Monday, March 26, 2012

The Morning After: The Glory Days (1 Kings 4:1-34)

With my whole heart, I believe in Second Timothy 3:16 which says that all Scripture is inspired and profitable. All Scripture is profitable. If we are honest, that statement often collides with our experience in studying much of the Old Testament. Especially when we read passages like First Kings 4 and read lists of names of people we have never heard of and know nothing of what they ever did in life. How does this profitable to my life?

Even in our doubts, I still believe it is profitable. It  might not be as easily applicable to our lives as some other passages, but it is still beneficial to our life and godliness. It probably means we just need to read and study harder to find the profit. And maybe that is part of the profit, that we are forced to interact with the text with even greater zeal?

What we have in First Kings 4 is Solomon, in his wisdom, organizing the kingdom of Israel. In verses 1-6, he appoints his high officials (think of the president appointing his cabinet). Then in vs. 7-19, he redistributes the land into 12 districts and appoints a governor over every district. Most of these men are never mentioned anywhere in the Scriptures other than this section. We do not know anything about them. While they have names, they are nameless to us. 

But that really does bring about a good point for us. We should never worry about being a nobody. While we do not know who they are other than a name, it is a helpful reminder to us that most people in the world have no idea who we are either. And all the energy that we spend on trying to make our name known is foolishness. As a Christian, we should not be trying to make our name known, but to make the name of Jesus Christ known. Its not about us, it is all about Him.
"In the kingdom of God, every person matters. Most of the people in the world have no idea who we are, either, and our  names may sound as strange to them as names like Ben-deker and Ahinadab sound to us. But every one of us has a name that is known by God, as well as the ability to serve his kingdom. We should not be discouraged, therefore, if our service to Christ seems insignificant or sometimes gets overlooked by others. God knows the people who belong to him and remembers the work we do for his glory" (Philip Graham Ryken, 1 Kings, 100).
In addition to this, Solomon's organization of the kingdom was essential for the life of the kingdom. God cares that things are done decently and in order. From the opening pages of the Bible, we see order. We see the sun rising and setting. We see scientific rules and principles, established by God, that are essential for all the world. We even see order established in the life of the church. That is why God gave the gift of administration to the church, to help establish order. That is what Solomon is doing at the beginning of chapter 4, and the affects are incredible. 

We are told at the beginning of verse 20 that the people ate, drank, and were happy. The people of God found their enjoyment in the prosperity of their king and his kingdom. How much more should that be true of the Christian. Shouldn't we be finding our ultimate joy in the prosperity of our King and His Kingdom? We will someday in its fullness. We will in the new earth and new heaven. We will when we live with Him, as it is recorded in Revelation 21. That will be the REAL Glory Days. All of the glory days of Solomon was simply a passing shadow of what is to come. Don't miss it! Embrace Jesus today!

If you want to read my notes, they can be found HERE. Or if you want to listen to the message, you can find it HERE (usually posted by Tuesday afternoon).

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