Save Time and Preach Like Never Before. Try the new
1 Kings 12:1-14
February 15, 2009
In 1997, Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of aviator Charles Lindbergh, was invited to give the annual Lindbergh Address at the Smithsonian Institutionís Air and Space Museum to commemorate the 70th anniversary of her fatherís historic solo flight across the Atlantic. On the day of the speech, museum officials invited her to come early, before the facility opened, so that she could have a closeup look at The Spirit of St. Louis, the little plane suspended from the museum ceiling that her father had piloted from New York to Paris in 1927.
That morning in the museum, Reeve and her young son, Ben, eagerly climbed into the bucket of a cherry-picker, a long-armed crane that carried them upward until the plane was at eye level and within their reach. Seeing the machine that her father had so bravely flown across the sea was an unforgettable experience for Reeve. She had never touched the plane before, and that morning, 20 feet above the floor of the museum, she tenderly reached out to run her fingers along the door handle, which she knew her father must have grasped many times with his own hand.
Tears welled up in her eyes at the thought of what she was doing. "Oh, Ben," she whispered, her voice trembling, "isnít this amazing?"
"Yeaaaaaah," Ben replied, equally impressed. "Iíve never been in a cherry-picker before!"
This morning we are going to diverged from the standard hero expectations and look at someone who might be called an anti-hero or a villain. He was almost a hero. He stood right at the threshold of becoming a great king and a great leader. He was faced with a decision that literally would make or break him as a leader and hero and would make or break the Israel nation. This man was Rehoboam, son of Solomon.
Last week we looked at Solomon in the prime of his life. However, I did not tell you about the end of his life. For some reason, Solomon strayed big time and unlike his father, David, he doesnít seem to have repented. Solomon began to worship the false gods and idols. He seems to have a big problem with sex and women. His ambitions and pride grew well beyond his wisdom and his love for God. As a result, his son, Rehoboam, whose mother was a foreigner, did not see the best example. Ray grew up where a lifestyle of excess was embraced, which probably was Rayís own downfall.
Yet, in a way Ray was a hero (at least by our cultureís standards). He was selfish. He was self-centered. He was egotistical. He was self-absorbed and was focused too much on power, privileges, and the pleasures that excessive wealth could bring. I say he was a hero because basically Rehoboam was not any different than us. He really wasnít any different than the average human. The heroes of today are those who live excessive lifestyles like sports figures and those in the entertainment industry. He was the Hugh Heffner of his day except we have to wonder if Rehoboamís empire was built more around Playgirl, if you