The Beginning of a New Era

8/15/2021

Message Title: The Beginning of a New Era
Theme:
Reruns & Glory Days
Season: Ordinary Days
Main Text:
1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20
RCL Scripture: 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14 or Proverbs 9:1-6 Psalm 111 or Psalm 34:9-14 Ephesians 5:15-20 John 6:51-58
Focus: David dies and Solomon inherits the monarchy.
Function: To acknowledge the faith legacy we inherit while acting with wisdom and discernment.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 5:15-20 15 So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. 16 Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times. 17 Because of this, don’t be ignorant, but understand the Lord’s will. 18 Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: 19 speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; 20 always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 

RERUNS:

  1. Family Tree—Where did your family come from? How far back can you go in your family history?
  2. My Ancestry: Ancestry.com and 23&Me
    1. Based on my DNA results, my immediate settled in the south and the northern part of new England in the 1700’s. This fits what I know from both of my parent’s. My father’s side would be the south, mother’s side- new England.
    2. If you go back a few more generations, you will quickly learn that I’m 99.5 % European. I’m sure you couldn’t tell  that by looking at me—right? 😀
    3. However, 23 & me offers an additional piece of information. This is called the Maternal Haplogroup. Every person’s DNA can be traced back to a specific maternal line from Africa.
    4. That’s right, all DNA timelines point back to Africa if you go back far enough. All humans are related if you go back far enough.
    5. So this 99.5% European *COULD* trace her ancestors far enough, to find family lines in Africa. Unfortunately, that kind of data doesn’t exist after a few generations. Tracing your ancestry through historical records is very difficult.
  3. Has anyone else taken the ancestry DNA tests?

TRANSITION: Seeing my family’s legacy present in my DNA was really cool. The science behind DNA ancestry is not exact—and I regularly get emails updating my results because they got new data. Example: Some days I have Ashkenazi Jewish or Polish and some days I don’t.

The oral traditions of family history ring more true to most of us than these DNA results. I know stories from both sides of my family and their struggles as immigrants in America. I carry those stories with me.

Today we will see Solomon carry the story of his father with him as he assumes the throne. What will Solomon’s legacy be?

MAIN TEXT: 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14 2: 10 Then David lay down with his ancestors and was buried in David’s City. 11 He ruled over Israel forty years—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his royal power was well established. … 3:3 Now Solomon loved the Lord by walking in the laws of his father David, with the exception that he also sacrificed and burned incense at the shrines. The king went to the great shrine at Gibeon in order to sacrifice there. He used to offer a thousand entirely burned offerings on that altar. The Lord appeared to Solomon at Gibeon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask whatever you wish, and I’ll give it to you.” Solomon responded, “You showed so much kindness to your servant my father David when he walked before you in truth, righteousness, and with a heart true to you. You’ve kept this great loyalty and kindness for him and have now given him a son to sit on his throne. And now, Lord my God, you have made me, your servant, king in my father David’s place. But I’m young and inexperienced. I know next to nothing. But I’m here, your servant, in the middle of the people you have chosen, a large population that can’t be numbered or counted due to its vast size. Please give your servant a discerning mind in order to govern your people and to distinguish good from evil, because no one is able to govern this important people of yours without your help.”10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had made this request. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked for this instead of requesting long life, wealth, or victory over your enemies—asking for discernment so as to acquire good judgment— 12 I will now do just what you said. Look, I hereby give you a wise and understanding mind. There has been no one like you before now, nor will there be anyone like you afterward. 13 I now also give you what you didn’t ask for: wealth and fame. There won’t be a king like you as long as you live. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my laws and commands, just as your father David did, then I will give you a very long life.”

EXPLAINATION: David dies and Solomon inherits the monarchy.

  1. David dies. Solomon inherits the throne.
  2. God speaks to Solomon, just as he spoke to David at the beginning of his reign.
  3. Solomon asks for wisdom (a discerning mind).
  4. God grants him wisdom and blesses him with wealth and fame because he only asked for wisdom.
  5. God promises Solomon a long life if Solomon is faithful to God’s commands.

INTERPRETATION: David dies and Solomon inherits the monarchy.

