Lessons from the Mundane

1 Kings #05: an exposition of 1 Kings 5:1-18. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, February 15, 2015.

Intro:

What was I thinking when I decided to preach through 1 kings?  I ask myself that every week as I labor through my preparation.  Chapter 5 is another of those sections that your eyes just kind of glass over as you try to get through.  I find myself wanting to skip over and get on to something important.  That’s always a mistake.  I’ve really come to appreciate, in recent years, the mundane.  The everyday.  The common.  Let’s face it that is where most of us live.  There is something comforting in understanding that God is in the mundane.  That God’s sovereignty and His providence is not reserved for the extraordinary.  Our text this evening is found in 1 Kings chapter 5.

Text: 1 Kings 5:1-18

You remember David wanted to build God a temple.
He was told that he couldn’t – 2 Samuel 7:1-17.
In 1 Chron 22:7-10 the reason is given – David had too much blood on his hands.
Now the time has come for the building of the temple.

1 Kings 5-9 tells that story.
Chapter 5 is about the decision to build and securing some of the materials.
Not exactly riveting stuff!

Yet there is something of significance for us in this text.  As we walk through this chapter we discover that…

Thesis: Here in the mundane and tedious story of temple preparation we find a witness to God’s promise, a reminder of His coming kingdom and the need for godly wisdom.

3 things to note.

  1. A Witness to God’s Promise.  (5:1-6)
  2. A Reminder of God’s Coming Kingdom.  (5:7-11)
  3. The Need for Godly Wisdom.  (5:12-18)

Conclusion:
Putting it all together we are reminded that:
Great works for God’s glory are based on the certainty of God’s promise.
God graciously grants us a glimpse of the glory to come.
God gives wisdom to see the task through.

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Demands of a Biblical Church

Hebrews #42: an exposition of Hebrews 13:17-19. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 15, 2015.

Intro:

Several years ago I was involved with a group of pastors who met on a regular basis for fellowship and encouragement.  It was not a ministerial alliance.  We were not organizing cooperative work in the community.  In fact we were from a large geographical area.  It wasn’t an associational or convention thing either, though I think all of us were Southern Baptist.  It was just a group of us who had known each other for years and it was just about fellowship.  We would meet for a meal, tell stories and laugh.  Occasionally the conversation took on a more serious tone.  It was a place where we could be honest.  Share our frustrations, our fears, without having to worry about if it would “get out.”  I remember one lunch when the mood turned serious.  We talked about our backgrounds.  Where and how we grew up and how that had shaped us as pastors.  One of the men made a statement that broke my heart.  He said, “I grew up in churches that hated their pastors with pastors who hated their churches.”  I was stunned.  That was not my experience at all.  I’ve had wonderful experiences in the churches I’ve been a part of.  Growing up, on staff and pastoring.  As a pastor I spent my first two years in a context where I was a “fish out of water.  But those folks loved me and my family.  They put up with a huge learning curve and demonstrated great patience.  I then spent 3 and a half years in Ponca City and again we still have wonderful relationships with the people there.  For the past 24 years it has been my joy to be pastor of this church.  I’m not going to say that there have never been difficulties or hurt feelings or disagreements.  I’m certainly not naive enough to believe everyone has been happy with me or pleased with my decisions or my preaching.  I’m not going to say I’ve never struggled or had my feeling hurt or that I’ve never wanted to quit.  The church is about relationships and relationships are messy.  But churches that hate their pastors and pastors who hate their churches?

According to studies that have been conducted by our convention and others, 23% of all pastors say they have been fired or run off at least once in their career.  When congregations were surveyed 34% said they either fired or forced a resignation of a minister in their recent history.  According to a survey conducted by Campus Crusade, 80% of seminary graduates left the ministry within 5 years of graduation.  I have dear friends who have been brutalized by their churches.  They crossed the wrong deacon and got run out of town.  They touched some sacred cow and found themselves looking for another job.  Now lest you think I believe it’s always the church’s fault.  I’ve known plenty of people who have been brutalized by an authoritarian pastor.  I’ve known pastor’s who’ve set of little theocracies and named themselves “Theo!”  I’m saying, “It ought not be!”  I’m saying the attitude expressed by my friend is a disgrace and far removed from the biblical path.

