Tag: Israel

Two Groups of People

Judah Deported

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 24

To understand this lesson, we need to understand the sacrifice of the “first fruits”.

These first fruits were to be the choicest of the first harvest of the crops.

The nation of Israel was known as God’s “first fruits”.

Jer 2:3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.

Here “holiness” means a people dedicated to God.

All those of Israel who were offended by the ways of God would be punished. It is the same today!

Today “first fruits can be used as all those who are first saved in a new area and led to the Lord.

Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

So, we see that Israel were to be the first fruits of In God’s increase!

Let’s see as the Lord shows Jeremiah a new vision so he also could understand what God was doing.

*****Jer 24:1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
Jer 24:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

We know that figs are small sweet pear-shaped fruits and they grow on small trees.

We should remember that Adam and Eve made the very first camouflage clothing line from the leaves of the fig tree when they knew they had sinned and were trying to hide from God.

Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

So, we know there were many fig trees around from day 1 and not some cross bred tree like so many are today.

This lesson was intended for Jeremiah, but it is also intended for us here today!

There are only two groups of people in the world. Those who follow in the will of God and those who are not in the will of God!

One of the biggest problems we face in this world today is that people do not want to hear the truth, especially when it affects their lifestyle!

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
***1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

In our lesson today, the good figs will represent the Jews who were carried away into captivity, the bad figs were those left behind who would reject the Word of God given to the prophet Jeremiah.

This is the great hope of all those who have come to know the Lord in a personal relationship and one day soon the Lord will carry us away to be with Him while those who reject the Word of God will be left behind!

The bad figs represent all those who are left behind in Judah at this time and all those who have rejected the Lord when He returns.

Just so we know for more than 200 years God had sent His prophets to warn Israel of sin.

During the time of Jeremiah, God had intensified His warnings.

During the time of Jeremiah, God had reached a point where He would no longer forgive His people of their sin. Not because God became unforgiving but because He knew that this generation of Jews simply would not repent.

We know that God never changes so it is very true that the Holy Spirit will not always strive with individuals even in our time.

It is also in the time of Jeremiah that God would deal with the wrongs of His people and execute justice upon them!

Today we have been given the truth by the Apostles of Jesus Christ:

Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, “as unto Christ”;
Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, “doing the will of God from the heart”;
Eph 6:7 With good will “doing service, as to the Lord”, and not to men:
Eph 6:8 “Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord”, whether he be bond or free.

If we cannot understand these things, then we need to take the time to get it right.

God can see into the heart, and He knows if we are the real thing or not!

God knew these same things about Judah!

You want to begin to destroy a nation, remove all the people of knowledge and skills who can build a nation but most important remove all those who love the Lord.

It is this time when Daniel and his three friends, and Ezekiel and many others such as Mordecai and Esther would be in this group, with Nehemiah and Ezra.

We can see that these were certainly the good figs who would keep the Word of God on trac to reach the day of Jesus Christ!

Those that were left behind who had rejected the law of God were indeed the bad figs.

Certainly, there were also some others left behind that knew the Lord because God always has His remnant. These would probably be those who were the poorest in the nation who all the politicians had forgotten from both sides and considered useless.

Remember this is a vision that only Jeremiah sees at this time.

*****Jer 24:3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

The very good figs represented the true believers among the Jews that were carried off into captivity.

We will see that no one can out think the Lord. It would be captivity that would protect the true believers while those who worship idols would die off leaving a people of believers.

God would use captivity to save His children.

We should know by now that the Lord has many ways to deal with nations, but He does this by dealing with the individuals in any nation.

Many times, the true villains will remain unknown until it is time for God to expose them.

Immorality will ruin any nation but crimes against those who do live a moral life will also ruin a nation.

The Lord is the giver of life and when He departs, a body soon decays into nothingness and vanity!

Jeremiah would not only see many of these things with his own eyes, the Lord would also show him in visions things that would become the truth.

In fact the greatest Prophet of them all is Jehovah God, The Lord of all the Ages!

We may not see the visions that Jeremiah saw but we can certainly see our own nation fall into the trap of immorality.

Even history proves these things will cripple any nation that partakes in such things.

Who are God’s heroes? Those that know the Word of God and take a stand on its truths!

The kingdom of Satan is just as active as the Kingdom of Christ if not more so today, to the shame of those who profess to be Christians.

The differences in the good figs and the bad figs are the differences between Heaven and Hell!

What did Jesus say?

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

*****Jer 24:4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Jer 24:5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.

When we see how the Lord deals with His children, it should teach us that the actions of love in our own heart cannot come close to the action of love from the Lord.

