1 Kings 9;2 Chronicles 8
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Anyone else besides me feel as if you have read this before…well in some ways we have but God KNEW that we would need to hear it more than once. Know what I mean?
In 1 Kings 9:6-9 we read again: “BUT IF you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe my decrees and laws I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, THEN…”
Those are Words I believe God wants people to hear today….as stern, as powerful, as plain as they are….HE wants ALL to CHOOSE HIM (Deut 30:19-20)….obey HIM, seek HIM, know HIM, love HIM….not follow other gods (which creates very self centered people). HE wants us to KNOW that one day there will come a time when HE will return for the final time (1 Thess 5:1-3.) People will either be for HIM or against HIM (Matt 6:24)….no fence riders…no serving two masters. For much of my life I never understood why people felt such a sense of urgency to share the gospel. NOW….I totally get it. We do serve an awesome. loving God who gives us a choice to serve this day whom we will serve. I CHOOSE Jesus Christ because of HIS eternal, agape love.
“All the people left from the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites), that is, their descendants remaining in the land, whom the Israelites had not destroyed—these Solomon conscripted for his slave labor force, as it is to this day.” Do you recall who these people were? In Deut 20:17 God had commanded the Israelites they must COMPLETELY destroy these very same people because not only did these people want NOTHING to do with HIM, they worshipped many gods, and idols; and their lifestyles would totally corrupt the Israelites. The Israelites would adopt the lifestyles of these people if they did not obey God….and God knew this, but Israel did not obey God’s command. (And we WONDER WHY God keeps telling them/us to turn back to HIM!)
Although Solomon did the right things and was very wise in leading his country, he was not as wise in his personal life (I know….just a human…and we all have our weaknesses!!) Solomon KNEW in his heart that ALL this marriages to pagan wives were wrong to the Lord. Although marrying another king’s daughter (such as the Pharaoh’s daughter) was considered a strong political move to maintain peace back in the day…..it was STILL NOT God’s way. Did you catch that Solomon would not allow his wife to live in David’s house because the Ark of the Lord passed through there??? This shows that Solomon knew just because God allowed his marriages to many pagan women, and that it was a custom …. DID NOT make it right in the Lord’s eyes.
This really drove things home for me. I try to be open and acceptable of others, and sometimes it is hard to stand up for my true beliefs depending on the crowd I may be standing in. OUCH!!! OUCH!!! OUCH!!! Do we do things that are right in God’s eyes or do we allow ourselves to compromise because “everyone is doing it,” or “the law says it is ok,” or “but if we stand for what God’s Word says it is not politically correct,” or “if we do what is right in God’s eyes’ then we may be seen as radical or crazy because people may see us as insensitive,” or…..I’m sure you can think of more. But the bottom line is WE ARE living for an audience of ONE….and that ONE is God. We don’t have to be insensitive, judgmental, rude, hateful to stand our ground. It doesn’t mean it will be easy or that we will be the most popular person in our town. BUT, we do need to stop and ask ourselves and God…..”am I doing things that are acceptable in today’s standards or am I doing things that are acceptable before God?” The older or maybe I should say the more mature I grow in God….the more grateful I am that HE is most generous with HIS love and will help us SHOW HIS love in some very challenging times. Sometimes our actions, not our words, are the very things that SPEAK about who we really are and touch people we may never know that we touched for HIM.
Selah…..think about it…..and as always I’d love to hear from you….what touched you today from God’s Word and HIS ways??
Sharing HIS love,