The Fullness of Sin Part 2 :: By Randy Nettles

In my last article, the fullness of sin of the Antediluvian people (neither Jew nor Gentile) was discussed, as well as the fullness of the Gentiles’ sin (Sodom and Gomorrah). In this part, we will discuss the fullness of sin of the Jews, which came in three waves, before God’s judgment (at the hands of the Assyrians and Babylonians) befell them.

The first wave began during the time when judges ruled the children of Israel after the death of Joshua, the servant of the Lord, and continued through the first three kings of the united kingdom of Israel.

“When all that generation [of Joshua] were gathered unto their fathers, there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor the works which he had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals: and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. They forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.

“And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed” (Judges 2:10-15).

The children of Israel did exactly what Moses prophesied they would do in Deuteronomy 31. This prophecy occurred before Moses died and Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land of Canaan. Moses said, “For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord, then how much more after my death? Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:27-29).

Moses knew the children of Israel would break the laws of the Ten Commandments, especially the first two: You shall have no other gods before me and you shall not make idols. However, the Lord did not completely abandon His chosen people. The Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those who spoiled them. The people would repent for a while and worship the Lord and follow his commandments, but when the judge died, the people would corrupt themselves more than their fathers in following other gods. This cycle continued for hundreds of years during the time of the judges.

Samuel was the last of the judges who ruled Israel, before the time of the kings. He was a righteous person who listened to the voice of God even as a youth. He was the first true prophet of God amongst the children of Israel (besides Moses). When Samuel was old, the people made his two sons judges over Israel. “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre [dishonest gain], and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, Behold, you are old, and your sons walk not in your ways, now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:3-4).

This demand displeased Samuel, so he prayed unto the Lord. “And the Lord said unto Samuel, listen to the people for they have not rejected you but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them out of Egypt even unto this day; wherefore they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also do unto you” (1 Samuel 8:7-8).

Samuel tried to persuade the people against this action, but they would not listen. “The people said, No, but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles!” (Samuel 18:19-20). The Lord told Samuel to hearken unto their voice and make them a king. Under the guidance of the Lord, Samuel anointed a man named Saul. Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin, and his father Kish was said to be a mighty man of power. Here is how 1 Samuel 9:2 describes Saul:

“Saul was a choice young man, and a goodly [handsome]; and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people [very tall].” The Lord chose Saul to demonstrate to Samuel and the children of Israel not to judge a person by their looks or their family lineage, but by their heart. “For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart [spirit]” (1 Samuel 16:7).

King Saul initially proved himself to be a good military leader. Under his leadership, Israel defeated the armies of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Zobah, and had some success against the Philistines. However, in spiritual matters, he was a poor leader.

Several times Saul did not keep the commandments of the Lord and made excuses for his disobedience. After one of these instances, Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly: you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you: for the Lord would have established your kingdom upon Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue: the Lord has sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be a captain over his people, because you have not kept that which the Lord commanded you” (1 Samuel 13:13).

Of course, the man after God’s own heart was David, the son of Jesse, from the tribe of Judah. David demonstrated this spirit as a young lad when he fought against the giant Goliath, a Philistine. Most people know this story that is told in 1 Samuel 17, so I will just touch on a few particulars. Goliath stands out as a special adversary of the Lord and His people; an anti-Christ if you will. Symbolically, he even had the anti-Christ’s special number, 666, attached to him. According to 1 Samuel 17:4-7, Goliath had a height of 6 cubits, had 6 pieces of armor, and his iron spearhead weighed 600 shekels, thus 666. Goliath was also a blasphemer of the Lord God.

As the armies of the Philistines and Israel gathered for battle, Goliath came forward and defied the armies of Israel with his speech. He challenged any of the warriors of Israel to a one-on-one fight. The winner would take all, and the loser would become their slaves. When Saul and all Israel heard the words of Goliath, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. Goliath presented himself and his challenge to the Israelites twice a day for 40 days with no response from Saul or his men, until the young man David arrived on the scene. “Then David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:32). Saul reluctantly agreed to let David fight the giant.

As the two drew near one another, the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” (1 Samuel 17:44). David responded with some of the greatest words in all the Bible, which clearly showed he was indeed a man after God’s own heart:

“You come to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of heaven, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into mine hand, and I will smite you, and take your head from you; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).

“Of course, everyone knows what happened next. David killed Goliath with a sling and a stone and chopped off the giant’s head. The outcome of the fight and subsequent battle (slaughter of the Philistines) was exactly as David had foretold to Goliath and the army of the Philistines. The battle belonged to the Lord! God had used a mere boy to defeat a ten-foot giant (with armor and sword) and win the battle for his people. This was the beginning of the end of Saul’s leadership, as his jealousy of David began to consume him, and his apostasy towards the Lord grew.” {1}

Samuel’s prophecy regarding Saul’s kingdom and legacy proved true, as Saul and his sons died in battle against the Philistines in 1010 B.C. God then raised up David as king of Israel. David was Israel’s greatest king and was a mighty man of God, both spiritually and militarily. After Saul’s death, David went to Hebron where the people of Judah anointed him king. However, the northern tribes continued to follow Ishbosheth (Saul’s son) for another 7.5 years, until his kingdom finally collapsed. In the year 1003 B.C., David assumed the throne as king over all 12 tribes of Israel and made Jerusalem his capital.

