Solomon - 1 Kings 11:1-10

This is a family service talk by Malcolm Peters from the Riverside Church service on 6th May 2007.

Click here to read the bible passage. Click here to use larger text.

Activity/ Puppet Sketch

 

Me:  OK, if youíd like to take a seat. 
            [looking at Daisy]  Youíre looking a bit sad, whatís the matter?

Daisy:   So would you be!

Me:  So would I be if what?

Daisy:  Had them taken off you. 

Me:  Had what taken off you?

Daisy:  My new heelies! 
 

Me:   Your new what?

Daisy:   My new heelies.  You know, those trainer things with wheels on the heels.  Thatís why theyíre called heelies. 

Me:    Right!

Daisy:    Canít believe youíve not heard of them.  Youíre so out of it!

Me:  Thanks!

Daisy:  [getting excited]  Theyíre so cool.  Iíd been asking mum and dad for a pair for months. 

Me:   But let me guess, they said wait until your birthday or something.

Daisy:    How did you know?  [mini-pause]  But then I found a website doing a special deal.

Me:   Donít tell me:  www.heelies R us .co.uk

Daisy:  .com actually.    And so dad agreed to get them for me when Iíd got onto stage 6 with my reading books at school. 

Me:    Sounds great.

Daisy:  [back to being sad]  It was.   

Me:  So what happened?  Did someone nick them?

 

Daisy:  Well sort of.

Me:   Oh thatís really bad isnít it boys and girls.  [Daisy looking down]  Letís have a big Ahhhhhh for Daisy!
            So did you get them back?

Daisy:     Not yet.

Me:    So you know whoís got them then?

Daisy:    Yep.

Me:  Good Ė so you can go and get them back then.

Daisy:  Not yet?

 

Me:   What do you mean not yet?  I thought they were so cool.

Daisy:    they are.  [pause]  Well it wasnít my fault. 

Me:  What wasnít your fault? 

Daisy:    Dad taking them off me.  

Me:  Your dadís got them. 

Daisy:   Yep.   

Me:    You mean heís confiscated them?

Daisy:  Yep.

Me:  As a punishment for something youíd done?

Daisy: Well it wasnít my idea!

Me:   What wasnít your idea?

Daisy:  having a heelie race.

Me:  Sounds like great fun.  Whatís wrong with that?

Daisy:  Well my friend HannahÖ.

Me:  Your friend HannahÖ

Daisy:  Well Hannah said why donít we have a heelie race across Beverley Road and back.

Me:  No way!

Daisy:   Well I did win!

Me:    Thatís not the point.  You could have been killed.  [Pause] Was Hannah alright? 

Daisy:  Well she had a strop because Iíd won. 

Me:  No I mean was she hurt?

Daisy:  Oh no!    [mini pause]  Well until she got home, and then her mum started shouting at her, so she probably had a bit of an ear ache.

Me:    Daisy, donít you understand what youíve done?

Daisy:   I do now, because we had one of those chats when dad got home.

Me:  One of those chats????

Daisy:  Yeah, you know, one of those chats where dad sits me down and reminds me about the rules.

Me:  Rules like the Green Cross Code.

 

Daisy:    Thatís the one.  Rules like never cross a main road without an adult.   

Me:  And did he explain why we have those kinds of rules?

Daisy:  Yes.  The rules are there to keep me safe. 

Me:  Thatís right.  Mums and dads arenít meanies.  They provide for us, they sometimes give us treats like heelies; and they make up rules to keep us safe and healthy.

Daisy:  [sadly]   I know.

Me:  And what happens if you break the rules?

Daisy:  We get punished.

Me:  By having treats taken away; treats like your heelies. 

Daisy:  [v sad] Yeah.

Me:  So your dadís punishment, taking away your heelies, itís actually kind isnít it.  

Daisy:  What do you mean?

Me:    Well are you going to have another heelie race across Beverly Road.

Daisy:  No.  

Me:  Exactly; being punished when we break the rules makes us take the rules more seriously doesnít it?

Daisy:  I suppose so yes.

Me:  So your dad was really being kind to you.  By punishing your disobedience, he was making you realise just how bad youíd been when you broke the rules.

Daisy:  I suppose so, yes.

 

 

Talk integrated with continuing Puppet Sketch

 Me:  And thatís sort of whatís going on in this monthís Bible story.

Daisy:  the story of Solomon.

Me:  thatís right.  Last time we saw how good King David had ruled over God's people in God's special land. And just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God had given his people some rules for living in his special land.

Daisy:  Just like my dadís rules you mean. 

Me:  Well sort of yes.    Your dadís rules are to keep you safe and happy.  And itís the same with God.  Godís rules are for the benefit of His people.  In fact there were ten main rules for Godís people.   10 rules sometimes called the 10 commandments.    I wonder of anyone can remember any of them?

Daisy:   [with hand up]    I know, me, me, me.

Me: Well I think youíve done quite a bit of the talking this morning.  Can anyone else remember any of the 10 commandments?    [engage]

 

NB Me again!!!!     Thatís right the 10 commandments and they included rules like ďDonít tell lies to each other.Ē And ďDonít kill each other.Ē But the first rule was the most important. The first rule was very simple. And it said:  YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.

Daisy:  So whatís that mean then?

Me:  well thatís a good question.  Who can tell me what that might mean? [Engage]

Abrahamís family, the nation of Israel, they were Godís people.  The God of the Bible that is.  But the other nations around them had other gods.  Gods which the Bible calls idols.  Gods made out of wood or stone or precious metals like gold.  And these other people prayed to gods theyíd made out of wood, stone and precious metals.   Made-up gods which werenít really gods at all. 

