1 Kings (letter 11, Larry Crabb’s 66 Love Letters)
We are cautioned to not allow our desire for effectiveness to be greater than our desire to be holy.
If you challenge merely effective leaders by the standards of holiness, you won’t be well received.
Value spiritual formation above successful management; it might get you killed.
1 Kings – David Jeremiah (Understanding the 66 Books of the Bible)
Key thought: The decline of Israel during and after the days of Solomon warns us of the dangers of complacency, but also teaches us to practice the boldness of Elijah.
Key Verse: “Keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.” 1st Kings 2:3
Key Action: We must be as cautious in times of prosperity as in times of peril, lest we relax our guard as Solomon did and allow our spiritual passion to grow lukewarm.
1 Kings (How to Lose a Kingdom) – Ray Stedman
It is the secret of learning to be submissive to the authority and dominion of God in your own life. It is the king that is the important one – for as the king goes, so goes the nation. In your life your will is king. What your will allows to enter in to control your life, determines how the kingdom of your life goes.
Solomon follows in the footsteps of his father, David. Nevertheless, he does two little things – which seem to be very small, trivial matters – that ultimately overthrow his kingdom:
- He makes an alliance with the daughter of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, (which always pictures the world) and brings her into the central life of the nation of Israel; here an alliance is made with the world.
- Then he also worships at the high places. He was offering sacrifices to God, but on pagan altars. Even though David fell into the black sins of murder and adultery, nevertheless, in the inner sanctum of his heart there was a deep and abiding commitment to the will of God and a hungering after the person of God. But this is lacking in Solomon, and this is the first indication that something is wrong in his life.
Solomon, in a marvelous passage, asks not for riches or for honor, but for wisdom.
A kingdom is orderly. God is not the author of confusion for he does things decently and in order.
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women: the daughter of Pharaoh, and Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the
Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, …Solomon clung to these in love ,,, and his wives turned away his heart.
The first step in moral decline always begins with your emotions.
Following this is the unusual account of Elijah’s fear of Jezebel. I am always amused by this.
Here is this fearless prophet, this rugged man of God who has faced four hundred priests alone on top of the mountain, now running in terror from one angry woman. God
deals with him in wondrous grace:
God teaches him the greatest secret that Elijah ever learned – that God does not always move through earthquake, fire, and thunder – but many times through the still, small voice of a changed conscience.
Your dethronement, your moving back into the slavery and bondage of the flesh and the devil, will come only as you permit some rival worship to enter into your heart and dethrone God. When your emotions become attached to some place that is a rival to the worship of God, then the kingdom’s days are numbered.
Our Father, we pray that we may learn the great lesson of this book for our own hearts
– “that out of the heart flow the springs of life.” As we watch that central place of desire, we learn to know what we want most of all in life. Lord, whom have we in heaven besides thee and who on earth do we desire more than thee? We pray that we may answer this question in the loneliness of our hearts before thee. In Christ’s name, Amen.