Summary: As we look at the life of Solomon we will be challenged to finish strong and to go the distance. (Real people True Stories - part four)
"SOLOMON, FINISHING STRONG -
A GOOD START ISN’T ENOUGH"
TEXT: 1 KINGS 1-11
Have you ever noticed in life that a good start isn’t always enough. Now there is nothing wrong with a good start mind you, but it is often not enough to get us to the finish line, or to the winners circle.
And if you don’t believe me, ask the Atlanta Braves who won the first 2 games of the 1996 years world series against the Yankees in New York. I think the scores were 12-1 and 6-0. They were pretty excited about their start. But winning those 2 games gave little comfort as they watched their opponens hold that trophy 4 games later.
Or you can ask the 1969 Baltimore Orioles. Who dominated the majors that year. Won 109 games -- more than any other team. And their opponents in the World Series were the New York Mets. Everyone expected the Orioles to win easily, and then when they won the first game -- it seemed as though they had it in the bag... But in just 4 more games it would be all over, and the New York Mets would be the ones wearing that World Series ring. In 1969 the Orioles and all of Baltimore were convinced of the truth that a good start isn’t enough.
Or take the Buffalo Bills who in their 4th Super bowl led the Dallas Cowboys going into to halftime...(watched game at church...I was abnoxious - if you can belive that) But as good as that first half was , the Bills will be the first to tell you that at the end of the contest - when the Dallas Cowboys were the one holding the trophy - that a good start is not enough... The week following the game the city of Buffalo did not throw a parade to celebrate the half time lead...
And I think we all have experienced the reality of this truth in our own everyday lives.
Perhaps, we start out real good on a new diet or exercise program....
Or on a project around the house, a class in school, a job in church or in paying off some bills.... I mean we are out of that starting gate like hungry grey hounds chasing a rabbit.....
But time passes and the diet ends, the exercise stops, we fail the class, the job doesn’t get done and the bills are still where we left them. You see, though there is nothing wrong with a good start -- it just isn’t enough.
Today, as we continue in our series - real people - true stories - we wnat to take a look at King Solomon. Solomon was a guy who learned this lesson (that a good start doesn’t isn’t enough) the hard way.
SOLOMON HAD A GOOD START
What I want to do first is to tell you about this good start. I mean Ol’ Solomon really had it going. FOR ONE THING:
HE HAD A GOOD FATHER
Now, Fathers are important in the raising of children... And Not only is it important to have a father -- but it is also important to have a father who is a good man. To be fortunate enough to be born into a home where the father is present and where the father is also a good man... is to begin life with a good start...
Solomon was born into the home of King David... Now David was not a perfect man -- he made mistakes (but no one who has ever walked this earth has been perfect except Christ).
Now, you and I can look at incidents in David’s life and judge Him -- but really, in the final analyses it is only God’s opinion that counts...And God said this of David,
"HE IS A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART"
I don’t imagine higher words could be given to anyone
SOLOMON HAD A GOOD FATHER.
HE ALSO RECEIVED GOOD ADVICE
After conquering lions, Goliath, The evil King Saul -- The Philistines and other enemies (foreign and domestic) David was facing an enemy he could not defeat -- he was facing death.
And as the book of Kings opens up David is old and well advanced in years, his helath is slipping away fast... And David calls Solomon to him AND We read the following in [I Kings 2:1-3]
"When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son, ‘I am about to go the way of all the earth,’ he said. ‘So be strong, show yourself a man, observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in His ways, and keep His decrees & commands, His law & requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go...."