Daisy:  Praying to a block of wood.  Thatís a bit silly. 

Me:  well exactly.  But itís also very serious.  Because the God of the Bibleís very jealous;  very jealous about his people.   

Daisy:    I thought jealousy was bad?

Me:  Well it can be.  But remember your friend Hannah. 

Daisy:  Yeah.

Me:  Well remember a couple of months ago, you told us about when Hannah had invited you round for tea. 

Daisy:  And to watch Tracy Beaker. 

Me: thatís right.  But then she said that only Chloe was going round now, because Chloe was her new best friend. 

Daisy:  How could I forget.   

Me:    And so in that case, it was right to be a bit jealous of Chloe.  Because Hannah broke her promise.  Sheíd broken her promise to you, and invited Chloe round instead.

And itís the same with God.  God really loves His people;  and so Heís jealous if they run after other gods, even if those other gods arenít real.  Even though those other false gods hadn't made the world.  And according to the story of the Bible, following the wrong god was a terribly big mistake. In fact, itís the worst mistake Godís people could make. So God warned them with his very first rule. DON'T HAVE ANY OTHER GODS.

Daisy:  no other gods.  Iíve got it.

Me:  Good.   And weíve already seem that King David was a good king. He made some  mistakes, but in the end he always said sorry to God, and turned back to doing things God's way.  But then King David got old and died. And his son SOLOMON became king instead.

Daisy:  We know a song about that donít we?  [in singing voice]
Davidís son was Solomon.

Me:  We do.    And when he became King, Solomon asked God to give him wisdom [Solomon praying picture on screen].  And God said yes:  Iíll make you wise.  And just as God had promised, Solomon built a home to call Godís own [Solomonís temple on screen].  He built Godís temple.   [picture of Solomon praising God] 

NB Still me:   And to begin with, Solomon praised and worshiped the One true God.  The God of the Bible.  And because he was wise, his kingdom did well.  His palace was full of gold and jewels. He had a great big throne made of ivory and gold. Solomon was wise and powerful. [picture of Solomon on throne giving advice]  So wise and powerful that people used to come to him for advice.  Can anyone think of a queen that came to visit Solomon?  [EngageóSheba]

 

Daisy:   Thatís amazing. 

Me:  It was.  But Solomon began to make a very big mistake.  Can anyone remember what it was from our reading? 

Daisy:  Sorry, think I must have missed that bit.

Me:  who can remember from the reading how many wives Solomon had?   [engage]

Thatís right, instead of just having ONE WIFE, Solomon decided to have lots of wives which God said was a no no. But the biggest mistake was that his wives didn't worship the One true God;  the God of the Bible that is.  They worshipped made up gods insteadó they prayed to statues made of wood and stone and precious metals.

Daisy:  Silly billies!

Me:  Exactly, but what was worse is that Solomon didnít stop them.  And even worse than that, he eventually he joined in with them. 

Daisy:  No way!  You mean he deliberately disobeyed Godís rule about no other Gods?

Me:    He did.  And so Solomon started offering sacrifices to the statues instead of God. [Solomon bowing to Dagon statue picture on screen]  He even built special altars and buildings so other people could join in too.  King Solomon had made a terrible mistake. He was breaking that first and most important rule God had given His people.   

Daisy:  You shall have no other God before me.

Me:  And thatís what weíve got in this monthís banner.  [Solomon banner on screen]

Here weíve got Solomon worshipping his wooden idol;  heís saying no thanks to God.  I want to be the boss of my own life thank you very much.  And thatís why thereís a cross through Godís crown in the picture.

Daisy:  So was God a bit cross then, like my dad?

Me:  Not just a bit.  God was very, very angry.  Solomon was doing exactly what God had said not to do, just like Adam and Eve did in the garden.   Who can remember what happened to Adam and Eve when disobeyed God. [Engageó They were sent out of Godís special place: the garden]

And itís the same with Solomon.  Listen to these words at the end of that passage we had read to us earlier: 

ďSolomon did not keep the Lord's command.  So the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.Ē

Daisy:  Soís that what happened then?

Me:  Well God always keeps his promises remember.  His promises to bless and his promises to judge.  Because of what Solomon did, God promised Solomon:  ďbecause you wouldn't obey me, I'm going to take your Kingdom away." And thatís exactly what happened.  Later in the story of the whole Bible, God took the kingdom away from Solomon and gave it to other kings. 

Daisy:  Thatís bad.

Me:  no thatís good.  Because punishment, remember, teaches us about how stupid it is to break Godís rules.  Rules for our good, remember.   So Godís punishment of Solomon was a good thing.   But the kings that came after Solomon were even worse.  And so things went from bad to worse.  And youíll have to come back next month on 3rd June if you want to find out more about all that;  more about the next stage in the story of the whole Bible.  A story that in the end leads to Jesus.  To Jesus dieing on a cross to take away the punishment we all deserve.  A story that leads to a much better gift than a pair of heelies;  a story that leads to forgiveness in this life and heaven in the next. 

And if you want to know more about that story, then do come back next month.  But in the mean time, if you want to find out more, then pick up one of these blue leaflet from the book stall [meet the king picture on the screen] . Or sign up for the CE course starting on Thur.  Or come back next week to our normal service with Sunday School.  The King the Snake and the Promise.  Genesis to Jesus for Kids.    But a story with a very serious message for us adults as well. 

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