The little Hebrew church in Rome was fighting for its life.  They needed to come together.  They could not afford to be divided.  As the writer comes to the end of his letter he reminds them of the need to love one another unconditionally (13:1).  Of their need to demonstrate genuine hospitality and to care for those who are imprisoned and mistreated for the Gospel (13:2-3).  He also pleaded with them to remember their leaders.  To hold them in high regard and to follow their example (13:7).  In our text this morning he comes back to those leaders and gives us some insight into how we are to live together as pastor and congregation.  As leaders and family.  Our text is found in Hebrews 13:17-19.

Text: Hebrews 13:17-19

I think this is often a neglected area within the church.
After all if the pastor spends much time on this it seems a bit self-serving.
“Let me straighten you people out on how you ought to treat me…”
I get a little tired of hearing preachers whine about how bad they have it.
It get that.
My job has its own quirks and inconveniences the same as anyone else’s.
I don’t think my job is any harder or easier than anyone else’s – it’s just different.

What I want to do is walk you though this passage and together we will look at what the Scripture has to say about our life together.  As I have work through this passage I’m convinced the message from the inspired text is that…

Thesis: The biblical model for pastor and congregation demands a congregation inclined toward respectful submission and a pastor with a deep sense of indebtedness.

There are just two things I want to point out.

  1. Members of the congregation are called to submit to those in authority over them.  (13:17)
  2. Pastors are called to a deep sense of indebtedness toward those whom they serve.  (13:18-19)

Conclusion:
Are you beginning to see what this relationship is to be?
It is not one in which I am nothing more than the church’s employee.
Neither is it I’m the “man in charge” and you best toe the line.
Rather it is a loving, mutual relationship in which we each fulfill the role God has given to us.

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A Portrait of Godly Wisdom

1 Kings #04: an exposition of 1 Kings 4:1-34. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, February 8, 2015.

Intro:

I have a high view of Scripture.  I believe this book to be the inerrant and infallible Word of God.  Further I’m convinced of the sufficiency of Scripture.  When the apostle Paul says that, “All Scripture is God breathed and is profitable for doctrine, reproof and training in righteousness,” I believe him.  Then I put myself in the position of preaching through books of the Bible and I find myself saying things like, “Paul, did you read 1 Kings chapter 4?”  “Would you like to revise your previous statement?”  Further I’m in agreement with our statement of faith, The Baptist Faith and Message that says, “All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.”  I’ve yet to see a Gospel tract that used a single verse from 1 Kings 4!

Do I really need to know who was in charge of the district of Argob nine centuries before Christ?  Is it a pressing Gospel matter how many horses Solomon had in the royal stable?  When we say that all Scripture is profitable we are not saying every text is of equal value or importance.  When we say Christ is the focus of revelation that does not mean every verse has a direct Gospel application.  Further the term Gospel is not limited to the plan of salvation.  The Gospel is the good news of the whole work of God.  Thus the Gospel stretches back even beyond the Garden of Eden into eternity past and stretches beyond the completion of the New Testament canon.  So we are saying the whole of Scripture is profitable in that it reveals the truth of God to us.  It speaks of who He is and what He has done for us and His promises yet to be fulfilled.

With that said, let’s skip over chapter 4 of 1 Kings and look at chapter 5.  No, I’m kidding.  Our text this evening is 1 Kings 4:1-34.

Text: 1 Kings 4:1-34

At first glance this seems to be a random listing of cabinet members, district governors and a list of what it took to supply the king’s table for a day.  On closer examination we discover that what we actually have in this text is a list of cabinet officials, district governors and supplies for the king’s table!  What are we to make of this?  How is this helpful?

We start with understanding chapters 3 and 4 go together.
In chapter 3 the Lord asked Solomon what he wanted Him to do for him?
Solomon pleased the Lord when he asked for wisdom to rule God’s people well.
The 3rd chapter ends with a demonstration of the wisdom given to Solomon.
2 women come with a complaint about a baby.
Each claiming to be the child’s mother.
Solomon asks that a sword be brought – cut the child in two and give half to each.
One woman says, “No, let the baby live and give it to her.”
The other says, “No, that’s a good plan.”
Solomon says give the child to his mother, the first woman.

I’m convinced that chapter 4 is a continuation of chapter 3.  The point being further illustration of the wisdom God had granted to Solomon.  The truth of the passage being…

Thesis: Godly wisdom speaks to the practical as well as the extraordinary, it points to the faithfulness of God and is ultimately to the praise of His glory.

