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Sunday, November 20 2011
King Solomon, in his earlier years, was one of the wisest men that have ever lived. Solomon's great wisdom was based upon the wisdom that the LORD gave to him - because Solomon had enough wisdom and humility of his own to look to the LORD and ask for true wisdom.
"1:7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
The Kingdom of Israel reached its greatest extent during the time of King Solomon because the LORD blessed Solomon's obedience to Him.
"9:22 And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 9:23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. 9:24 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
"Whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions"
As we read, Solomon was wise because he humbly worshiped and obeyed the LORD. What happened, in his later years, when Solomon turned from the LORD and became a moral and religious pervert? What happened when Solomon became so arrogantly full of himself that he thought that he could do no wrong?
"11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
Solomon squandered the blessings that the LORD gave to him. Therefore, all of the blessings for that former righteousness were thereafter to be removed, in due time.
"11:9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 11:10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 11:11 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. 11:12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. 11:13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen." (1 Kings 11:9-13 KJV)
The Judgment of the LORD that the kingdom of Israel would be divided was, as the LORD declared, brought about in the time of Solomon's son and royal successor Rehoboam - a foolish young man (a product of his father's liberal foolishness) whose advisors consisted of "the young men that were grown up with him." When the people of the kingdom reasonably requested relief from Solomon's heavy tax burden, Rehoboam replied that he would instead make their tax burden even heavier.
"12:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 12:2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) 12:3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
The united kingdom of Israel was thereafter divided into The Southern Kingdom of "Judah," consisting of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin (see Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?) and the Levites whose lands were in the south (see Are Levites 'Jews'?), and The Northern Kingdom of "Israel," consisting of the other ten tribes and the Levites whose lands were in the north (although the northern Levites later immigrated to Judah (see No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?).
"12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. 12:13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him; 12:14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12:15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
When Rehoboam attempted to restore the united kingdom by military action, the LORD commanded him to stop.
"12:21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
Rehoboam's rule over Judah was, right from the start, as grossly corrupt as Solomon's was over all of Israel at the end. He "built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree" and "there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel." Rehoboam was also militarily weak; Shishak king of Egypt invaded the capital city of Jerusalem, whereby he looted the Temple and the royal palace. Despite the attacks from Egypt, Rehoboam ignored the command of the LORD and fought with Israel, under Jeroboam: "And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days."
"14:21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
Fact Finder: While Rehoboam continued on as the king of Judah, who became the first king of the separated kingdom of Israel?
This Day In History, November 20
269: Diocletian was proclaimed emperor.
1272: Edward I became King of England.
1541: John Calvin, 32, established a religious government at Geneva, creating a center for growing Protestantism in Europe.
1759: In the Battle of Quiberon Bay during the Seven Years War, the British fleet with 23 warships under Admiral Hawke destroyed the French invasion fleet of 21 warships under Admiral Conflans.
1780: Britain declared war on the Netherlands after the Dutch had supplied French and Spanish arms to U.S. rebels (the Dutch were the colonial rulers of the colonies before Britain took them and renamed them "New England," while France and Spain both had colonies throughout North America, that they tolerated no independence for, while they at the same time supported the revolt of the English colonies against Britain).
1820: An 80-ton whale "attacked" the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts. The peaceful whale (and members of its family) was actually the one being attacked by the whaling ship, thrashing about after being harpooned. The mis-reported event was later used as the false idea for the 1851 fictional novel Moby Dick.
1873: In Hungary, the rival cities of Buda and Pest were joined to form the national capital - Budapest.
1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), 324 British tanks struck at the German lines in the Battle of Cambrai, France, the first major battle involving tanks. By the end of the battle, no gains had been made and the British lost 43,000 men.
1922: In Switzerland, the Lausanne Conference began to resolve differences between the allied powers after the First World War.
1945: The war crime trials of 24 Nazi leaders began at Nuremberg, Germany. On the same day, the Allied Control Commission approved the transfer of 6,000,000 ethnic-Germans from Austria, Hungary and Poland back to West Germany.
1946: Alberta's oil boom began when the initial drilling was done at the famous Leduc well south of Edmonton.
1947: Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) married Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey.
1967: Lester Pearson, a Nobel Prize winner who would later become Prime Minister of Canada, was presented with the Medallion of Valour of the State of Israel for his efforts on behalf of Israel at the United Nations.
1977: Egyptian president Anwar Sadat addressed the Israeli Knesset.
1980: Jiang Qing, widow of Mao Zedong, went on trial in China on charges of treason.
1992: A fire that burned for 15 hours before being brought under control severely damaged part of Windsor Castle in London.
1992: 20 paintings by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) went unsold at an auction after they failed to receive a single bid.
1998: A Taliban court in Afghanistan declared Osama bin Laden to be "a man without a sin."