  1. Solomon is the king to follow the legacy of King David.
    1. David’s rule will be forever seen as “the good ole days” to Jews.
    2. Let’s get back to the good ole days means getting back to the rule of David.
    3. As we have spent time studying the rule of David, we see that his reign was not all rainbows and butterflies. There was extensive darkness and wrong doings in David’s reign.
  2. “The Good Ole Days” aren’t painting history with truth. David and Solomon were both imperfect men that God chose to love and guide.
  3. Both Solomon and David have positive legacies, though their stories are not filled with only positive accounts. Solomon’s wisdom and David’s faithfulness to God have echoed through the generations. The other stories seem to slip through the cracks.
    1. A full picture of these men helps to illuminate scripture and our own place in God’s family.

APPLICATION: To acknowledge the faith legacy we inherit while acting with wisdom and discernment.

  1. We talked about family heritage earlier, but can you remember your faith family tree?
  2. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: Can you remember the person who first told you about Jesus?
  3. As you consider your own faith development, I want us to think about the legacy we carry with us and how that impacts the faith we develop and pass on.
    1. AUDIENCE REFLECTION: I’m going to ask two separate questions and I invite you to write—be genuine—not what you think is the *right* answer, but what is the *true* answer. I won’t make you share these out loud.
      1. What is your motivation to follow God?
      2. Why are you here at church on a Sunday morning?
      3. These may seem like odd questions but our faith family tree can carry with it hidden baggage that God never expected us to carry. This isn’t to discredit those who gave you faith, but a chance to remember—like David and Solomon—our loved ones can be flawed, even if their faith is pure.
        1. Because your grandma told you to?
        2. Because of the words of Jesus?
        3. Because you’re curious?
        4. Because it’s what good Americans do?
        5. Because it’s the entrance to eternal life or your way to avoid hell? (fire insurance)
  4. AMERCIAN HERITAGE: If I zoom out from our personal history and look at American faith history, we learn quickly that the story is muddled. Thousands of people immigrated to the United States at different points in American history with unique reasons.
    1. Example:
      1. Over 100 years later in Virginia, Thomas Jefferson tried to pass laws about religious liberty but they got shut down. The Virginia Colony was founded quite opposite from Rhode Island.
        1. Virginia was a Church-State. In order to pay your state taxes, you had to attend the state-church. If you missed all Sundays in one month, you could be put in jail or fined. You were legally required to attend church. AND families paid for their pew. Your name was on your pew.
          1. If you want to learn more about this—go to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. They have a living history museum and you can tour the village and learn about life in the colony.
      2. TRANSITION SENTECNE: In the 1630’s Roger Williams was in Massachusetts and was kicked out because of his conflict with the Church-state. He then was part of the foundation of Rhode Island, which did not form a Church-state. He believed in the “liberty of conscience” – or the freedom to follow your conscience to practice your faith. He did not believe the government should decree a specific faith for citizens to follow.
    1. Some settlers came to the Americas looking for religious freedom. Others came as an extension of what they knew.
  5. BAPTIST HERITAGE: Roger Williams was one of the Baptist fathers in America. The teachings of “liberty of conscience” is now a major Baptist tenant.
    1. Soul Competency—each mind has the ability to choose God from their own conclusions. No one should be forced to practice or believe anything because God made us with a free thinking mind. God didn’t restrict the mind, why should governments?
  6. Though we inherit our faith from those who have gone before us, the story is ours to carry on. Our actions, our faith, our relationship with God are what fill in the following chapters.
    1. Disclaimer: Our actions don’t earn us brownie points with God.
      1. We are saved by grace through faith, not of our selves
    2. But we write the next chapters.

CONCLUSION: How will you carry on the legacy you inherited? What chapters will you add to the faith family tree? Your actions are your own—how will you claim ownership of your faith walk with God?

  1. Sources:
    1. https://www.history.com/topics/reformation/roger-williams
    2. https://www.history.com/topics/united-states-constitution/freedom-of-religion
    3. https://www.dummies.com/education/history/american-history/3-colonies-that-supported-religious-freedom-dissidents-catholics-and-quakers/
  2. Other great books:
    1. Baptists through the centuries by David W. Bebbington
    2. The New Hiscox Guide for Baptist Churches by Evrette C. Goodwin
    3. Inventing A Christian America by Steven K. Green
    4. Endowed by Our Creator by Michael I Meyerson
    5. American Exceptionalism & Civil Religion by John D. Wilsey
    6. Migrations of the Holy by William T. Cavanaugh

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