Guard Against Distractions
1 Kings 9:15-19, 25, 10:4-7, 14-15, 22
LifeWay's Explore the Book Lesson for March 30, 2003
NASU Bible is used in this Outline.
15 Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the LORD, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife. 17 So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon 18 and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19 and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule.

25 Now three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built to the LORD, burning incense with them on the altar which was before the LORD. So he finished the house.

1 Kings 10:4-7
4 When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built,
5 the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her. 6 Then she said to the king, "It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. 7 "Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard.

1 Kings 10:14-15
14 Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold,
15 besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country.

1 Kings 10:22
22 For the king had at sea the ships of Tarshish with the ships of Hiram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks. NASU
 

We live in a day of multiple distractions.   How can we guard against these?  Jesus said “. . . seek first the kingdom  . . . ”(Matt 6:33)   If He is first we will be able to guard our spiritual life.

1.    Guard Against Distractions with . . Worship. 1 Kings 9:25
        Now three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the
altar which he built to the LORD, burning incense with them on the altar which was before the LORD. So he finished the house. NASU

A.    Notice the . . Consistency of Worship. v 25 a
        "Now three times in a year. . . "

B.    Notice the . . Content of Worship. v 25
        ". . . Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the
altar which he built to the LORD, burning incense with them on the altar which was before the LORD. So he finished the house."

Let us take this verse first as we see Solomon’s worship caused him to avoid worldly distractions.
At this time he worshiped faithfully, and correctly.   We can also note the consistency and, content
of Worship.    God gave him strength to guard against that which would take him away from worship.  When you have to be away, do you miss the worship service?   I do, as meaningful worship serves
as a guard.
 
 

2.    Guard Against the Distractions from Work. 1 Kings 9:15-19, 25 NASB
        15 Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the LORD, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife. 17 So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon 18 and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19 and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule. NASU

A.    Distractions from . . Man Power. v 15 a
        "Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied. . . "
Did the king have labor problems?  Would that give him sleepless nights and tend to distract him from time with the Lord?   Many people in the work force today have great concerns about their job.  Some never seek the Lord’s guidance.

B. Distractions from . . Manufacturing Projects. v 15 b - 19

". . . to build the house of the LORD, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem,
Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife. 17 So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon 18 and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19 and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule. NASU

        1.    He Built the Temple.

Solomon was a very busy man as we see the work of many building projects.   It is good to note the building of the temple came first.  Is God concerned about His house?   Look at this passage  from Hag. 1:9 NIV, “. . . my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.”  The fact that Solomon began with the house of God gives an indication of his devotion.

        2. He Built His Home.

Solomon also built a house fit for the king and his queens.  How much input did the ladies have?  We don’t know but I would think they expressed their opinions.    

        3. He Had the Walls of the City Built

He then built the walls of the city for the people’s protection.  You could say it was part of their homeland security.   At this time we identify with the need for homeland security.  Solomon also strengthened the cities.

Illustration
While attending seminary, I went by the office of a very prominent minister to ask him to help me find a pastorate. I had to wait to see him because he blocked out time for his personal devotion. In the midst of his work he scheduled time with God. We likewise must give God priority.
 
 

3.    Guard Against the Distractions from Winsomeness. 1 Kings 10:4-7
 
A.    Winsomeness through . . Abundance. v 4-5
        4 When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had
built, 5 the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his waiters and their attire,
his cupbearers, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the LORD, there was no more
spirit in her.
 

B.    Winsomeness through . . Appeal. v 6-7
        6 Then she said to the king, "It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. 7 "Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it.
And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard.

Solomon attracted people to his city.  The Queen of Sheba came to see his wisdom, and works for herself (was she a Missourian?)  She was greatly impressed.  Solomon’s work, wisdom and countenance won her.  Jesus calls attention to her.  (Matt. 12:42)    Did flattery cause any temptation for Solomon?   It could for many by causing pride rather than humility.    If you have a winsome personality use it for the glory of God.
 
 

4.    Guard Against the Distractions from Wealth. v 14-15
 
A.    Wealth . . Annually. v 14
        Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold,. . . "

B.    Wealth . . Abundant. v 15
        "besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country. NASU

Some estimate the wealth from gold spoken of here as a quarter of a billion dollars.  Wealth has distracted many people, both rich and poor.   I like the statement “there’s nothing wrong with having wealth, but if it has you, that is a problem.”  The God of all wealth deserves our devotion.
 
 

5.    Guard Against the Distractions from Worth. 1 Kings 10:22

A.    Worth from . . Influence. v 22 a
        For the king had at sea the ships of Tarshish with the ships of Hiram; once every three
years the ships of Tarshish came . . . "

B.    Worth from . . Inventory. v 22 b
        ". . . bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.

The text says: ships came every three years bringing more wealth and financial worth.   People probably came to Solomon all day long wanting special favors.    At this time the king did not seem to equate wealth with worth.   Some today evaluate people’s value by their financial worth.   The older I get the more I consider worth in spiritual terms.  Let’s seek Him first!    Amen?  Amen!

James McCullen