1 Kings 9:15-28 (Part 2) – My Future’s So Bright I Got To Wear Shades!

Posted: December 19, 2018 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 9:15-28 (Part 2 of 2)

Solomon’s Many Achievements

Back in the 1980’s when contemporary music was…well…AWESOME…best music decade EVER…when MTV actually played music videos…there was a song by the one-hit wonder group, Timbuk 3, called “My Future’s So Bright (I Have to Wear Shades) whose chorus went something like this:

I study nuclear science

I love my classes

I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses

Things are going great, and they’re only getting better

I’m doing all right, getting good grades

The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades

I can see Solomon walking down the streets of Jerusalem with his entourage and he’s got his shades on with this music playing in the background. It would be one of those classic 1980s music videos where Solomon is walking down the street with his entourage of the coolest people in Jerusalem fawning behind him. He’s singing this song and he stopping by market booths along the way and throwing money at vendors and picking up cool little trinkets. Beautiful women come up and hug him as he goes along. Solomon has got it made. He is the man. His future’s so bright, he’s wearing his bad black Raybans with the darked out lenses. Israel is one of the most powerful nations on earth. It has great military might. It is a secure nation. The economy is strong. Everything is…well…AWESOME!

Although placing Solomon in a 1980s theme video, putting Raybans on him, and having him sing My Future’s So Bright is anachronistic, it could easily be the video of Solomon’s life. Everything that he touched seemed to turn to gold. He was well-respected both inside Israel and was quite the savvy diplomatic in international politics. He was a star. Things were going great. He was like a rock star whose put out four albums with each one being more popular and more well-received than the last. He was a big deal.

It was during this time, I think, that we see the downfall of Solomon begin. Just as with many music celebrities, they begin to fall in love with their own fame and believe that they can do no wrong. They begin to dabble in sinful behaviors…because they can, they can afford to. Money and fame are dangerous things if you fall in love with them. Solomon began to be enamored with his own fame. Solomon began to rely on his own idea of what life should be like and he began to drift away from God.

That’s what I want you to think about today as we read this passage. Let’s read it now with that idea in mind:

15 This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s Temple, the royal palace, the supporting terraces,[a] the wall of Jerusalem, and the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 (Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer, killing the Canaanite population and burning it down. He gave the city to his daughter as a wedding gift when she married Solomon. 17 So Solomon rebuilt the city of Gezer.) He also built up the towns of Lower Beth-horon, 18 Baalath, and Tamar[b] in the wilderness within his land. 19 He built towns as supply centers and constructed towns where his chariots and horses[c] could be stationed. He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.

20 There were still some people living in the land who were not Israelites, including Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 21 These were descendants of the nations whom the people of Israel had not completely destroyed.[d] So Solomon conscripted them as slaves, and they serve as forced laborers to this day. 22 But Solomon did not conscript any of the Israelites for forced labor. Instead, he assigned them to serve as fighting men, government officials, officers and captains in his army, commanders of his chariots, and charioteers. 23 Solomon appointed 550 of them to supervise the people working on his various projects.

24 Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her. Then he constructed the supporting terraces.

25 Three times each year Solomon presented burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord. He also burned incense to the Lord. And so he finished the work of building the Temple.

26 King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, a port near Elath[e] in the land of Edom, along the shore of the Red Sea.[f] 27 Hiram sent experienced crews of sailors to sail the ships with Solomon’s men. 28 They sailed to Ophir and brought back to Solomon some sixteen tons[g] of gold.

In this passage, we see the mention of Solomon’s marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter. It was a marriage to secure a military alliance with Egypt. He did not let the woman live in David’s palace where the Ark of God had once been kept. This implies that Solomon knew his pagan marriage would not please God. Although Solomon carefully followed God’s instructions on building the Temple and offering sacrifices, he paid no attention to what God said about marrying pagan women. No matter how good or spiritual we are in most areas of life, the unsurrendered areas of sin in our lives can begin a downfall and a drift away from God. When we give sin a foothold in our lives, it obstructs and dims our relationship with God. It can consume our lives to the point that we are more focused on maintaining our pet sin than we about growing closer to God. In this passage, we see Solomon demonstrations of the great leader that he was for Israel. However, we also see that in the midst of the height of his fame and power that there is a drift that is beginning. He makes exceptions for his own behavior (i.e., the marriage to a woman who does not worship the one true God). It is easy to do that when things are going great and there is no obvious fallout from our sins.

That’s the thing that I take away from this passage this morning. It is when things are going the way that we want them is when we are in the most danger of drifting away from God. It is when we are in the most danger of allowing sins to fester and gain a foothold in our lives. How often do we pray and give praise to God when things are going great. When our future’s so bright that we have to wear shades, we tend to lose our prayer life first. We will pray like crazy when we are in the valleys of life, but yet when things are going the way we want them to go, we often fail to praise God for them.

Yesterday, I wrote about counting your blessings. However, most of us do not think of how richly God has blessed us when we are experiencing good times. But yet, when things so south, boy, do we pray to God then! When things are going great, we tend to start making exceptions for this little sin and that little sin because there does not seem to be any negative consequences. We quit praying. We become proud. We think we are “all that and a bag of chips!” and we forget about God, His Word, and its plan to protect to us from a life of destruction under the power of sin. We start making decisions without reference to God. We begin to think we are in control. We make ourselves our own gods.

It is when we are experiencing good times that we are our most vulnerable. We learn so much and grow so much closer to God during the hard times of life. However, it is when times are good that we are in the most danger of succumbing to the temptations of Satan. Even pastors are not immune. Look at all the mega-church, wildly popular pastors who have fallen over the past two decades during the height of the mega-church movement. Satan comes a calling when we have got it good just like he did when Adam and Eve had it the best that any humans ever had.

Let us be awake from our slumber by the warning of Solomon’s life. Let not things that are contrary to God’s Word creep into your life when times are good and you think that this sin is OK for me to dabble in. Help us to always remember that our good times are not of our making. They are from God just as much Him being our life raft through troubled times. Let us remember that good times are not permanent. Let us remember that the central thing to our life in good times and in bad times is God. He is our anchor. Let us not let go of Him just because we have weathered the storm and we are now laying on the beach at the cabana. That’s when we need to cling to God the most. It is so easy to think our good times come from our own efforts. That’s when Satan can whisper in our ear that this sin is OK for you. No one will notice. God doesn’t care if you violate His command on this subject just this once. Go ahead. You’ve got it good. There will be no consequences!

Father, steel our hearts toward the temptations of Satan. Help us to cling to you even in the good times. Help us to not be self-absorbed with our own successes. Help us to see that our good times come from you. Help us to see that you give us seasons of blessing to give us rest and to give us opportunity to praise you for having delivered us. Help to see our seasons of blessings as opportunities to give you praise by blessing others. Help us to not let our blessings cause us to put on our shades and think that our future’s so bright because of our own efforts. Help us to let your glory inhabit our praise on a daily basis.

Amen and Amen.

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