We must understand that sometimes that hard and distressing position, is the best for us.

God will humble us sometimes just, so He can make us to be stronger and more useful.

How could we have the wonderful words of the Holy Spirit through Daniel and Ezekiel if the Jews had remained in Judah?

Their removal to Babylon saved them from the awful things that faced those who were left behind!

It is no wonder that Jeremiah was treated so badly when he preached these things to the people of Judah.

We may not always understand the ways of God but then, this is why we must have “faith”!

God’s plan goes far beyond our own imaginations!

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The truth is when are made to see how the enemy lives, most everyone of us will agree that the truth of God is where we need to be!

God had told these people that in order to be saved they must surrender to the enemy.

It may have been to Nebuchadnezzar this time, but this is the main theme of our salvation.

To be saved we must surrender to the truth of God!

There is another principle of salvation that plays out in our next Scripture.

*****Jer 24:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

Paul wrote: Rom_11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

This is the same thing God told Jeremiah and we know that this time is still in the future.

The Church will already be the Lord when this takes place!

The Lord has already said He will set His eyes upon them for good and this is part of the good God was talking about!

Job 34:21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.

2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Isa 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

Jehovah God, The Lord Jesus Christ just loves to save but He also requires obedience!

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

All these things require a “new heart”!

*****Jer 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

The truth of this new heart is that we will all know our Savior!
All those with a heart to know our Savior will know Him because the Holy Spirit moves in to illuminate our minds to know our Savior.

1Co_2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

We must not just know the Lord.
We must have that personal knowledge within ourselves, our entire being.
We must speak to Him while He reads the intent of our new heart!

To know the Lord is to love the Lord!

Some say Jerusalem is the center of the universe.
Some same the Sun is the center of the universe.
Some say our galaxy is the center of the universe.
Some say other things are the center of the universe.

The truth is, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the center of our universe, spiritually and in reality!

When we truly love the Lord then we cannot stand idols or false gods!

When we truly love the Lord then our “Faith” will be set in the right place!

Psa 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

What would God do for the exiles? God would build them up and make them secure!

The truth is the Lord will always sustain His children and give us His assurance that things are much better when our “faith” is real and our love for Him is true!

Pro 3:24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Sometimes things just look so bad around us that we do not know what to believe!

When we remember that things are just like the Lord told us, we will realize that our Lord always tells us the truth!

Our relationship with the Lord will be at its best when we commit to the Word of God and apply it to our lives!

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

And the rotten figs:

*****Jer 24:8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
Jer 24:9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.

Judgment is real!

Zedekiah was left behind as a puppet king for Babylon along with those in charge of the government whose main goal was to gather taxes to pay to Babylon, yet they clung to their pride and refused to repent.

Zedekiah was named Mattaniah by his father King Josiah, but it was the king of Babylon who had changed his name to Zedekiah.

2Ki 24:17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
2Ki 24:18 Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
2Ki 24:19 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.

Zedekiah had no intention of being a puppet king to anyone but thought that as king he could do something himself.

God had already pronounced His judgment and unless there was repentance His judgment would stand.

Jeremiah was his councilor, but the Word of God was ignored, and he entered into an alliance with Hophra king of Egypt.

God had already informed him that even those who fled to Egypt would not miss out on His judgment!

The armies of Nebuchadnezzar would return and this time they would destroy Jerusalem.

What had been God’s promise by the words of Moses?

Deu 28:37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.

If we do not learn anything else, we need to learn that it is simply foolish to go against the Word of God anytime!

Even today in many nations the Jews are still an object of scorn and they will remain this way until they repent and return to the Lord!

In Jeremiah’s time it was the Babylonian exile of 586 BC and after the Lord had returned to Heaven it was the Roman exile of 70 AD.

Israel was conquered and remained that way until May 14, 1948.

God used war as a means to execute judgment on these people and certain nations of today believe God is still against this people.

*****Jer 24:10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.

The result of sin is still judgment, and this will not ever change!

As long as those who are represented by the evil figs still dwell in the land of Israel, there will be Jews living in disgrace in foreign lands.

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We are fools to believe that the Lord ever forgets the things He says!

The difference between “Good Figs” and “Bad Figs” are morals.

Both of these tend to grow to the extreme.

The Good Figs were very good! The Bad Figs were very bad!

Those who are moral obey the Word of God.

Those who are immoral reject the Word of God.

It is the morals of every nation that stick out and show what that nation is made of!

The example in our lesson today is that the “Good Figs” seemed to have suffered to most and were taken from their homes.