Let me point out 3 things along the way.

  1. Godly wisdom extends beyond the theological to the mundane and everyday demands of life.  (4:1-19)
  2. Godly wisdom leads to joyful stability while revealing the faithful fulfillment of God’s promises.  (4:20-28)
  3. Godly wisdom proves to be superior to all worldly wisdom and thus brings glory to God.  (4:29-34)
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Surviving the Storms

Hebrews #41: an exposition of Hebrews 13:7-16. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 8, 2015.

Intro:

Daily we are reminded that we live in difficult times.  Our culture grows increasingly hostile toward traditional, biblical faith with each passing day.  Long-held and cherished beliefs are questioned if not outright rejected.  Those who hold to orthodox Christianity are thought to be unthinking religious fundamentalist who pose a real threat to society’s well being.  If you hold that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman you are a dangerous holdover from the Dark Ages.  If you believe that salvation is to be found in Christ alone you are a hate-mongering bigot that will not be satisfied until all those who disagree with you are imprisoned or silenced.  In short you are the problem!  There are dark clouds on the horizon.  How are we to navigate these troubled waters?  How do we live out the faith in a hostile environment?  The book of Hebrews provides us some answers.  A small, struggling house church in Rome is fighting for its existence.  They are hard-pressed on every side.  Pressured from without and from within.  The biblical writer assures them they will survive.  He pleads with them to look to Christ and continue the race.  Our text this morning is found in chapter 13 beginning with verse 7.

Text: Hebrews 13:7-16

Chapter 13 is, to some degree, a laundry list of ideas.
The writer has much to say but little time to say it.
Thus they are more like bullet points.

He speaks of church ethics – our responsibilities to one another:
Chose to love unconditionally
Demonstrate hospitality
Care for those who are imprisoned or mistreated

He then speaks of personal issues:
A high view of marriage and a commitment to sexual purity
Guarding against covetousness and learning to be content
Resting in His gracious care and provision

In this morning’s text we are given some principles for weathering the storm.  From these verses we learn that…

Thesis: Surviving life’s uncertain and troubling storms demands a fixed reference, an enlightened understanding of the Gospel and a sustaining lifestyle.

There are three (3) things I want to point out from our text.

  1. Surviving the storms demands a fixed point of reference.  (13:7-8)
  2. Surviving the storms demands an enlightened understanding of the Gospel.  (13:9-14)
  3. Surviving the storms demands a sustaining lifestyle.  (13:15-16)
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Loving Christ: Marriage, Money and Mindset

Hebrews #40: an exposition of Hebrews 13:4-6. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 1, 2015.

Intro:
It seems a bit out of place.  I realize that the writer is coming to the end of his letter and he wants to get a few last things in but how does this fit in with “survival” truth?  The Hebrew church is fighting for its existence.  Hard-pressed they are on the verge of collapse.  Why this word about marriage?  Why say anything about marital relations in that context?  It would seem love of money would be down the list of concerns.  Are there not more pressing matters?  It is because the writer understood that while persecution by Rome and rejection of their families served the undermine the church the real danger is that which comes from within.  With personal moral failure comes a theological shift.  Once you’ve fallen spiritually you adjust your theology so that your failure is not as bad as you thought.  Once theological truth is compromised the integrity of the church is weakened and collapse is inevitable.  So what we find in verses 4-6 in the 13th chapter of Hebrews are not “throw away” truths.  These are not minor or insignificant matters.  This is not a random list of rules for Christian behavior.  This is about how we are to live as the people of God.  This is how we demonstrate our love for Christ and our obedience to His commands.  These things are essential to our well being as believers and our survival as the Church.  Our text this morning is found in Hebrews chapter 13 beginning with verse 4.

Text: Hebrews 13:4-6

The consistent message of the writer to this struggling congregation is, “You will survive.”
Though surrounded by pagan ritual and awash in a secular culture, you will make it.
It appeared the whole world was going in the opposite direction.
It seemed it was the little church against the world.
The message was trust God and move forward.
Look to Christ and continue the race.
A better world awaits you.

The writer address church ethics in 13:1-3.
Choose to love one another unconditionally – “Let brotherly love continue.”
Show hospitality to strangers.
Care for those who are imprisoned and are mistreated for the Gospel.

