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1 Kings 11:9-13 -

God's Anger.

I. SINS ARE SET IN THE LIGHT OF PAST MERCIES .

1 . Solomon's idolatry is contrasted with the advantages conferred upon him,

The Lord had appeared to him twice. The reality of God's existence and His personality had been engraven upon Solomon's soul.

2 . With the commandment given . The Lord "had commanded him concerning this thing." The rebellion and ingratitude are both marked. Our sins are judged not only in themselves and their effects, but also in the light of what God has done and said to us. There is a baseness and an enmity in sin that will yet crush the sinful heart. Do we weigh sins in this way? Does our repentance read them thus? God's judgment will: "Forasmuch as this is done of thee, " etc.

II. THE DIVINE JUDGMENT .

1 . Hopes frustrated . Solomon may have excused his sin to himself because it conciliated neighbouring princes and nations and so strengthened his kingdom. But while he fancied himself building up, he was in reality casting down. Forgetfulness of God is forgetfulness of one's own good.

2 . Pride abased . The dominion is given to a servant. There is not only loss but shame. There are first that will be last, and last first.

3 . Punishment reflects sin . Solomon's rebellion and ingratitude are punished by rebellion and ingratitude. The kingdom is rent from him by a subject, and by one whom he had trusted and advanced ( 1 Kings 11:28 ). "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." As the wicked have shut out God, God will shut out them.

III. THE DIVINE MERCY . In God's chastisements there is ever a gateway of kindness through which we may pass up into His forgiveness and love.

1 . The judgment is delayed . It was a heavy judgment that the kingdom should be rent from his son, but it would have been an added bitterness had his own day set in disaster and shame.

2 . The whole will not be taken even from his son . His seed will still reign in Jerusalem.

3 . There is humbling even in the mercy . It is done for David's sake and for Jerusalem's sake. Pride is crushed beneath God's mercy as well as beneath His judgment. We are pardoned for Christ's sake and His name's sake. In the midst of rebuke for iniquity there is mercy and life for lowly faith.—U.

HOMILIES BY A. ROWLAND

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