The “Bad Figs” remained in their homes and seemed to escape the Judgment of God but that was not the end of the story for them!

Heb_12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

These words will also always be true!

We must also remember God’s promise to the true Jews.

Zec 8:13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.

Amen

Let’s Pray

The Fame And The Shame Of King Solomon

Solomon, His Fame And His Shame

1 Kings 10-11

“Fame” can be said to possess a good reputation versus a “rumor” which can only be a good or a bad report.

There are many people that the Bible mentions of having great fame.

Joshua, Mordecai, Joseph are just a few but the Bible also says that God has fame as did the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus became so famous that even kings and rulers had heard about Him!

Mat 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the “fame” of Jesus,

Solomon also became very famous throughout the world of that day because God had given to Solomon the gift of “Wisdom”!

In the time of Solomon, fame and shame became the marks of mankind and of nations and it is even more prevalent today.

Today all our leaders seek a legacy hoping that their good outweighs their bad and it would if they would just refuse to do bad things!

As wise as and as rich as Solomon was, he is remembered as much for his shame as he is for his fame if not more so!

No matter what people think of our existing president, he will be remembered for the fact that while he has been in office, he has done nothing improve the conditions of his own race nor of America!

He has even divided America more then any other president that came before him!

God placed these scriptures in the Bible for us to learn more from Solomon’s mistakes and not so much to learn of Solomon’s accomplishments!

To honor someone is to recognize their value to society.

This time next year we will be asked to vote for our next president.

From now until then, many men and women will present their fame.

But because of the way our world works, many news sources and many others will point out to us the shame of all these individuals and not so much their accomplishments.

To shame someone is to challenge their reputation!

In many cases the one with the less shame will get elected but people are so fickle that today many who should withdraw because of their shame actually take advantage of that shame showing they have exalted them selves above the ordinary people!

We must rely on the facts and the proved record of these people in order to determine who will be our next leaders and not so much on what they say, for what they say does not usually match their actions!

Pro 5:9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

If we show a lack of concern for matters of honor and shame we will then become shameless ourselves and deny the truth and we will suffer for our own poor judgment!

Adam and Eve were not ashamed to be in the presence of God until sin came into their lives.

Gen 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Once sin entered into their lives they became ashamed to be in the presence of God!

Gen 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Anyone who is ashamed to be in the presence of God does not need to hold public office!

Today sin has progressed to a point where mankind has no shame in their sin because they have rejected to Word of God.

SO, Let’s see how Solomon reached this point in his own life even though he was the wisest man to have ever lived.

*****1Ki 10:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

Let’s first see Solomon’s glory and his fame.

Though some may disagree Sheba was the country of the Sabeans.

Sheba was a prosperous nation in southern Arabia.

Scholars believe that this long 1500 mile journey was taken by this queen to establish a commercial treaty with Solomon but we already know that many kings and monarchy traveled to visit King Solomon to seek his wisdom to help them in their own nations and this queen was no different.

We can trust the Biblical account of these things!

We will also see that this queen wanted to know more about the God of Israel, who we know is the true God of all creation!

The nation of Sheba was formed by the descendants of Cush, a son of Ham who was the son of Noah.

Today this area of Sheba is known to us as Yemen.

Yemen was a rich merchant nation for 1000 years or more until it became dominated by Muslim cultures and Yemen is now in political turmoil.

Nations such as Sheba were expected to bring gifts signifying royalty.

Psa 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Psa 72:11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

This in typology, this represents the time when all nations will worship the true King of Kings and come to Jerusalem once again seeking wisdom, but this is still in the future.

Isa 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

1Ti 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

The Lord Jesus Christ also used this historical truth of the Queen of Sheba, in His rebuke of the Pharisees.

Mat 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Jesus was saying, that even this great queen was wise enough to seek the wisdom and the knowledge of the God of Israel and came to Solomon, yet these Pharisees, who already had the Word of God, were not wise enough to seek the kingdom of God even though the Lord Jesus was much wiser than Solomon and was in their presence that very day.

God says we must first seek the kingdom of God, before we can truly see the benefits in this life we have now.

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

These Sabeans were indeed traveling merchants and if they were to ever go further north to sell their wares they would have had to go through the area of land that was ruled by King Solomon.

*****1Ki 10:2 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

In many ways Solomon was a type of Christ in typology and that being the case, the Queen of Sheba would then be a type of the Church!

We all know that as we are lead by the Holy Spirit, and we will also sometimes have hard questions of spiritual things in our daily walk with the Lord.

This queen was also well aware as she traveled through Israel, how Solomon was well prepared to defend all of Israel.

