May 29, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Kings 1:28-53

Welcome to the book of 1 Kings – such an exciting book, full of rich characters and great application for our lives!
Yesterday, Erik took us through the first half of this chapter – today we pick it up with verses 28-53. This contains the story of one of King David’s last acts – the anointing of Solomon – his son, as king. As you read it you’ll understand the drama that was taking place. Jonathan, Saul’s son had great concern. Often there were threats, murders, and treachery at the time a new king was installed. Even though David was a loyal friend of Jonathan, there was fear of what would happen when he was gone. Solomon promises to honor Jonathan’s descendants, just as his father did.
This story seems pretty straight forward, at first blush but when you look deeper, there are two very interesting, and encouraging, caveats.

Bathsheba

Remember her? She was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. She was the woman that David committed adultery with and whose husband he murdered. (If you need a refresher read 2 Samuel 11.) Now she’s the wife of the king and the mother of the new king to be, Solomon. David had many wives and children, but God chose His line, through which Jesus would come, to appear smack dab in the middle this story of sin and grace. I love that the Bible doesn’t shield us from evil and wrong but shows us God’s glory and grace in it.

Nathan the prophet

Remember him? He was the prophet who took his life in his own hands by confronting King David about his sin with Bathsheba. Need a refresher on this story? Read 2 Samuel 12. David not only doesn’t kill him, he repents of his sin. Now we find that godly prophet, one who stood up for the right, as a continued part of David’s life and involved in the crowning of his son Solomon as king. Once again, God’s grace and glory are revealed.

What’s my Point?

God’s grace is amazing! He takes us as we are and makes us what we will become (Philippians 1:6). He works in and through our messed up lives to bring glory to Himself.

Take some time today and do a Grace Inventory:

  • How has God extended grace to you? (name the ways)
  • How has He worked through your messed up life to bring glory to Himself? (rehearse the means)
  • Have you stopped lately to bask in His wonderful grace and thank Him for extending it to you?

Posted by: Tim Parsons

May 28, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Kings 1:1-27

Introduction to 1 Kings

A brief introduction to the book we will be diving in for the next few months. We don’t know who exactly wrote the book, but most church historians believe it was the same people who wrote the book of Deuteronomy. Most people believe the authors were Levites, priests, prophets or the wise men of the Jerusalem court, but we can’t know for sure. All we know is that the way it was written is parallel to the writing style and commands found in Deuteronomy. The book of 1 Kings gives the history of the monarchic reign of Israel (after their first kings, Saul and David), and how God was sovereign as the One True Yahweh and keeps all of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and now us.

The Demise of King David

Our world seems to be obsessed with the all too common tale of powerful, famous people who crash and burn. From recent celebrities like the king of pop, Michael Jackson or teen stars, Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan to business leaders like Enron’s Kenneth Lay and aviator, filmmaker and philanthropist, Howard Hughes. As a Christian who views the world as fallen and people as inherently sinful, it’s not too surprising. But what happens when the person who is described as a man after God’s own heart crashes and burns? This is exactly what we see when reading through 1 Kings 1:1-27. King David, the mighty man of God who was inspired to write more than half of the book of Psalms; the same King David who defeated Goliath and exemplified what a Biblical friendship looks like with Jonathan; who was promised by God that his throne will be established forever. That King David is the same character we read about as he disgracefully nears the end of his life. In verses 1-4, King David was still in an unrepentant, sexually sinful environment where servants are permitted to find lady friends to “warm him” up because he’s cold (that’s sexual innuendo for those who grew up in a homeschooled Christian bubble). In verses 5-9 King David’s eldest living son, Adonijah is declaring himself king to the ignorance of his own father and king (which is sinful, unethical and reveals the lack of integrity in Adonijah for those who grew up in public schools where cheating is an everyday, normal occurrence). Worst of all, the promised heir to King David, his son, Solomon will most likely be treated as traitors along with his mother, Bathsheba (vs. 16-21). It’s a sad picture indeed. We’ve seen him do great things for God and repent of the great sin he participated in, but now he’s nearing the end of his life and it seems to be crashing and burning. Nathan the prophet (the same prophet who God used to call out his former affair and murder in which Solomon was born out of) comes in and repeats what Bathsheba says asking the King to make these wrong things right. You’ll have to stay tuned for tomorrow’s jumpstart to see King David’s response but before doing so I want us to ponder on people who we may have looked up to and how we react when they fall.

When Godly People Fail Us

King David was a great man of God but did not end his legacy and life well. It’s easy for us to forget this when we focus our Kidz Point lessons and sermons on all of the good that went on in David’s life, but imagine being one of God’s chosen people as this was all going on. Perhaps it’s a little easier for you to imagine this because you have been through it yourself. A pastor who God used in your life who fell away from their faith or who made some type of moral failure and now is not in ministry. Whether it was a personal shepherd or someone you listened to on a podcast, we can all probably give examples of Christians who have crashed and burned. When you get discouraged from such things, I’d advise you to remember a couple things.

1. They’re in good (or bad) company for many characters in the Bible have crashed and burned.
This is not an excuse for their sin, but we can’t be too surprised when more than half of the Hebrew Hall of Faith had some type of moral failure after the great things God did with them.

2. Let Jesus be our only standard of perfection.
People will always fail us if we make them our standard of perfection, no matter how much God uses them. Anything good that came from them was by the grace of God. Anything bad was from them, but it helps us (and hopefully them) depend on the perfect Savior for our righteousness, not our past good works.

3. Are we idolizing people God once used in our life?
Can you imagine what people thought of David when he defeated Goliath and the Philistines? Or when he took the reign from King Saul and ruled over Israel the way a good king should? They probably idolized him just like we tend to idolize the people in our life who God uses. We need to make sure we are putting them in the proper place in our lives and remind ourselves of point number two when this happens.

4. God is just as sovereign in their failures as he was in their good works.
Without going into too much detail, God has used a few people greatly in my life who then failed in some ways. At the time, I questioned God’s goodness and sovereignty, but God also used those failures to help me never give up and fight for the areas in me where those former men of God failed. God redeemed David’s affair with Bathsheba to bring about a son who would keep the lineage of our Messiah and Savior, Jesus. God will redeem failures even if we aren’t able to see how in our lifetime.

Posted by: Erik Koliser