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Summary: Stay faithful to God. Guard your heart and fear the Lord.

1 Kings 11:1-13 GUARD YOUR HEART ES 16 Jul 17 1672

Chapter 11 marks the turning point in Solomon’s life. He has left his first love and allowed other loves to take hold of him.

• He has wisdom, but wisdom cannot immune us from sinning against God. Solomon hardened his heart towards God.

Notice the number of times the word HEART is mentioned.

• 11:2 to the Israelites the Lord says, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your HEARTS after their gods.”

• 11:4 “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his HEART after other gods, and his HEART was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the HEART of David his father had been.”

• 11:9 “The LORD became angry with Solomon because his HEART had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.”

It has to do with the HEART. There is a TURNING of the heart. The problem, strictly speaking, is internal, not external. Solomon allowed his heart to be turned.

• The Bible talks about the hardening of the heart.

• Heb 3:12-13 “12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving HEART that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.”

• Heb 3:15 “As has just been said: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your HEARTS as you did in the rebellion.”

GUARD YOUR HEART. We can blame it on the difficult circumstances or the tempting situations we are put in, or whatever.

• But the truth is, it has to do with the condition of our heart. You wanted it.

• Solomon did not just love the foreign wives but HELD FAST to them in love (11:2). You cannot have two loves but he clung on to the other loves.

• The circumstances are just trigger points for what is already there in our hearts.

Solomon “loved many foreign women” (11:1), he “held fast to them in love” (11:2), and “his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God…” (11:4)

• He can blame it on the wives and the concubines but strictly speaking, that’s not the real cause. The heart of the problem is the problem of his heart.

Notice how the Word compares him with his father David:

• 11:4 “his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.”

• 11:6 “he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.”

• What so special about David’s heart? He is a sinner too. He committed adultery, he coveted someone’s wife, and he murdered the husband.

The words used here were “fully devoted and “follow the Lord completely”.

• You are not like your father because his heart is “fully devoted to God” and he “followed the Lord completely”.

• That’s his heart – not that he did not sin, not that he did not do any wrong - but that he was determined to get back.

• We know the story of David’s life. He wasn’t perfect in all his dealings, but his heart is devoted to God. He was determined to repent and return to God.

David turned his heart back to God, while Solomon turned his heart away from God.

• One is repentance, the other is the hardening of his heart.

• The Lord takes delight in “a broken and contrite heart”. (Psalm 51:17)

• David wrote Psalm 51 (his repentance psalm) publicly, for all to sing.

See how God honours David. When the Lord pronounces his judgement on Solomon, He said it twice, “for the sake of David your father.” (11:12, 13).

• 11:12 He is going to tear the Kingdom away from Solomon and give it to someone else, but “for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime.”

• 11:13 He will not tear the whole Kingdom away but leave you one tribe, “for the sake of David my servant”.

• See how God honours David. The Lord says, “I have found David a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22)

Guard your heart. Be devoted to God. Follow Him completely. Don’t compromise. Each time we sin, we repent and we return.

FEAR THE LORD

Do we really believe what God says? From Day 1, God has declared this warning openly to the PEOPLE of Israel – not to bring in foreigners and their practices.

• At Mount Sinai, the Lord spoke through Moses - Deut 7:3-4 “3Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD's anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.”

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