Now, in this text, he turns to personal ethics.
As we work through these verses we find that…
Thesis: Loving Christ and living for His glory demands we think biblically about core issues such as marriage, money and mindset.

Let me point out 3 things.

  1. Loving Christ and living for His glory demands a high view of marriage and a commitment to sexual purity.  (13:4)
  2. Loving Christ and living for His glory demands that we rigorously guard against covetousness while learning the secret of contentment.  (13:5)
  3. Loving Christ and living for His glory demands we rest in God’s gracious care and abundant provision.  (13:6)
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Lessons from a New King

1 Kings #03: an exposition of 1 Kings 3:1-28. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, January 25, 2015.

Intro:

His wisdom is renown.  It’s proverbial, “The wisdom of Solomon.”  He was a great king in Israel.  He reigned during the “golden age” of Israel’s dominance.  Foreign dignitaries sought him out.  World leaders praised him.  Yet he was a frail child of dust along with the rest of us.  This wise man was often very foolish.  The presence of God with us and the work of the Spirit of God in us does not mean that we always do the right or godly thing.  Yes we are image bears but sometimes that image is marred.  Some times the picture of God represented in us is distorted.  At other times we are splendid examples and accurate portrayals of God’s glory.  We are a mixed bag.  This evening I want us to learn a few lessons from a new king.  Our text is found in 1 Kings chapter 3.

Text: 1 Kings 3:1-28

David is dead.
Solomon is king.
There were some questionable things done in chapter 2.
Why didn’t David handle some of that while he was in power?
Were Solomon’s acts due to spiritual wisdom or political expediency?

Now we come to chapter 3.  There are a few introductory remarks that set the historical context.  That is followed by God’s asking the new king what gifts he would like.  Then we have an example of Solomon’s new found wisdom.  As we explore this text I want to point to three lessons we learn from the new king.

  1. Political shrewdness does not equate with spiritual prudence.  (3:1-3)
  2. When given the choice seek the good of God’s people rather than person gain.  (3:4-15)
  3. The goal of a righteous life is that others take note of God’s work in us.  (3:16-28)

Conclusion:

Was Solomon a good king?
Yes.
Was he a fallen son of Adam?
Yes.
Did he at times gloriously reveal the character of God?
Yes.
Did he at times fail miserably?
Yes.

Such is our lot as we strive toward holiness, pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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Making It Through, Together

Hebrews #39: an exposition of Hebrews 13:1-3. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, January 25, 2015.

Intro:

At times life is overwhelming.  Shakespeare said, “Sorrows seldom come as single soldiers, they come as a battalion!”  It’s seldom, if ever, one thing.  When life comes crashing down we usually say, “Well, what’s next?”  The little church in Rome was bruised and bleeding.  They had been through so much and there were dark clouds on the horizon.  No wonder they wanted to quit.  No wonder they questioned whether they had made a mistake in believing.  The inspired narrator pleads with them to continue in the faith.  He also makes it abundantly clear that they are not to go it alone!  They are not to, “Pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and do the best they can.”  They are to look to Christ.  They are to trust in the grace and power of God and they are to lean on one another.  The writer has gone to great lengths to show that Christ is better than the best that Judaism and the world has to offer.  We have a great high priest who has entered in, behind the veil into the very presence of God and He intercedes for us night and day.  We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses – men and women of faith whose lives testify to the power and grace of God.  Their example cheers us on.  In chapter 12 he reminds us we have not come to the fire and smoke of Sinai but to Mt. Zion, the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem where we find grace and forgiveness through our mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our text this morning in found in the 13th chapter of Hebrews beginning with verse 1.

Text: Hebrews 13:1-3

The consistent message throughout Hebrews is that our faith is a “communal” faith.  I’m not suggesting we go by a piece of farm land and move in together – I mean that we are part of a community.  We are a body, a family.  We are responsible to and for one another.  In the 13th chapter the writer gives a series of exhortations and concluding remarks.  It is something of a laundry list – covering a variety of subjects.  He gives moral advice related to our social life, our private life and our religious life.  The point is that our faith impacts every area of life.  We cannot compartmentalize and say well my faith impacts my family and my church but not really my professional life.  It impacts the whole of your life.

This morning I want us to focus on his admonitions found in the first three verses.
As we work our way through this text we discover that…

Thesis: Our love for Christ and our obedience to His commands is clearly seen in our treatment of others.

