Summary: How investing in key relationships helps fathers to live wisely as we examine Solomon’s legacy.
“Living Wisely as Fathers”
Text: Eccl.4:4-12, 1 Kings 11:1-10
Sermon series Living Wisely in a Meaningless World.
Based on book of Ecclesiastes.
By Rev. Andrew Chan, PBC, Vancouver, BC
First, happy father’s day to all you daddies! According to a story found on Toronto Star the credit for today’s celebration goes to Sonora Dodd, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. “In 1910, Dodd dreamed up the idea while she was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in her hometown of Spokane, Wash.” Does it not seem that even on Father’s day, mothers, bless their hearts, still can outshine fathers? Yes, it was a mother’s day sermon got the ball rolling for a day to honor dear old dad.
It was Sonora Dodd’s recollection of her father, William Smart, that inspired this movement to honor fathers on this day in June. Apparently, William Smart was widowed when his wife died during childbirth. So this father raised Sonora and her 5 siblings all by his lonesome. But it was not until many years later in 1966, that Pres. Lyndon Johnson formalized the day, albeit only for one year. Only later, was this day finally officially recognized for good. We know today that it Pres. Richard Nixon who made Johnson’s proclamation permanent.
Now, our country, Canada, didn’t have to adopt this day but because we are so close to our American neighbors, we are easily swallowed up by America’s influence and its formidable greeting card industry. The celebration means many things to many people, which is one of the reasons Father’s Day is the fifth biggest card-selling day of the year. Three-quarters of North American dads will get cards, nearly half will be wearing new clothes, and a quarter will enjoy new sporting goods or a power tool of some sort. But Dodd was on to something other than rampant consumerism… She saw in her daddy something more than just material goods… she saw sacrificial love.
Today, as we come together, I believe, in our hearts we want to see fathers who live wisely, just as Sonora Dodd’s father did. We want to see fathers who are heroes, people who make a difference… In my personal time with God this past week I have been reading in the Bible in book of 1 Kings, and the thing I noticed a lot about, is this… The fathers that are portrayed there are not heroes at all. All are weak men who can be vicious and mean, men whose only response to a world that frightens them and bewilders them, is to do violence to others. There are many men who have followed this pattern of behavior. I also observed this with Solomon, who wrote Ecclesiastes. We know something about his life as we begin with a look in the Bible in I kings 11, reading v.1,2 (NLT)
“Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. 2 The LORD had clearly instructed his people not to intermarry with those nations, because the women they married would lead them to worship their gods. Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway.”
Solomon made unwise move of ignoring God’s Word. Instead of worshiping God, he worshipped his wives, And the consequence of that is Verse 3 …
“3 He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. And sure enough, THEY LED HIS HEART AWAY from the LORD.”
Every time I read that I get a shock, what a number! How can anyone have time to even play golf? It is quite clear that he never got back on track with God…read in v.4
“4 In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship their gods instead of trusting only in the LORD his God, as his father, David, had done.”
Apparently this is the circumstance in which Eccl. Is written, now in his old age, with the view of life without God, an under the sun observation of life.
I kings continues to inform us how bad his sin was…in his life there was an escalation of idol worship v.5-8
5 Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 Thus, Solomon DID WHAT WAS EVIL IN THE LORD’s SIGHT; he refused to follow the LORD completely, as his father, David, had done. 7 On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, he even built a shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.
So we can see in v.9-10, that God, who dealt with him kindly, gave him wisdom to rule and riches beyond his dream, and he wasted it all. Solomon abused God’s kindness and goodness and God was not happy with this, to say the least-