Themes in 1Kings
Solomon’s wisdom, power, and achievements brought honor to the Israelite nation and to God. All the kings of Israel and Judah were told to obey God and to govern according to his laws. But their tendency to abandon God’s commands and to worship other gods led them to change the religion and government to meet their personal desires. This neglect of God’s law led to their downfall.
Wisdom, power, and achievement do not ultimately come from any human source; they are from God. No matter what we lead or govern, we can’t do well when we ignore God’s guidelines. Whether or not we are leaders, effectiveness depends upon listening and obeying God’s Word. Don’t let your personal desires distort God’s Word.
Solomon’s Temple was a beautiful place of worship and prayer. This sanctuary was the center of Jewish religion. It was the place of God’s special presence and housed the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments.
A beautiful house of worship doesn’t always guarantee heartfelt worship of God. Providing opportunities for true worship doesn’t ensure that it will happen. God wants to live in our hearts, not just meet us in a sanctuary.
Although the Israelites had God’s law and experienced his presence among them, they became attracted to other gods. When this happened, their hearts became cold to God’s law, resulting in the ruin of families and government, and eventually leading to the destruction of the nation.
Through the years, the people took on the false qualities of the false gods they worshiped. They became cruel, power-hungry, and sexually perverse. We tend to become what we worship. Unless we serve the true God, we will become slaves to whatever takes his place.
The prophet’s responsibility was to confront and correct any deviation from God’s law. Elijah was a bolt of judgment against Israel. His messages and miracles were a warning to the evil and rebellious kings and people.
The Bible, the truth in sermons, and the wise counsel of believers are warnings to us. Anyone who points out how we deviate from obeying God’s Word is a blessing to us. Changing our lives in order to obey God and get back on track often takes painful discipline and hard work.
SIN AND REPENTANCE
Each king had God’s commands, a priest or prophet, and the lessons of the past to draw him back to God. All the people had the same resources. Whenever they repented and returned to God, God heard their prayers and forgave him.
God hears and forgives us when we pray if we are willing to trust him and turn from sin. Our desire to forsake our sin must be heartfelt and sincere. Then he will give us a fresh start and a desire to live for him.