We should remember it was some of these Sabeans who had also destroyed Job’s flocks because Job was also a merchant with many things to sell.

Job 1:15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

These Sabeans were willing to destroy the competition if it were possible.

We can be sure that this was no ordinary merchant caravan.

This queen would not have traveled without her military escort!

This queen had many reasons to visit Solomon and during her visit she found that the rumors she had heard of King Solomon would prove to only tell half the truth of his might and of his fame.

*****1Ki 10:6 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
1Ki 10:7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, “the half was not told me”: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.

This queen had seen the splendor of the palace of Solomon.

This queen had seen royalty like she had never observed before.

This queen had seen the construction projects as she had passed many of them along her route to Jerusalem.

This queen had seen the Temple that was prepared to worship the God of Israel.

2Ch 9:3 And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,
2Ch 9:4 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

And it is written that she had no more spirit in her from the sight of all these things!

This queen was overwhelmed by what she had seen and what she had heard!

This queen then had a great desire for a new spirit!

Psa 119:81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

What does God say to the Church?

Isa 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

What did the Apostle John do when he saw the glory of Heaven?

Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

We can be sure that as wonderful as we believe Heaven to be, we do not have a clue to the real glory and the real splendor of our Heavenly home.

We do not even know half the truth of the glory of Heaven!

Words by them selves cannot explain the glory of Heaven and it is only when we are like Christ that we can know these things.

This should be our main reason to keep steady in our walk with the Lord!

Our goal must be to tell as many as we can about the Lord Jesus Christ, so they can seek His wisdom for themselves just as this queen had done from Solomon.

*****1Ki 10:23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.
1Ki 10:24 And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.

During this period of King Solomon, the Phoenicians were the dominant sea power, Assyria and Egypt were also great military powers but it was Israel that was the dominant nation of that day and also the richest of all nations.

King Solomon financed the Phoenician sea going operations and King Hiram shared his sea going knowledge with King Solomon but he also paid a considerable tribute to Israel.

We can see that even Egypt sought peace with Israel as Egypt’s Pharaoh gave Solomon his daughter for a wife.

Assyria was not near strong enough to challenge Israel at this time.

All the known powers of that day sought out King Solomon to hear his wisdom.

All the known powers of that day paid tribute to Israel and to King Solomon and he and Israel became very rich.

Many other nations followed after Pharaoh and offered their daughters as wives in order to have peace with Israel.

We can see that it takes a strong military presence to insure peace, a weak military is a sure sign you will be attacked even by those that say they are friendly.

These are all facts because it was God who places fear in man!

Psa 102:15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

We know that at the return of Jesus Christ all nations will again have this fear of the Lord!

Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

But, Solomon began to use all these things to his advantage to control the economies of the world.

*****1Ki 10:25 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
1Ki 10:26 And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
1Ki 10:27 And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.
1Ki 10:28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price.

Solomon used his riches to build a great military machine and placed them strategically through his realm.

Silver had no more value than ordinary stones.

Precious timber had no more value than cheap lumber.

Solomon controlled the price of durable goods and the breeding of pure blood animals.

Solomon’s annual intake of gold was 25 tons.

In today’s market one ton goes for about 32 million dollars.

That would easily be 8 billion dollars today of tribute paid per year to King Solomon and Solomon reigned for 40 years.

The glory of Solomon was open and visible to the entire world, but inside of Solomon, this outer glory began to influence his inner person!

Solomon fell into great sin!

Nehemiah challenged all of Israel with this truth in a great sermon.

Neh 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.

Solomon was beloved of God but even in all his wisdom, given to him from God, Solomon fell into the snares of the devil.

The downfall of Solomon began when he began trying to please his many wives!

*****1Ki 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
1Ki 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.

Let’s listen as Solomon describes his own downfall.

Ecc 4:13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.

Solomon became so rich and powerful that no one would tell him that what he was doing was wrong because they feared for their own lives!

Again Solomon wrote of his own downfall.

Ecc 11:8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.
Ecc 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

Solomon realized that though no one else had the power to judge his actions, there was One who would judge him and judge him harshly!

Ecc 12:8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

Solomon realized that he had spent to much of his life in vain!

The immediate occasion of the fall of Solomon was the influence of his foreign idolatrous wives!

Solomon did not just have one wife of paganism, Solomon had way too many wives!

*****1Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
1Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

1) Not only did these wives sap Solomon’s physical strength, they blunted his perception and dulled his morals.

2) They had worshiped false gods all their days and they convinced Solomon to provide them temples so they could worship the idols of their own nations.

