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Finish Well 1 Kings 11:1-13

Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

 

As we near the end of 2015, it is important to Finish Well.

News bulletins which report on marathons usually show two pictures: the beginning of the race with the huge mass of runners “taking off” and the end of the race with the winners breaking the tape at the finish. What we fail to see is the important part of the race: the middle. Many of those who started so well and so cheerfully struggle to keep going. Some limp home long after the first runners have finished and gone home. Others fail to finish at all.  In the text here we see King Solomon being told by God that what he has will be taken away.  Solomon started well, but he finished poorly.

How Solomon Began (1 Kings 3:5-10)

In 1 Kings 3:5-10, there is the record of how Solomon began.  Basically, we should know he began in wisdom.  Christians, like Solomon, have a great beginning. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”  But even with God’s blessings in our beginnings, we too run the risk of finishing poorly like Solomon.

How Solomon Strayed (1 Kings 11:1-8)

In chapter 3 we read of how Solomon began.  God blessed his beginning.   God asked him to: walk in His ways, keep His statutes and commandments, and love Him like David did.  Solomon began with this intent.

Here in chapter 11 we read of how he strayed.  God had told all of Israel not to take wives from nations that serve other gods.  Solomon took wives from these lands.  We can understand that most of them were chosen from royal families of other nations to forge political alliances.  On the political scene, Solomon’s reign did enjoy peace; but this decision was utterly condemned by the Lord.  God asked them not to do this for Religious reasons.  See 2b. “…they will turn away your heart…”  See 3b-4. “…his wives turned away his heart….”  Solomon had a heart problem.  This is how he strayed.  The one thing God had asked him to do (love God like David) he did not do.  The thing he did do (love those who serve other gods) was strictly forbidden by God and explained.

Do you have a heart problem that’s hindering how you finish? We are commanded to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. Another love will dilute that love and lead to spiritual disaster.

Finish Well!  First, assess how you began. Next, admit how you strayed.  From here your heart problem can be remedied.

How Solomon Finished (1 Kings 11:9-13)

Solomon finished with anything but God’s blessing on his life.  The way Solomon conducted his kingdom seemed to be working very well:

  • Israel’s influence was increasing in the region.
  • Everything in Solomon’s life seemed to be fine.
  • Everyone in Israel was very happy.

Except for Almighty God, the only person whose opinion really counted in the end.  The Lord decided that Solomon’s glorious reign would be followed by disaster.

Each of us is fully accountable to God for how we live.  The choices we make, who we love, & His Word–that we either keep or disobey.  Every day and every choice we make determines our future and whether we will finish well or poorly.

The Application:

How are you going to finish?  Have you strayed?  Maybe just a little…Finish Well, or that “little” will become a lot next year.

When I first was married and out on my own, I began to go to the doctor for an annual physical.  After a couple of years he began to badger me about gaining weight.  I would reply, “Well, I only gained 1 pound (or 3 pounds!) since last year…that’s not so bad.”  The doctor responded that the trouble was it was just a few pounds…each year, year after year.  In time, the small things become the big things.

Have you strayed?  If it were your story being told instead of Solomon, how could we say you finished?  Could we say you Finished Well…or poorly?  Finishing poorly for Solomon left him facing painful consequences.  Refocus today to finish 2015 well.

Pastor Chanc Strickland

HARPETH BAPTIST CHURCH
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN 37082
615-378-1136

www.harpethbaptist.org