1 Kings 11 … Consider Him Who Overshadows the Failings of Man

“However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen,” (11:13).

Although I’ve read this account many times, it always hits me as though I have never before encountered the demise of Solomon recorded in 1 Kings. I get sad and mad and confused. And I confess I still don’t understand.

This morning I journaled as I sought to see the Lord, so desperate to see Him Increase that man would decrease. But the downward spiral of Solomon’s life in his later years, when age should have heightened his wisdom, still baffles me, and yes even angers me a bit. He knew better, his writings in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes clearly displayed his knowledge. In the words of Charlie Brown, “Argh!!!”

And I journaled, “This morning made me sad. I just can’t understand how Solomon – after You appeared to him twice to expressly warn him; after all the wisdom penned in Proverbs; how did he turn away from You? And I so want my focus on You. Oh, increase Father, in this chapter I pray, overshadow the failings of man.” And then it hit me, He did, He does, and He will!

Consider Him Who Overshadows the Failings of Man

  • He Overshadows the Failings of Man in His compassion to warn His People.
    • “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods,” (11:2).
  • He Overshadows the Failings of Man in His faithfulness to keep His Promises.
    •  So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son,” (11:11-13).
  • He Overshadows the Failings of Man in His Sovereignty to fulfill His Plan.
    • “However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen,” (11:13).

King Solomon’s story wasn’t new. It began in the garden, with those who walked, and communed with God…

  • He compassionately warned His People:
    • The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die,” (Genesis 2:16-17).
  • He faithfully declared His Promise:
    • And I will put enmity
      Between you and the woman,
      And between your seed and her seed;
      He shall bruise you on the head,
      And you shall bruise him on the heel,”
      (Genesis 3:15).
  • And He ultimately and sovereignly fulfilled His Plan.
    • But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons, (Galatians 4:4-5).

How do we respond to Him Who Overshadows the Failings of Man?

When we place our faith in His Son, though we are His redeemed, adopted children, we still fail. How are we to respond to Him Who Overshadows the Failings of Man? What must we do?

  • We must heed His warnings to His People.
    • “Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them,” (Deuteronomy 11:16).
    • Little children, guard yourselves from idols, (1 John 5:21).
  • We must trust He is faithful to His Promises.
    • And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
      For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You,
      (Psalm 9:10).
    • Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, (Romans 15:13).
  • We must believe He will sovereignly fulfill His Plan.
    • “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11).
    • And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified, (Romans 8:28-30).

And perhaps, at times, it is our very failings He employs to Overshadow our own efforts, that He alone is exalted in all we are and do.

Consider the following, compiled by Miles J. Stanford in The Complete Green Letters (Part One Principles of Spiritual Growth, Chapter 5, Preparation).

     In preparation, there is a tearing down before there can be a building up. “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up” (Hos. 6:1). This applies to both growth and service.

     J. C. Metcalfe faithfully writes: “It is more than comforting to realize that it is those  who have plumbed the depths of failure to whom God invariably gives the call to shepherd others. This is not a call given to the gifted, the highly trained, or the polished as such.

     “Without a bitter experience of their own inadequacy and poverty they are quite unfitted to bear the burden of spiritual ministry. It takes a man who has discovered something of the measures of his own weakness to be patient with the foibles of others. Such a man also has a first-hand knowledge of the loving care of the Chief Shepherd, and His ability to heal one who has come humbly to trust in Him and Him alone. Therefore he does not easily despair of others, but looks beyond sinfulness, willfulness, and stupidity, to the might of unchanging love. The Lord Jesus does not give the charge, ‘Be a shepherd to My lambs … to My sheep,’ on hearing Peter’s self-confident affirmation of undying loyalty, but He gives it after he has utterly failed to keep his vows and has wept bitterly in the streets of Jerusalem.”

May He Overshadow Our Failings, and our successes. And may He grow us, so that everything we are and do, will bring Him all praise and honor and glory.

Let’s Grow Together!

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