  1. There are 3 things I want to point out along the way.
  2. Obedience to Christ demands we chose to love one another unconditionally.  (13:1)
  3. Obedience to Christ demands we show genuine hospitality.  (13:2)
  4. Obedience to Christ demands we care for those who suffer and are mistreated because of their faith.  (13:3)

Conclusion:

This is why we need the church.  This is why you must not live this life with just you, your Bible and your personal Lord and Savior but you live this life as part of the body of Christ!

Choosing to love one another unconditionally.
Demonstrating genuine hospitality.
Caring for those who suffer and are mistreated because of their faith.

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Obedience, Justice and the Kingdom

1 Kings #02: an exposition of 1 Kings 2:1-46. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, January 18, 2015.

Intro:

It was a time of transition.  King David had reigned for a generation but now he was old and somewhat detached.  His son, Adonijah, made a play for power.  He had the backing of the religious establishment and the military but thanks to the intervention of Nathan the prophet, Adonijah’s plan was spoiled.  Solomon was established as king.  In this transition we learn something about God’s kingdom.  We learn what principles govern it and more importantly who ultimately determines all things.  Our text this evening is 1 Kings chapter 2.

Text: 1 Kings 2:1-46

As part of the “former prophets” the book of Kings (1 & 2) covers that 400 years from the beginning of Solomon’s reign to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.  It is a story filled with mystery, intrigue, power, and faith.  Throughout we witness God’s covenant faithfulness against the unfaithfulness of Israel and her kings.  Through it all the invisible hand of Providence guides the nation’s destiny.  The danger in dealing with biblical narrative is that we walk away with nothing more than a history lesson.  This is what happened back then and it has little or nothing to do with us.  Or we “spiritualize” the text and it has everything to do with us and had no meaning when it actually happened!  The goal is to understand its meaning in context and draw from what it meant then principles or truths that relate to us in our context.

As we work through the second chapter I think we come away understanding that…

Thesis: God establishes His kingdom by His own means according to His will and purpose.

In other words, God is sovereign.
History is His story.

Kings, leaders, individuals make their own choices, according to their own desires yet His hand guides all things.  Adonijah, for his own glory, sought to take the throne.  Yet his choice set in motion a series of events that eventual caused David to do what he should have done all along and Solomon (God’s choice) is declared king of Israel.
As we come to the text Solomon has been made king.
Adonijah has been granted reprieve (allowed to go down to his house; isn’t executed).

Remember the words of Solomon, “If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.”  (1 Kings 1:51)

As we explore our text I want to point out 2 truths and then draw a couple of conclusions.

  1. A shocking yet relevant truth: obedience is the means of establishing the kingdom.  (2:1-4)
  2. A troubling yet necessary principle: securing the kingdom demands the exercising of divine justice.  (2:13-46)

Conclusions:

Such a purging may seem unthinkable to us but it will happen again with the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom.  The final Davidic King will follow the same principle in establishing His kingdom:

so will it be at the close of the age.
41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.   (Matthew 13:40-43)

God establishes His kingdom by His own means according to His will and purpose.

Another conclusion that relates directly to us.

Because the kingdom of God is established by His means according to His will and purpose we are not free to do as we please within the church.  The church is governed by the Lord of the Church.

For too long, in Baptist life, we’ve focus on democratic autonomy.
Some Baptist say, “The Baptist church is the truest democracy.”
That’s not true!

We are not governed by mob rule or the rule of the majority.
We are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We are bound by the Word of God.

We are not autonomous – a law unto ourselves.
We are under the law of Christ.

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Finishing Well: Part 2

Hebrews #38: an exposition of Hebrews 12:18-29. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, January 18, 2015.

Intro:

I’m convinced there is a crisis within the Church.  We live in a time when many cry out for “relevant” preaching/teaching.  “I need something practical.  Something to help me get through the day.”  The problem is, for many, that means a sermon about “how to be happy” or “how to raise positive kids” or “how to be the best you.”  I’m not saying that none of that matters.  I’m saying the need is for something much deeper and more substantial.  The truth is when your faith is under attack and your fighting for your existence being the best you is not the most pressing concern!  Contrary to popular opinion, truth matters.  Doctrine matters.  Theology matters.  The book of Hebrews was written to a church in crisis.  They have had their property plundered.  They are being persecuted.  Their lives are being threatened.  They have been rejected by their families and what does the writer do?  He gives them doctrine!  Hebrews is very theological.  He deals with weighty matters.  Why?  Because they needed to be thoroughly grounded in the truth if they were to withstand this great testing of their faith.  This is not a game we are playing.  This is life and death.  This is about eternity.  The writer of Hebrews pleads with the struggling believers to run with endurance the race that is before them.  Push beyond the pain, the struggle, the agony – not in their own strength, not by sheer determination but by faith and by the grace of God.  Our text this morning is found in Hebrews the 12th chapter beginning with verse 18.

