July 17, 2023
King Solomon had just achieved the pinnacle of His career. Along with the whole nation of Israel, they had constructed a magnificent temple where “…the Glory of the Lord filled…” 2 Chron 7:1-2. All of Israel was in unison while praising Jehovah. God had chosen this place to make His name known among the nations. We saw a few days ago that God had promised His people that he would always listen to them – “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Today we see in verse 17 a condition of obedience placed upon Israel along with a promise found in vs 18 – “then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, according as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a man to be ruler in Israel.”
God gave Israel choices and consequences. He gives each individual the same choices today.
We are called to obey God’s laws. Does it sometimes feel like we are doing all the right things just so we can “make” God bless us? Why do we follow God’s commands? What are our motives? Are we trying to earn something from God? Sometimes it’s not the letter of the law so much as it is the spirit of the law. We do bring on negative results when we don’t obey God -i.e. std’s and diseases. I don’t believe any of us would intentionally make ourselves sick but how many times do we disobey God’s Word and then whine and complain because we suffer consequences? How about a simpler one where God’s Word tells us not to drink and get drunk. Do we overindulge then complain about our hangovers? What is the line of overindulgence? How about overeating? It can be a real challenge for me not to overindulge when I go to Shady Maple in Lancaster County, PA. I usually spend the rest of the day feeling uncomfortable. I think this is a fine line which points to paying attention to God’s laws. Paying attention and being careful are easy things to overlook and take for granted. I pay attention to my speed when I know I have an officer of the law following me. The rest of the time? Not so much. God is not watching us to see if we mess up, but He does notice. Natural consequences are real. God did keep his covenant with the nation of Israel and He will with us as well. Jesus paid for our salvation on the cross. Don’t take your salvation for granted! Pay attention and be careful of God’s laws. God’s love is unconditional, but He enjoys it when His children obey His commands out of love, not guilt. Let’s try and obey with a cheerful heart.
Denise R Dave R
’67 / ’80 ’69 / ’83 Quarryville PA