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Compromise the First Step in Character Erosion

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Sermon shared by Scott Chambers

August 2008
Summary: The message looks at the beginning of the erosion that takes place in Solomonís life.
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
As we look upwards, itís hard to imagine the mountains almost twice their present size Ė however in their infancy they were almost that large. Slowly, through the processes of weathering and erosion, the mountains have been reduced to a fraction of their original size. Erosion is happening all around us. Even though you may not recognize it, the forces of erosion are constantly shaping our planet. Sometimes, as in a mudslide or avalanche, erosion happens quickly. More often than not, erosion happens so slowly that you canít even see it. Over time, the simple act of water running downhill can not only carve out a hole the size of the Grand Canyon, but it can literally move mountains. The Grand Canyon stands as a monument to the destructive power of erosion. Character can erode in much the same way, slowly, escaping the notice of onlookers as well as the one experiencing the erosion. Even a character as strong as Solomonís can fall prey to the effects of erosion. Today letís take some time to discover what led to the erosion of Solomonís character.

I. Solomon was envied by the rest of the world as he stood exalted for his greatness, wisdom and wealth.
A. Solomonís great fame was the result of Godís hand being on his life. (2 Chronicles 1:1-12)
1. The kingdom is firmly in the hands of Solomon. This is Godís act. The Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.
2. Solomonís request for wisdom and knowledge in ruling the people so pleased the Lord that He also promised him unparalleled riches, wealth, and honor.
3. Because Solomonís heart is right, God will bless him as he has no other king ó past or future. Leadership must seek Godís interests rather than their own.
4. Confident in the promise of God, Solomon returned to Jerusalem where he reigned over Israel. The promise to David is confirmed. God is faithful, and Solomon is prepared for his task.
B. Solomon had an unparalleled record of achievements. (Ecclesiastes 2:4-6)
1. These verses are basically a royal rťsumť. It is the kingís catalog of accomplishments based on 1 Kings 3Ė11. The king immerses himself in building projects, horticultural endeavors, and sexual exploits.
2. A sensible use of money may be a form of creativity; so Solomon expressed himself in extensive buildings and the planting of vineyards, fruit trees, and gardens.
3. In this Solomon resembled the monarchs of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Persia, whose achievements in building and planting were considered some of the wonders of the ancient world.
4. Solomon built enormous estates with parks and gardensóliteral paradises. Orchards with all kinds of fruit trees punctuated the landscape.
5. Itís easy to imagine him taking his friends on guided tours and having his ego inflated by their expressions of awe and enthusiasm.
C. Solomon was held in high regard and enjoyed the praise of men. (1 Kings 10:1-24)
1. The purpose of 1 Kings Chapter 10 is to emphasize Solomonís glory. From drinking vessels to sailing vessels, from an ivory throne to handcrafted chariots, he possessed everything the human heart could desire in quantities that stagger the imagination.
2. The queen of Sheba was completely overwhelmed by Solomonís wisdom and by the splendor of his kingdom.
3. Gold was so plentiful that Solomon even used it for making shields to hang in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. His ivory throne
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