“David successfully conquered Israel’s enemies, built a royal palace, and secured the material prosperity of his kingdom. Even more importantly, he brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem and placed it in the tabernacle. God made a covenant with David, promising the eternal reign of his descendants (2 Samuel 7). David experienced great success and committed great sins, including violating the 6th and 7th commandments of murder and adultery (2 Samuel 11); but because he repented (2 Samuel 12), his descendant the Messiah now sits on David’s throne (Acts 2:30-36)” {2}

Not only was David a great warrior, but he was also a great prayer warrior. Psalm 51 is a plea for mercy, forgiveness, and cleansing that David prayed to God after Nathan the prophet confronted him regarding his terrible sins. “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your loving kindness, according unto the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with your free spirit” (Psalm 51:1-4).

God forgave David, as He does for every believer in Jesus Christ who sincerely asks for it and turns from their sins. Sin committed will always have consequences. You will reap what you sow, but God will forgive you no matter how great your sins are. David’s sins had repercussions for his family, nation, and himself, but God restored him as Israel’s greatest king.

David ruled in Hebron for 7 years (1010-1003 B.C.) and 33 years in Jerusalem (1003-970). He was 70 years old at his death. “Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established” (1 Kings 2:12). Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba, became king of Israel in 970 B.C.

“And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father; only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:3-5). Solomon told the Lord to give him an understanding heart (wisdom) to judge the people, that he might discern between good and evil. This answer pleased the Lord, and God said unto him:

“Behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked; both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in my ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days” (1 Kings 3:12-15).

Solomon’s first act as king of Israel (and before his dream) was to marry the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt. This was, in essence, seen as a pact or treaty between the two nations. This act of marrying wives of foreign nations started a habit that would last for the rest of Solomon’s life. David’s last words to Solomon was to keep the charge of the Lord your God, and to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes and commandments, and His judgment, and His testimonies, as is written in the law of Moses. One of these statutes is found in Exodus 34:

“Take heed to yourself, beware lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, wherever you go, lest it be a snare in the midst of you; and you go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call you, and you eat of his sacrifice; and you take of their daughters unto your sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make your sons go a whoring after their gods. You shall make you no molten gods” (Exodus 34:12-12).

Solomon inherited the fruits of his father’s labors (wars). This was truly the golden age of Israel. “Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing. For he (Solomon) had dominion over all the region on this side of the River from Tiphsah even to Gaza, namely over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace on every side all around him. And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

God granted Solomon’s request for wisdom. “And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding and largeness of heart like the sand and seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (1 Kings 4:29-30;34).

God also added great wealth to Solomon, for he was pleased with Solomon’s request for wisdom. “The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was 666 talents of gold, besides that from the traveling merchants, from the income of traders, from all the kings of Arabia, and from the governors of the country. So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom” (1 Kings 10:14-15, 23).

Solomon initially proved to be a wise and understanding king. His greatest achievement was building the Temple in Jerusalem, which began in 966 B.C. (1 Kings 6:1-9) and was completed in 7 years. The Temple was one of the most magnificent structures of the ancient world. It was built on Mount Moriah in the very spot where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac and where David had built an altar to the Lord.

Unfortunately, Solomon did not heed the last words of his earthly father, David; nor did he obey the word of the Lord regarding this matter: “Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites – from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.

“For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidionians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

“So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.

“Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen” (1 Kings 11:1-13).

This was the beginning of the end for the united kingdom of Israel due to their rapidly approaching fullness of sins against the Lord their God. The sins of Solomon, the wisest man in the Old Testament, would leave a lasting legacy on the future generations of the kings of Israel. Solomon traded the wisdom of God for the foolishness of man (and women).

Solomon ruled Israel for 40 years (as did David and Saul) before his death in 930 B.C. Solomon did not receive the conditional promise of the Lord regarding living a long life. “So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days: (1 Kings 3:14). The Bible doesn’t record his age at death, but he was probably 60 or younger. I assume this because of the following verse in 1 Kings during the time of Solomon’s dream and conversation with God: “Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in” (1 Kings 3:7).

In the next article, we will look at the second and third waves of the fullness of sin regarding the divided nations of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah as it builds up to an unstoppable crescendo of apostasy.

Randy Nettles



{2} When and Where in the Bible and Throughout History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten – Tyndale Publishing pg. 20