TEEN TREE         OF LIFE

God’s Goodness – Part 10

June 6, 2021

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

The point of looking at David’s son Solomon’s life is that in His Infinite Goodness, God selected him to be king. He even referred to him as “my son.” And this was despite how extremely messed up Solomon’s life would eventually become. Remember, God, in His Omniscience, knew that Solomon would turn to a sinful life and turn away from Him. But His Goodness and Love prevailed, and God used Solomon’s life as an example for us to learn from, as we work toward growing in His Grace and Knowledge. Solomon’s relationship with God teaches us that God is always Good to us, and out of His Goodness, He is always faithful!

 

Everything started out very well for Solomon because of his great relationship with God. His father King David had instilled in him the importance of loving and honoring Our Heavenly Father. He also taught him to respect the Mosaic Law. We see this in God’s Very Own Words to David in 1 CHR 28:6-7 (New International Reader’s Version): “Your son Solomon is the one who will build my house and my courtyards. I have chosen him to be my son. And I will be his father. I will make his kingdom secure. It will last forever. That will happen if he continues to obey my commands and laws. He must continue to obey them, just as he is doing now.” The Lord deeply loved Solomon and expressed it by directly explaining to him the key to how to live his life. In His Goodness, God shared with Solomon one simple but extremely important lesson: OBEY MY COMMANDS AND LAWS! That’s also the key for us as believers today, as to how to stay in God’s Plan for our lives.

 

Did you notice that God clearly stated that Solomon “must continue to obey them (His Commands and Laws), “just as he is doing now?” This was a great compliment, acknowledging that Solomon had already been doing the right thing. That’s why God chose him to succeed his father David as king. This teaches us the importance of staying in God’s Plan for our lives by following His Commands. And remember this: you cannot follow His Commands without studying His Word and applying what you learn to your daily life!

 

So, Solomon became the third king of Israel and like his father, he reigned for 40 years. He would be the last king before the nation split in two. Because he wanted to be a successful ruler, Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge, so he could better govern God’s people. As a result, God basically gave him everything he could possibly need or want.

 

Again, we see such a great example of God showing how GOOD He is. God saw fit to bless Solomon with wealth and honor that had no equal among kings. This is taught in 1 KIN 3:5-14 (New International Reader’s Version): The Lord appeared to Solomon at Gibeon. He spoke to him in a dream during the night. God said, “Ask for anything you want me to give you.” Solomon answered, “You have been very kind to my father David, your servant. That’s because he was faithful to you. He did what was right. His heart was honest. And you have continued to be very kind to him. You have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. “Lord my God, you have now made me king. You have put me in the place of my father David. But I’m only a little child. I don’t know how to carry out my duties.  I’m here among the people you have chosen. They are a great nation. They are more than anyone can count. So give me a heart that understands. Then I can rule over your people. I can tell the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Who can possibly rule over this great nation of yours?” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for that. So God said to him, “You have not asked to live for a long time. You have not asked to be wealthy. You have not even asked to have your enemies killed. Instead, you have asked for wisdom. You want to do what is right and fair when you judge people. Because that is what you have asked for, I will give it to you. I will give you a wise and understanding heart. So here is what will be true of you. There has never been anyone like you. And there never will be. And that is not all. I will give you what you have not asked for. I will give you wealth and honor. As long as you live, no other king will be as great as you are. Live the way I want you to. Obey my laws and commands, just as your father David did. Then I will let you live for a long time.” Solomon woke up. He realized he had been dreaming. Out of His Great Goodness, God blessed Solomon – both inside and out – so that he was fully equipped to be the best king Israel had ever known. And for a good long time in history, he was. Solomon is often referred to as the wisest (and wealthiest) man who ever lived. Think about the fact that Solomon’s “wisdom and knowledge” came directly from God!! How’s that for an expression of God’s Goodness?

 

In the first ten chapters of 1 KINGS, we see Solomon kicking butt and taking names for God. The written material he produced and the work he accomplished are absolutely staggering. He ruled his people with great discernment, and the kingdom thrived. However, just after we’re told how he completed the temple at Jerusalem, knocking out the biggest project God entrusted to him, we start to see previously unnoticed chinks in Solomon’s armor.

 

We studied the Old Sin Nature before but let’s look at it again as it relates to Solomon. Biblical documentation of the sin nature is found in ROM 5:1214 (The Message Bible): You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then [spiritual] death, and no one exempt from either sin [the Old Sin Nature] or [spiritual] death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One [Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ] who will get us out of it.

 

Immediately after Adam sinned, he acquired an Old Sin Nature and became spiritually dead. Adam’s Old Sin Nature is passed down through his seed to all mankind – including Solomon. Every Old Sin Nature originates biologically from the seed of the father. Only Jesus Christ was born into this world without an Old Sin Nature because He did not have a biological father. The Old Sin Nature exists in the cell structure of the body and each one is unique. It can possess a trend to either asceticism or carnality and it has a strength and a weakness.

 

Asceticism is the belief that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial or indignity. Asceticism includes self-denial and extreme abstinence.

 

Carnality is the state in which the Old Sin Nature controls the soul of the believer. This control over the soul is allowed through the believer’s free-will volitional decisions. When the rebound technique is used, carnality stops, and spirituality is restored. Rebound is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

According to the Greek dictionary, carnality means to have the nature and characteristics of the flesh. The flesh refers to our disposition to sin and to oppose or omit God in our lives. The flesh is characterized by works that include lusts and passions. Paul wrote about this in GAL 5:19-24 (The Message Bible): It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This statement truly describes what happened to Solomon with his endless pursuit of women.

 

{to be continued}

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