Monday, June 16, 2008

Blessings and Warnings

June 16: 1 Kings 9 & 2 Chronicles 8

1 As soon as Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and the king's house and all that Solomon desired to build, 2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 4 And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ 6 But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.’”
1 Kings 9:1-9

Blessings and Warnings

1 Kings 9:1-9 records the words of the Lord that He spoke to King Solomon after the completion of the House of God. Just as God spoke to Solomon, so He comes to us today with those same blessings and warnings.

In our culture today we hear much about the blessings of God, but strangely absent are words of God's warnings against sin and the result it has on our physical land.

I live in Iowa which is currently being inundated by flooding; the city of Cedar Rapids is literally being swallowed up by the Cedar River. A man was quoted as saying something to this effect, "We just do not know what to do; I guess it just depends on the mercy of God. As I read that I thought, "Even if we do know what to do in a disastrous situation, it still depends on the mercy of God. As a matter of fact, in times of great blessings, it still depends on the mercy of God.

We remember to plea for mercy from the Lord when impossible situations and disasters arise, but do we remember to ask why God is sending these floods? God does not cause evil, but He does not always prevent it.

Look at these words from our Bible passage today,

6 But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

What I found most interesting was the next two verses.

8 And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.

Even the nations surrounding Israel would understand that disaster would strike the country if they abandoned the Lord their God!

To those who believe there is no God, or that He will not strike them dead for their sins, and their following after the gods of this age I would say, "Look around you!" Look at the hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods. There is no doubt that we are truly in the end times.

As Christians we must look at the blessings and warnings from God's Word, and be wise. Our days are numbered; we must pray that God will give us a heart to order our lives according to the Bible and to spread the Gospel to all of those around us. Is there anything else more important?

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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