1 Kings Sermon Intro Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LSGZNhiA7E
One of the most ridiculously cheesy magic tricks can be when a magician cuts their assistant in half. But there are versions of this that are so good I can’t explain. Penn and Teller’s version is like an explanation to the audience of how magicians do it, but their twist comes when they “accidentally” turn one half of the girl sideways and her “guts” fall out. David Blaine is my most favorite. He doesn’t cut the girl in half, but he pulls her in half while in a public park on a park bench. The bottom half of her then stands up, and her top half army-crawls away because she’s so freaked out. YouTube it!
An even more shocking act of being torn apart is God’s Kingdom. How do we explain an all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving seeming to allow His solemn covenant to be torn into pieces? How does God’s Kingdom getting divided even make sense? Many of us as Christians have broken relationships. How does that make sense for Christians?
In 1 Kings 11, we see how the division of God’s Kingdom got started. King Solomon was at the highest point of his life as he completed the most important building in all the Bible: God’s Temple. But Solomon takes a ginormous fall by disobeying God and marrying women from foreign nations who worship false gods (1 Kings 11:1-14). Remember his father David doing the same thing? The height of David’s life is when God includes him in on the eternal covenant (2 Samuel 7), and then David cheats with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). It is so important for teenagers to know that dating relationships with unbelievers are one of their biggest downfalls that will tear them away from Christ. I see it all the time! Teens who date unbelievers will get spiritually burned.
God tells Solomon straight up that He’s going to tear the kingdom in half and divide it. He won’t do it in Solomon’s days out of His promises to David, but He’ll do it in his son’s days. Because of Solomon’s and Israel’s idolatry, God allowed sin to divide His kingdom into the north (Israel) and the south (Judah). But how can this be? Again, how can an all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving God allow His promised kingdom to divide and ultimately defeated? It is because God has something greater in store!
We normally talk about God’s will as all about ourselves. Where will I go to college? Who will I marry? What will my career be? But God says that His mysterious will has been revealed. His will is that all things would be united to Christ (Eph 1:9-10). So why does God allow His kingdom to be divided, it is because He wants to ultimately show them that they are sinners, that He is a holy God, and that they have a Savior-King coming who will die for their sin and raise from the dead. God allows idolatrous sin to divide His kingdom because he wants the common worship of Christ to reunite it again.
So what about us? We call ourselves Christians, Christ follows, people who are at peace with God, and yet we have broken relationships with God, in our family, with our friends, etc. Everyone is born a sinner and separated from God because of their sin (Rom 6:23). So, everyone must unite to God on His terms only which are trusting in the death of Christ for the forgiveness of sin (Rom 5:8), and believing in the resurrection of Christ as He has become our Lord (Rom 10:9-10). Even many saved Christians must fix their current broken relationship with God by following Christ again (1 Tim 2:5).
There are so many people who are experiencing the pain of broken relationships in their family because of divorce. Only through Christ can these divided relationships be reunited. Divorced spouses should confess sin and ask for forgiveness from each other through Christ and see to be reunited. Teens in broken homes should pray that God would reunite their family again through Christ. Teens should also divorce-proof their own life by loving Christ and only getting into relationships with others who do as well. Why doesn’t God just automatically fix these relationships? Its because His will is for people to reunite with Him and each other through Jesus alone so that He (Jesus) may receive the glory. Are you in a broken relationship with God or with someone else? God most certainly can fix it, and He will do so as you trust in Christ, humbly confess your own sin, and walk in the power of His resurrection by following His way to live.