Text: Hebrews 12:18-29

At first glance it seems the author has changed the subject.
I’m looking for the transition – where is the sign saying, “Now for something different?”
He was talking about running the race what’s with this mountain you can’t touch?
How does this fit?

It fits because this whole section is about trusting God.
It is about resting in Him.
The writer is reminding them of who God is and why He can be trusted.

As we work our way through I want you to understand…

Thesis: Finishing well requires theological balance and practical obedience.

There are three (3) things to note in our text.

  1. Finishing well demands a firm grasp of the absolute holiness of God.  (12:18-21)
  2. Finishing well demands a thorough understanding of the wonder of God’s grace.  (12:22-24)
  3. Finishing well demands reverent, obedient worship.  (12:25-29)
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Ordered Chaos

1 Kings #01: an exposition of 1 Kings 1:1-53. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, January 11, 2015.

Intro:

Have you noticed things never seem to go according to plan?  It is difficult if not impossible to draw straight lines and connect things up.  Things seem to be heading this way but then something unplanned, unexpected changes everything.  Now things are heading over there.  Yet at the end of the day it ends exactly were it was supposed to.  It’s as if there is a master plan that orders all things.  There is a meta-narrative that drives the individual stories.  Of course that is what we mean when we say we believe in the sovereignty of God.  In the words of the 1646 London Confession of Faith (early Baptist confession):

God hath decreed in HImself, before the world was, concerning all things, whether necessary, accidental or voluntary, with all the circumstances of them, to work, dispose, and bring about all things according to the counsel of His own will, to His glory: Yet without being the author of sin, or having fellowship with any therein…

The 1689 London Baptist Confession states:

God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby God is neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty of contingency of second causes taken away but rather established…

All of this to say that when we speak of the sovereignty of God we mean that we make choices and thus are responsible for our actions and yet God guides all things and His will is accomplished.  This matters because the world often seems out of control.  The well being and future of the kingdom often seems in jeopardy yet the kingdom marches on and history is moving to God’s determined end.  Our text this evening is a wonderful example of God’s providential guidance.

Text: 1 Kings 1:1-53

The book of kings (as 1st and 2nd Kings appear in the Hebrew Scriptures) is part of what is called the “former prophets.”  The section that includes Joshua – 2 Kings.  Kings covers the years 970 down to 586 and the fall of Jerusalem.  400 years of history packed into 50,000 words.  The author or authors were very selective.

It is written within a theological framework.

And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the LORD had given all their enemies into their hands.
45 Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.   (Joshua 21:44-45)

Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.  (1 Kings 8:56)

Throughout there is an emphasis on God’s covenant faithfulness and Israel’s and Judah’s unfaithfulness.  Along with this is God’s faithfulness is preserving a people.  Fulfilling his promise to David, assuring an everlasting kingdom.

This is particularly important for our text this evening.
As we work through the first chapter of 1 Kings I want us to note…

Thesis: No matter how uncertain the day may seem or how precarious the kingdom agenda appears – God sovereignly, wisely and effectively controls all things.

There may be chaos but it is ordered chaos.
The hand of God is guiding all things.

Let’s note 4 things.

  1. Adonijah’s grab for power reminds us that God’s kingdom, in this fallen world, often passes through precarious times.  (1:1-10)
  2. In times of great trouble God sovereignly raises up leaders who stand in the gap.  (1:11-27)
  3. Deliverance from crisis demands bold and decisive action.  (1:28-40)
  4. Godly leadership demands a firm hand and a gracious heart.  (1:41-53)

Conclusion:
In this sin-cursed, chaotic world is is comforting to note that No matter how uncertain the day may seem or how precarious the kingdom agenda appears – God sovereignly, wisely and effectively controls all things.

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