There are 19 Kings [all bad] in the Northern Kingdom and 19 [8 good and 11 bad] in the Southern.  As Saul who had no heart for God , David who had a whole heart for God and Solomon who only had half a heart for Him – these 38 are a mixture of all three. The book of First Kings records the lives of the people of Israel as they lived “In the Eyes of the Lord”[11:6; 14:22; 15:5, 11, 26, 34;  16:7, 19, 25, 30; 21:20, 25, 22:43, 52]. This expression is repeated 14x in this book. We all need to ponder the theme of this book: to live IN THE SIGHT OF GOD! I. Solomon: Forty Years A. Good Start 1-4 B. Great Choices 5-8 C. God Given fame and fortune 9-10 D. Grievous Ending 11 II. Divided Kingdom: Eighty Years A. Reheboam Complex: forsake wisdom 12 B. Two new kingdoms, two old problems: idolatry and disobedience 13-16 C. Elijah: God’s Man stands alone 17-19 D. Ahab: the worst 20-22 FOUR GREAT TRUTHS GLEANED FROM THIS BOOK: I. God Keeps His Word so we should SEARCH IT DAILY. A. God will judge the Apostasy [I Kings 8:46; 12:25-33] of: 1. The Worship that is only of Convenience v. 28 2. The Worship that materializes the Spiritual v. 29 [rememberExodus 32:8]! 3. The Worship that lowers God’s Standards v. 31 [also 13:33] 4. The Worship that disregards God’s Commands v. 33 B. God hates False worship  1 Kings 11:33  I will do this because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father, did. (NIV) C. God punishes Disobedience 1 Kings 13:21  He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the LORD says: `You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. 1 Kings 13:34 This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth. (NIV) D. God doesn’t forget His Warnings 1 Kings 16:34 In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun. (NIV) Galatians 6:7-8  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (NIV) II. God Rewards Obedience so we should OBEY HIM ALWAYS! A. Remember Solomon 1. His personal income God sent him in I Kings 10:14 was 666 talents of gold or 400 Million $ annually. 2. His wisdom from God was known around the world. [4:29-34] B. Remember Elijah Elijah: Standing Alone by Faith  I Kings 17-18 1. In I Kings 17:7 Elijah finds the place of Faith: Faith emerges from Real Need a) We must Resist the Culture: our world tries to erase all needs. If we are not trusting in God we never know when the brook dries up! [I Kings 17:7] Do we really need God? b) We must Resist the Clutter: we must not build our barns too big Luke 12.13-20 c) We must Resist the Complacency: we need to serve God  Luke 9.23 2. In I Kings 17:10-12 Elijah finds the Test of Faith: Faith challenges our deepest Fears a) PERSONAL SAFETY: God sent him to Jezebel’s hometown. He crossed the personal danger barrier. b) RACIAL BIAS: He crossed the Ethnic [Sidonian] barrier. God has “no respect of persons” as the KJV calls it. He is not racially biased. (1) Equity and impartiality is part of His character in Romans 2:11  For God does not show favoritism. (NIV) Ephesians 6:9  And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. (NIV) Colossians 3:25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism. (NIV)  James 2:1,9  My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. (NIV) 1 Peter 1:17  Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. (NIV) (2) God created only ONE RACE, the human raceActs 17:26 3. In I Kings 17:15-16 Elijah finds the Product of Faith: Faith enables us to experience Real Blessings. a) The greatest way to see God work is to serve Him. b) Solomon only needed God at the start so he ended badly. c) If you don’t need God you will never see God. d) God always looks for those who will stand alone as a: (1) Teen = Joseph (2) Businessman = Daniel (3) Mother = Hannah (4) Single mom = Mary 4. In I Kings 17-18 Elijah walks the walk of Faith a) He listens to God speak [17:1, 2, 8] b) He waits for God’s timing [18:1] c) He trusts in God’s sufficiency [18:7-40] d) He speaks for God clearly [18:21] e) He rests in God’s safety [18:30-38] because one of the most often repeated commands is to fear not! f) He stands for God’s Honor [18:36-37] like David [I Sam 17:46] and Solomon [I Kings 8:43,60], Hezekiah [II Kings 19:19] and Daniel [Daniel 4:25]. g) He intercedes for God’s people persistently [18:41-45]. III. God Seeks Devotion so we should WORSHIP HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY! A. He wants our Hearts [9:4]. B. He wants our Trust [18:21] IV. God Expects Priority so we should SEEK HIM FIRST! A. David wanted a house for God [5:3] more than his own wealth. He became a man after God’s own heart. B. Solomon wanted a house for both God and himself. He built God’s first. His house was five times larger than the Temple, and took twice as long to build! [6:38-7:1] Solomon defected from God in the end. C. As God looks around the earth, does He find you looking at Him with all your heart? Deuteronomy 4:29  But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.  SecondChronicles 16:9  For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” (NIV)