Summary: Uses Solomon as an example of setting resolutions.
Reflections and Resolutions
REFLECTION: This is the time of year that many Americans take some time for “reflections” and “Resolutions.”
> Taking some time for Reflection is important if we are to learn from the past and avoid repeating its mistakes.
> Resolutions are important to allow us to move forward confidently and differently. Without this we will face the future with the same “equipment and resources” that may have proven inadequate before.
DIRECTION: Reflection requires some time and thought, but resolutions require discipline and determination. A bible word for resolution is “covenant”. It is used some 272 times to describe a decision or commitment. The Hebrew word for covenant has the idea of a compact made by passing between the pieces of a sacrifice. The idea is that a covenant or commitment will always involve a sacrifice.
1. REASON FOR REFLECTION Reflect (Consider or ponder) means to distinguish, recognize, or understand.
We need to reflect in order to understand…
A. WHAT WE DID RIGHT. What worked in the past.
B. WHAT WE DID WRONG. (1 Jn 1:6-10)
1) SINFULLY: Sin involves intentionally and willfully violating God’s will.
a) When you “bury the past” without “cleaning the slate” you reap a bitter harvest. (Gal. 6:7,8)
Pr. 28:13 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
2) STUPIDLY: (Foolishly)
All sin is stupid, but not all stupidity is sin!
a) Many of our foolish choices hinder us from experiencing the
freedom God desires.
EXAMPLE: Debt and overspending.
b) Spirituality does not protect us from stupidity!!!!!!
Note: Solomon had obviously been reflecting on the passing of his Father and the past problems that he would now have to face. (1 Kings 1,2 journal several examples of problems Solomon inherited from David.)
HONEST REFLECTION BETTER EQUIPS US TO MAKE WISE RESOLUTIONS.
Armed with the answers to these questions, we can wisely choose the types of “resolutions” or commitments that will better equip us to face the new year and its changes and challenges.
2. REASON FOR RESOLUTIONS:
A. RESOLUTIONS PROVIDE SOLUTIONS
1) If they don’t “fix” anything, then they are a waste of time and effort.
B. RESOLUTIONS ALLOW US TO BEGIN AGAIN MORE:
1) INTENTIONALLY (Positive change doesn’t come accidently or easily.)
2) INTELLIGENTLY ( If you don’t learn from the past you’ll repeat it!)
3) INTENSELY. (Positive changes take passion an persistence.)
3. A ROYAL RESOLUTION : 1 Kings 3:3-14
A. SOLOMON WAS THE NEW KING FACING NEW CHALLENGES.
1) The old King (David) was dead and gone, leaving Solomon to enjoy the good and endure the bad that he had left. This is probably why Solomon went to Gibeon to offer such a huge sacrifice. He was looking for God’s help and blessing. Vs 3,4
2) The old year is gone, and we are left with both the good and bad that it brought us.
B. GOD OFFERED HIM A BLANK CHECK FOR THE FUTURE. Vs 5
1) It was a test of sorts. God wanted to see if Solomon would avail himself of the resources God had waiting for him.
2) Remember it was Solomon who later wrote Pr. 3:5,6 “Trust in the LORD with all heart…in all thy ways acknowledge Him and he will direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil.”
C. SOLOMON RECOGNIZED THAT HE WAS UNEQUAL TO THE CHALLENGES BEFORE HIM. Vs 7
1) He felt himself a child, although he was 30 years old!
2) Are we foolish enough to believe we have the future in our pocket???
We will all face challenges beyond our ability, experience and skill.
D. SOLOMON CHOSE THE GREATEST GIFT POSSIBLE AND SO PASSED THE TRUST TEST. Vs 9
1) Solomon asked for an understanding heart.
Understanding: (To hear intelligently, with obedience.
Heart: (Soul: feelings, will, and intellect.)
He asked God to give him the ability to perceive and obey Him with all of his soul.
E. GOD’S RESPONSE WAS TO GIVE SOLOMON MORE THAN HE ASKED.
David (a man after God’s heart) had written Ps. 37:4,5 “Trust in the LORD…Delight thyself also in the LORD and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
1) God granted him a wise and understanding heart. Wise (kaw-kawm’) means skillful!
1) Are we much different from Solomon? Have we “inherited” problems and pressures from the past? (The mistakes of others or our own?)
2) Are we willing to trust and love (Notice 1 Kings 3:5) the Lord? Acknowledge Him? Pr. 3:5,6
3) Is the desire of our heart an “understanding (wise) heart”?
Pr. 4:7 “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Principle = primary, first in order)
a) Wisdom is the God given Skill to face life’s choices and challenges.