Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 11:9–12:33, Mark 7:14–8:10, Prov 3:6–12
Today’s Theme: Our Biggest Problem
Today’s theme points to our biggest problem, which is the self deception, pride and evil of our own hearts. We should listen to our elders, walk in honesty and work hard, not live in the pride and the selfishness of the human heart.
God doesn’t want us to be religious about superficial things like food. He wants us to live before Him in joy and holiness as He brings us true satisfaction through the new nature (heart) He gives us by the Holy Spirit.
1 Kings 11:9–12:33
Don’t turn from the Lord
And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice (1 Kings 11:9, ESV)
If we turn away from the Lord in our hearts, He will be angry with us, and justly so because He deserves our worship.
Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. (1 Kings 11:11, ESV)
The split kingdom was a judgement from God. We should remember this when we consider the splitting and forming of nations.
Jerusalem a special place
However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.” (1 Kings 11:13, ESV)
Jerusalem is a very special place it is called the city that God chose. Places matter.
Don’t forsake the Lord
because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and they have not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my rules, as David his father did. (1 Kings 11:33, ESV)
We will suffer loss and punishment if we forsake the Lord.
God keeps covenant
Yet to his son I will give one tribe, that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name. (1 Kings 11:36, ESV)
God would not forsake His covenant with David, it was an important one connected to Jesus Himself.
A conditional promise
And if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. (1 Kings 11:38, ESV)
Another conditional promise, it was Jeroboam’s for the taking. Live a life that meets the conditions.
And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.” (1 Kings 12:7, ESV)
These older men knew that the best way to win the hearts of men is to serve them well.
Don’t throw away the wisdom of your elders
But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. (1 Kings 12:8, ESV)
It is as if he considered it and then threw it away.
Lord help us to listen to the wisdom of our elders and not our peers.
The Sovereignty of God
So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. (1 Kings 12:15, ESV)
God was sovereignly and providentially at work.
‘Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives the people of Israel. Every man return to his home, for this thing is from me.’ ” So they listened to the word of the Lord and went home again, according to the word of the Lord. (1 Kings 12:24, ESV)
The divided kingdom was in God’s plan, we should not fight against what God has ordained.
So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” (1 Kings 12:28, ESV)
The spiritual death and destruction wrought by ungodly pragmatism.
Dangerous false ministers
He also made temples on high places and appointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites. (1 Kings 12:31, ESV)
The danger of false ministry and false ministers.
He went up to the altar that he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised from his own heart. And he instituted a feast for the people of Israel and went up to the altar to make offerings. (1 Kings 12:33, ESV)
He literally made this date up as a holy day. This is the way of all world religions with their holy days and festivals.
It’s not about food
There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” (Mark 7:15, ESV)
Our words and actions coming from our own hearts defile us before God. It’s not the food we eat or don’t eat, that was just a sign and good healthy eating.
All food is permissible
since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) (Mark 7:19, ESV)
Yes we can eat pork and shellfish now, that doesn’t necessarily make them the healthiest options though!
Our biggest problem
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:21–23, ESV)
This is mans biggest problem, not demons, but the evil of his own heart.
Testing your humility
And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” (Mark 7:29, ESV)
I believe Jesus calling her a dog was a test of her humility which she passed. What insults or slights come your way which are really a test of your humility and meekness.
Jesus is Awesome
And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” (Mark 7:37, ESV)
Jesus is AWESOME!! There has never been and will never be anyone quite like Him.
The Church is loved
“I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. (Mark 8:2, ESV)
Jesus loves the church, there is a lot of talk against the church today but Jesus loves the church and died for the church (all those who would trust and believe in Jesus for salvation).
And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. (Mark 8:8, ESV)
Jesus seeks to satisfy His people. You can find ultimate satisfaction in Jesus.
Always acknowledge God
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:6, ESV)
We need to acknowledge God in everything, even simple things like eating, driving or catching a train.
Turn from evil
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. (Proverbs 3:7, ESV)
Lord please keep us form this self deception.
Every man is responsible for turning away from evil.
The healthy life
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:8, ESV)
Fearing God and walking in repentance will literally make you healthier. It makes sense because you will not indulge in sins that rot the bones and the mind.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; (Proverbs 3:9, ESV)
All our money belongs to the Lord. We must honour Him with offerings and gifts as well as good stewardship and investment.
Don’t be weary of correction
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:12, ESV)
We must not be weary of correction we need it to grow and be safe, God reproves us in love.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 7