1 Kings 3-5

 Blessings, Trials, and Temptations

 Shortly after Solomon becomes king we read that he is following the ways of the world by making a marriage alliance with Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He will do this many more times as we shall read.

Then he offers a huge sacrifice at the great high place in Gibeon. The high places were where the nations of Canaan worshiped their idols and committed immorality. Since the tabernacle had been removed from Shiloh, or likely destroyed, there was really no place to go and worship the Lord other than the high places or altars that Abraham and Jacob had made.

 God honored Solomon’s sacrifice and petition for wisdom and also blessed him with riches and honor as well, but it is not long before the wealth, honor, and wives, begin to lead him away from God into the ways of the world.

 God’s blessing to Solomon and the nation is quickly becoming a trial that will prove where their faith really is. We are told that Solomon loved the Lord, but we are also told in Chapter 11 that he loved many foreign women.

So, was God tempting Solomon when he blessed him? James says no! In James 1:13-15 he says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; For God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” NASB

The blessings of the Lord are not temptations from the Lord. They can become temptations to us because of our sin nature. The Apostle Paul lists the deeds of the sin nature or flesh in Galatians 5:19-21.  These deeds result from our attempt to fulfill the desires of the flesh. There is a hunger within each of us like an emptiness that demands to be filled. As we attempt to fill that hole we quickly find that the hole is a bottomless pit. The solution most of us come up with is to fill it with more and more and more deeds of the flesh.

The Apostle John says that what overcomes this emptiness that we think can be satisfied by the things of the world, is our faith. Solomon started out well. He loved God but little by little he put his faith in wives, wealth, horses, gardens, his wisdom, and his power. He may have loved the Lord but he was feeding on the things of the world and they ultimately corrupted him.

To have any hope of overcoming the world we must be born again. When we are born again by putting our faith in Christ Jesus we are given the Holy Spirit to be with us and in us. Back in Galatians, Paul tells us to walk by the Spirit and let Him fill that empty hole in our life with God. Paul lists the evidence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer in Galatians 5:22. Galatians 5 is our homework for today along with James 1.

 God wants to bless His Children but don’t be surprised if His blessing to you becomes a trial. The trial is meant to show us if we are living by faith in God or faith in our fleshly desires. Trials also develop godly character as James describes in James 1:2&3. (Further study on godly character can be found in Romans 5 and 1 Peter)

 Let God’s blessings to you be met with godly character empowered by the Holy Spirit, and enjoy his blessing!

Pastor Dave