3) To make it convenient for them, they insisted that these places of worship be located adjacent to the House of God.

4) They then convinced Solomon to worship with them.

Solomon’s 700 wives were mostly from kings who paid tribute and who sought peace with Israel.

Solomon’s 300 concubines were considered secondary wives and this seemed to never cause jealousy among the true wives.

But many of Solomon’s wives were never truly treated as wives as Solomon says himself.

Son 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and “virgins without number”.

This would be 60 queens, 80 concubines, and an untold amount of virgins.

The nation of Israel may have been at peace at this time, but Solomon was not at peace with himself!

Solomon sinned grievously against Jehovah who had set him on his throne and had given him such wonderful gifts.

Solomon had violated the kingdom charter given to Moses by God Himself!

Deu 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
Deu 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
Deu 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
Deu 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Deu 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Solomon had openly violated the Mosaic Law of marriage and he knew it!

Ecc 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

And Solomon fell even deeper into sin!

*****1Ki 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
1Ki 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

Ashtoreth was the moon goddess of the Phoenicians and she was associated with Baal the sun god.

She was also known as Ishtar, Astarte, and Diana and open sexual behavior was used in this worship of her.

Milcom or Moloch or Chemosh, were considered as fire gods and were worshiped with human sacrifices and mutilation but there were also some who made vows of celibacy and virginity in worship of them, which is still seen in some religions of today.

A place for Milcom was even built on the Mount of Olives.

2Ki 23:13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.

*****1Ki 11:7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
1Ki 11:8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

And Solomon did these same things for all his wives.

1) Solomon openly violated the first and second commandments of the Laws of Moses.

Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

2) Solomon openly defied God.

1Ki 9:3 And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
1Ki 9:4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
1Ki 9:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
1Ki 9:6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:
1Ki 9:7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:
1Ki 9:8 And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?
1Ki 9:9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.

3) By placing places of idol worship adjacent to the Temple, Solomon was flaunting an insult directly in the face of God.

4) It is a terrible sin for Solomon to abuse the wisdom that was a gift from God by trying to add religion and philosophy to God given knowledge!

5) It is a terrible sin to place God in competition to false deities!

America is not the nation it once was, because our leaders have allowed paganism to take a foothold in America and the Church has also compromised the Word of God in the name of peace with these false things.

And God became angry with Solomon.

*****1Ki 11:9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
1Ki 11:10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.

God had personally blessed Solomon at Gibeon but God had also warned Solomon.

1Ki 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

God had personally blessed Solomon at Jerusalem but God had warned Solomon here also.

1Ki 9:4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
1Ki 9:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

Solomon had also been given many instructions by his father David.

Solomon had been taught the Word of God by God’s prophet Nathan.

Solomon therefore had no excuses for his actions in turning away from God!

We should never doubt the Word of God!

God means what He says and God says what He means!

The Lord Jesus told a great parable to the disciples about the faithful steward and near the end of that parable Jesus had these words!

Luk 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Luk 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Luk 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
Luk 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

Solomon had been given much by the Lord and Solomon was given a great opportunity to spread the Word of God around the known world of that time period but Solomon failed in these things.

Solomon fell at the stumbling block of Satan!

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

As Solomon fell from the “Grace” of God, so did the nation of Israel, and Israel has not recovered since that day.

1) Israel would soon become a divided nation.

We can also see that America is more divided than at any time in our own history.

2) The division of Israel resulted in the destruction of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Today the people of God are being destroyed all over the world and the world does not seem to care especially our own leaders.

3) Idolatry became the religion of Israel.

Idolatry now rules in America, as wants and desires outweigh the Word of God!

4) Division made Israel a weak nation in the presence of her enemies.

America is now seen as a weak nation in the presence of all our enemies.

5) The destruction of the ten tribes of Israel brought about the Samaritans who were a mixed people who built there own temple and compromised the Word of God.

In America the Word of God is being modernized so much, till it is not even the truth anymore.

6) In Israel philosophy and religion and atheism began to dominate the people.

We can see this same thing happening to America today!

Solomon had allowed God to be just a small part of his life and he had began to rely on his own wisdom to rule in his life.

So therefore God said:

1Ki 11:11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

What is the truth?

When rulers live in the splendor of high office and in luxury, they become irresponsible to the moral laws of God!

They will try their best to maintain costly establishments and the people will find that taxation and servant-hood are the dominant themes of these rulers, our own president included.

What does God say?

Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

What is the truth of God?

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

So, how does God continue to do His work?

1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

God’s will, will be done no matter what the leaders of our world try to do in their own wisdom!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!