crushed and she testifies that she spent the night on her knees.  She promised the Lord that if He would help her with her home, she would help Him with His.  The church was not in any building project, so that promise only meant maintenance, landscaping, and general repair.  It was a safe promise that she felt she could fulfill.  The church building had not changed for 50 years.

3 years later my folks had a new home debt-free.  1 year later the church needed a bigger building and my mom became seriously ill.  While in a coma she heard the doctors talking about her death.  I remember a couple fast trips to Emanuel hospital in our car because mom was going to die.  Even in her coma she remembers arguing with God about her death because she did not want one of my aunts raising her two boys.  She made another request.  She asked the Lord for enough time to raise her 2 boys, then she would gratefully go home to heaven.  Shortly after Lynn married and moved out of the home, my dad died and mom reminded the Lord He took the wrong person home.

But back to the hospital with mom in a coma talking to the Lord.  Our family had no insurance, the medical bills were mounting.  After several surgeries and several weeks in the hospital, mom started to improve and she was moved to a care center near the hospital.  It was there that the Lord began to remind her of her promise about building His house.  Obedience is never easy.  And it looked like she had every reason to withdraw her promise, but God kept reminding her.

She remembers very vividly; it was on the Ross Island bridge on the way home from the care center that she felt she had to tell my dad about the promise she had made about 4 years earlier and how the Lord had been reminding her of that promise.

It was at that point that my dad confessed that he had been wondering how to tell her about the vision he had had about 4 months previously.  Dad had seen a definite dollar amount of money displayed across his windshield.  I thought it was $1500, but I asked mom and she does not remember dad telling her about his vision, she was so nervous about telling dad what the Lord was telling her.  You need to remember that in the early 50’s, the average annual income in America was $1700.  This was a significant amount of money in our home.

My folks went to the pastor, Rev. Walt Sauer.  He agreed not to reveal the source of the pledge.  Everyone in the church knew we were poor and had some big hospital bills to pay.  They heard about a large gift to build the church.  I don’t know if anyone else knew where the gift came from.  The Lord was also speaking to others.  I don’t know their stories.  Soon the bricks were donated, the lumber was donated, and the church was built debt-free.

Let me tell you how my folks paid their pledge.  At that time my dad was working 6 days a week.  He would leave at 4 a.m. every morning and go to eastern Oregon or Washington to get a load of alfalfa hay, bring it back to the valley and unload it in a dairy barn.  That was 7 tons of hay in the days before loaders and elevators.  Dad did not have a gym membership but he could toss 120# 3-wire bales, 5 rows high on a truck.

There was no way that my folks could pay their pledge.  My dad was already working harder than most men.  But within days of the 1st visit my folks had with our pastor, dad got another job.  He back loaded all the materials to build the high school in Redmond.  He would take brick or lumber over and bring hay back.  They paid their pledge in less than a year.

My folks put a large sign on Hwy 213 in front of our farm.  It read, “Faithdale Acres”

My parents have been faithful.  Nancy and I have a nice home today because our parents were faithful.  We are blessed because our parents and grandparents were faithful.

Solomon forgot that everything he had was because of his Dad’s faithfulness and God’s blessing resting on him.

If you are blessed, look back at your heritage and give thanks.  If you are going through tough times plan ahead.  Pray two generations into the future.  Your faithfulness can change the lives of many.

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