Give Us A King!

Great Is Thy Faithfulness continues this week by looking at the story of King David’s grandson, Rehoboam, and the division of the Kingdom of Israel. But before we talk about the actual split, we need to look at how Israel got to this point. They said they wanted a king like the nations around them, but God warned them what would happen if they chose an earthly king over him (1 Sam. 8). God knew all along the Israelites would choose this path, and even gave them guidelines on what a king should do before they ever entered the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 17). God’s way was better, but God gave Israel what they asked for.

Saul was the first king, and that went ok for a time. Eventually Saul had to be replaced because of his wickedness by King David (that was last week’s sermon). After David’s death, his son Solomon was chosen as king. Most of us know that Solomon was the wisest because he asked God for wisdom (1 Kings 3). Solomon ruled in this wisdom for a while, and did well as king. But pretty soon that all changed!

Deuteronomy 17 gives us 8 qualifications for an earthly king. Some of them are as follows:

  • He must not acquire great numbers of horses, especially from Egypt (v.16)
  • He must not take many wives or his heart will be led astray (v.17)
  • He must not accumulate large amounts of gold and silver (v. 17)
  • He is to be a Bible nerd and study it constantly to learn how to follow God (vv. 18-19)

David certainly failed at several of these points (and others not mentioned here), but Solomon is portrayed as the antithesis of Deuteronomy 17!

  • He acquired great numbers of horses, especially from Egypt (1 Kg. 10:28-29)
  • He took many wives and his heart was led astray (1 Kg. 11:1-6)
  • He must not accumulate large amounts of gold and silver (1 Kg. 10:2, 14-22, 27)
  • He ignored God even though God appeared to him twice! (1 Kg. 11:9)

The story of Solomon shows us that even the wisest, richest, most powerful and well respected king won’t follow God! And when Solomon’s son Rehoboam goes to be crowned as king, he decides to double down on Solomon’s evil practices (1 Kg. 12:14), the kingdom was divided. The earthly kingdom had failed. If only the people had trusted God, and not trusted in an earthly kingdom.

The northern kingdom has 20 kings that follow the split. According to the record of the Kings, none of them were faithful to God. In the southern kingdom, only 8 out of 20 were good kings, but even they ultimately failed the faithfulness test.

Israel needed a better king. They needed God as their King once again. And God promised just that through his prophets (Isa. 9:6-7). Unfortunately when King Jesus came to them, they once again chose an earthly king over him (John 19:15).

We too have a choice to make. Will we choose our earthly kingdom, or King Jesus?

(Sermon text for 10/27/19 – 1 Kings 12:1-17, 25-29; Mark 10:42-45)

December 7th, 1941

December 7th, 1941 – A day that too many have forgotten.  As you read this blog you may still have no idea that on this day 70 years ago Japan attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii.

On that quiet Sunday morning our world was literally shaken and the scope of history changed forever.  Still, so many have forgotten this day.  I asked a class full of 6th grade students if they knew anything about this infamous day, or FDR’s speech.  None of them really did.

Maybe if we take a moment to educate our children on the history of this great country and the struggles and attacks it has overcome, then just maybe when they grow up they’ll appreciate all the blessings our country has to offer, and the brave men and women who fought and died so you and I can live here in peace and freedom.  If we teach our children about the history of our great country perhaps they will grow up and not join the growing ranks of those who seek to destroy our founding father’s intentions, destroy our freedoms, remove God from our founding documents, and spit upon everything this country has stood for since those brave men stood up against the tyranny of King George III, or since those men and women we know as Pilgrims sought to start a free Christian nation when they landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.

Why have we become so enamored with the present, and completely ignored our past?

Deuteronomy 32:7 – New International Version (NIV)

 7 Remember the days of old; 
   consider the generations long past. 
Ask your father and he will tell you, 
   your elders, and they will explain to you.

If we continue to allow our future generations to completely ignore the past of our country, to be ignorant of what truly makes the United States of America great, then our country will lose its greatness.  And if we continue to allow God to be removed from our society, pretty soon there will be nothing left  of our great nation.

Deuteronomy 8:18 – New International Version (NIV)

18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

May America bless God, and may God bless America.