Intro. New Years is a time for, among other things, resolutions. A resolution is a formal statement of a purpose or intent. God made a resolution to Solomon, at the time that he was building the temple.
I. "I WILL DWELL AMONG THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL."
A. It seems that it has always been the desire of God to dwell with His people.
1. In the beginning when Adam was in the Garden of Eden, we read that God came down in the cool of the day to commune with Adam.
2. Adam hid himself from the presence of God.
a. He sought to avoid God because of his sin.
b. God called, "Adam, where are you?"
3. It was sin that broke that communion with God.
B. Back in Leviticus God said:
And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people.
C. God told them that they were to keep the camp clean "For the Lord your God walks in the midst of the camp."
D. As God spoke to Israel about the enemies they would be facing, He said: DEU 7:21
You shall not be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God [is] among you, a mighty God and awesome.
E. The Prophets spoke of a day that God would come and dwell with man.
1. For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called, Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.
2. A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel which means, "God with us."
F. Verses that always bring me to a hushed awe when I consider them are in John 1
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God, All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made,---and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
G. There is one more even greater promise that Jesus made to the disciples, "And I will pray to the Father and He shall give to you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth Whom the world cannot receive for they see Him not, but you see Him for he dwells with you and shall be in you."
1. This is more than God just dwelling with us, here is the promise that He will dwell in us.
II. "AND I WILL NOT FORSAKE MY PEOPLE ISRAEL."
A. God made a promise to King Asa as he was coming home from his victory over the Ethiopians.
1. The LORD [is] with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
2. The LORD made a promise to Jacob:
And, behold, I [am] with you, and will keep you where ever you go, and I will bring you again into this land; for I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken to you of.
3. Moses encouraged the people DEU 33:27
saying "The eternal God [is thy] refuge, and underneath [are] the everlasting arms: and He shall thrust out the enemy from before you."
4. Moses encouraged Joshua saying: JOS 1:9
Have not I commanded you to be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed: for the LORD you God [is] with you where ever you go.
5. When the king of Assyria had set siege against the city of Jerusalem Hezekiah gathered the people and spoke to them these words of comfort. 2CH 32:7
Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed of the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there are more with us than are with him: With him is the arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles.
5. This sounds like John who said, "Greater is He that is with us, than He that is in the world."
6. Or as Paul said, "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
B. With all of the uncertainties in the world today, how can we possibly enter 2002 with confidence and assurance?
1. By laying hold of these promises.
a. The Lord is with you.
b. He promised to keep you where ever you go.
c. He is your refuge, underneath are His everlasting arms.
d. He that is for us is greater than he who is against us.
2. God said: Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will hold you up with the right hand of my righteousness.
3. This is what God has resolved to do for you.
III. THESE WONDERFUL RESOLVES THAT GOD DECLARED TO SOLOMON WERE CONDITIONAL.
A. If you will walk in My statutes.
B. Execute My judgments.
C. Keep all My commandments.
D. In the New Testament Jesus condensed all of the law, statutes, judgments, and commandments into just two.
1. You shall love the Lord Thy God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
3. He said, "In these two are all the law and the prophets."
E. Paul in like manner said basically the same thing.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.
1. Let me read you a definition of this word love as it is used in the New Testament.
Love is longsuffering and kind; love does not envy; love does not vaunt itself, and is not puffed up. It is not haughty, selfish or demands it's own way. Love doesn't get provoked and does not think evil. It does not rejoice in iniquity, but does rejoice in truth. Love bears all things. Believes all things, and hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.
2. If we will just walk in love, then we can have the assurance of God's presence and help in the coming year.
IV. A SAD POSTSCRIPT TO THIS STORY.
A. We read in chapter 11:
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, [that] his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as [was] the heart of David his father.
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as [did] David his father.
Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that [is] before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
B. We see the blessings God wanted to bestow upon him but because he did not keep the statutes of the Lord, we see the kingdom torn from him.
C. God wants to do so much for you, but often He can't, because you are not in the place where God can bless you.
1. You have allowed bitterness to poison the waters.
2. You have become jealous or envious of others.
3. Hatred has filled your mind.
D. God wants to dwell with His people, but He will not stay in an environment of bitterness.
1. Jesus said to the wonderful working church of Ephesus, with all of the good things you have going for you, you have left your first love, remember from whence you have fallen and repent, and do your first works over, or I am leaving.