This week as we continue our previous sermon series ‘Faulty Heroes’, we will focus in on Solomon.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus told of those whose faith started out strongly but who for various reasons forsook their faith. Sadly, there are many Christians who once followed God faithfully, but who no longer do so. King Solomon was one such, who in his early life followed and obeyed God, receiving wisdom, discernment, riches and honour, but who then fell away. Why? What can we learn from his example?
1) Pride. As Solomon grew in power and self-confidence he decided that he could manage very well without God. Jesus told the stories of the rich farmer in Luke 12: 16-21 and the Pharisee and tax collector at prayer in Luke 18:9-14. Both were full of their self importance and both came to a sticky end. Today, regretably, there are some who once turned with humility to Christ, but now feel they no longer need Him.
2) Riches. With God’s blessings Solomon grew very rich. What did he do with his wealth? He spent it all on himself building rich palaces and buying things of gold. He was obsessed with making money. Today, making money is some people’s main aim in life, but as Jesus told the rich young ruler in Luke 18: 18-23 it can also keep people from God. Do we use our money to help others and in the Lord’s service, or do we keep it all to ourselves?
3) Lack of self control. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). Self control is one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 and should characterise the walk of the Christian. Lack of discipline is one of the reasons why people fall away from Christ – there are many distractions which prevent us from serving Christ – some of them quite legitimate, like work and family – others less so.
4) Serving other gods. Solomon’s foreign wives led him to set up shrines to false gods and ultimately led him to turn away from the God of Israel who had given him so much. What takes the place of God is our lives? Do we think that we have better things to do on Sunday mornings than come to church? Solomon’s life ended in bitterness and tragedy, as we see in passages such as Ecclesiastes 1:1; 2:17-20 and 4:3/4. Do not make shipwreck of your faith (1 Timothy 1:19).
- Read 1 Kings 3:3-15. What was Solomon’s attitude towards God at the beginning of his reign. Why was God able to bless him so richly?
- What do the stories of Jesus in Luke 12:16-21, Luke 18:9-14 and 18-23 tell us about the dangers of trusting in riches?
- What three things does Luke 3:10-14 tell us about our attitude to money?
- Solomon was led astray by his wives and concubines. In what ways can other people cause us to forsake our faith?
- What other “gods” might we serve and how could we deal with them? What might prevent us from attending church on a Sunday and playing a full part in the life of the church?
Sermon Title: Why is backsliding so easy?
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 10:23 – 11:6
Preacher: Alan Cole
Worship Leader: Beverley Sills