Summary: How division came to Israel

Divided Community - 1 Kings 11-15

“With all my heart” - that is our prayer today as we come to 1 Kings 11. Turn with me there. We have been going through the highlights of the OT - looking in the kingdom stage, the time of David, the man after God’s own heart, and then his son Solomon ruling after him. And today we look at one of the most important times in the life of the Jews - the dividing of the nation of Israel. Let’s start with a little background of where we have come so far.

We saw in

We saw in

Genesis a book of Beginnings - how God chose to enter into a close relationship with man. Those who followed Him saw him lead them, guide them, and redeem them. We came to

Exodus, and saw how God brought deliverance to the people, and led them out of Egypt. In Leviticus we learn about “holiness” and all the requirements of the law.

Numbers teaches about the “testing” the Jews went through in the wilderness wanderings.

Deuteronomy teaches us about “instruction” and “wisdom” in obeying God’s word.

Joshua is a book that teaches us about “faith in conquest” or “stepping out in faith.” God chose to work through the line of Abraham, leading his descendants out of slavery in Egypt and unto a land he would give to them. In Joshua we saw the people cross the Jordan River, and step out in faith to follow God in claiming the land that was given to them. But in

Judges the key idea is “Chaos” as everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.

Ruth we saw teaching about Overcoming Love and how to unconditionally reach out to others. In

1 & 2 Samuel we saw the establishment of the Kingdom, as God established leaders over his people.

We saw Saul, David, and Solomon. For about 100 years these three men ruled the Jews. But following the reign of Solomon, the nation of Israel falls apart. It splits in two, into a Northern half that is called Israel, and a Southern half that is called Judah.

The Jews had a strong sake of Community - Common Unity - but it was broken, and the nation fell apart. We want to look today in 1 Kings 11-15, and look at some key factors that destroy community. It is possible to have unity without a common unity - when one is like a turtle and just gives in to everything someone else says. But we desire community - koinonia - being as committed to one another as we are to Jesus Christ. We want a oneness. So we need to learn

What destroys community?

First, we want to look at the example of King Solomon. And his his life we see

1. Loss of Passion - Loss of following God with all his heart. In 1 Kings 11:1-13 we see that Solomon, the wisest man of his day, failed to worship God as he should. 1 Kings 10:23 tells us that “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.” Yet his wisdom did not keep him faithful to his God. 1 Kings 11 tells the end of the story - READ TEXT - 1 Kings 11:1-13 - Why is the kingdom split away? Because of the sin of Solomon - and where does that sin start? It starts by losing the passion for worshiping God. Worship becomes RITUAL. That’s the downfall of so many denominations: they allow ritual to take the place of true worship. How does God want to be worshiped? Only 2 requirements: in spirit and in truth. It doesn’t matter whether you wear suit and tie or only bluejeans - it doesn’t matter whether you worship here at church or in your car driving down the road - what matters to God is a passionate heart - a heart that is touched and moved by the greatness of our God. The first attack to the community of the nation of Israel is seen in the loss of passionate worship by King Solomon.

David all his life was a passionate worshiper. He had mistakes - adultery, murder, pride - yet he always worshiped God completely. Solomon, however, falls into the mistake of worshiping out of ritual. He marries wives who do not worship God, and Solomon is influenced by those women, and he ends up building them temples to worship in, and then he ends up worshiping in those temples himself. And verse 11 tells us that it is Solomon’s SIN that ends up destroying the community.

Here at Bethel, we need to look very carefully at how we worship. It is the area that the elders are considering and evaluating right now. We want to make sure that we aren’t just going through the motions, but that we as a church are a group of worshipers. One of the things we are considering is how we can facilitate more that just worship corporately on Sunday morning, but how we can be a group of worshipers throughout the week. Worship is not just a Sunday morning activity.

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