Summary: First of a series on Elisha. Sin actually makes life boring. Radical faithfulness to God helps us to break through to a more meaningful way of living.
SLIDE: David and Solomon
I Kings 2 is a farewell conversation between David and his son Solomon, who will be the new king.
The first half of the conversation is inspiring: “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, 3 and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4 that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.” And after an inspiring word of faith, he gives Solomon a royal hit list. “Remember Joab, Abner, and Amasa…what they did. The sons of Barzilai…you shall bring their gray heads down with blood into the grave.”
Suddenly we’re struck with the reality that despite even our best intentions, if we’re going to remain entangled with the world, we’re probably going to get our hands dirty.
I’m curious when the last time might be that you read through the books of Kings.
Solomon’s son turns out to be a fool, and where you had one kingdom, now there were two kingdoms because in his brashness he caused the people to rebel.
And so we have kings in the North and in the South, and nearly every one of their stories reads exactly the same, except a few details.
So and So, son of So and So, became King over Israel in the such and such year of King Such and Such. He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord like his fathers before him, and caused Israel to commit great sins. Then in this year, another man rose up and overthrew him, and then the next guy began to reign in Israel.
There is also a peculiar phrase that shows up: in regard to several of these kings:
As for the other events of his reign, aren’t they written about in the Historical Records of Israel’s’ Kings?
SLIDE: “Skip a bit, Brother.”
In other words, “There is nothing remarkable about this guy, his life, or what he did. It was more of the same. If you really want to find out more, there are other books you can go sort through.”
I’m reminded of the classic line from Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail as one person reads an extensive section from the fictional book of Armaments, the other says, “Skip a bit, brother.”
No matter how people glamorize it, the truth is, if you live your life in an entirely power-hungry, selfish, materialistic way, you’re going to live a pretty boring life.
The proof is in the Scripture…even under the inspiration the Holy Spirit, whoever wrote this book about some of these wicked kings said, “You know, I just don’t have the patience to write any more about a person whose life was so selfish and boring.”
SLIDE: Boring Definition
When something is so lacking in interest that it causes mental weariness.
Synonyms of Boring:
MONOTONOUS - It is the same thing all the time. There is absolutely no variety.
TEDIOUS - People are focussed intently on something of no importance. A kind of dull slowness.
IRKSOME - When you look at something more closely, knowing more about it gives you reasons to be upset.
TIRESOME - Dealing with it just drains you. It is something marked by unremitting sameness.
SLIDE: Stressed People
A lot of our problems in this world occur because we’ve been lied to, and unfortunately, a lot of people are buying into the lies.
Do you know people who are so predictable that it just feels tedious or irksome to be around them?
Does anyone you know have to one-up you in every conversation? Does everything always end up being about them and their ego?
Do you know anyone who consistently undermines people in an effort to get themselves ahead?
Do you know people that from the moment the person in charge is out of the room they just gush and gush negativity?
Do we get stuck doing the same thing all the time, hoping for a different result?
Do we obsess over stuff of zero real significance?
Do we avoid really stopping to think about how we’re living because the truth is that we can be incredibly lame in how we form our priorities?
People often sin boldly, believing it is going to spice up their life, but sin is a poisoned fountain that only leaves you dry and parched.