Friday, June 15, 2012

June 15, 2012 … So Easily We Forget!

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Kings, Chapters 9 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link
Passage of the Day #2: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Chronicle, Chapters 8 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: 1st Kings: 9: 4-9 :[NIV] … Go to link above for 1st Kings 9 and read this passage.  
Highlight Passage #2: 1st Kings: 9: 16 :[NIV] … Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon's wife.  

Reference Passage #1: Deuteronomy 17: 16-17 :[NKJV] … 16 But he [any king over Israel] shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. 

My Journal for Today: Back into the life and times of Solomon after he built the Temple; and we see how quickly one who has power can forget even the dictates of God, Himself. In today’s study passages, 1st Kings 9 and 2nd Chronicles 8, we read of God reappearing to Solomon to reiterate the covenant the Lord had made with David, i.e., that the line of succession in the progeny of David would never end, as well as God’s warning to David, repeated here to his son, about God’s protection over the Israelites as long as they, including the King and the Priests, were obedient to God’s commands in the Book of the Law.

And how quickly we see that Solomon snubbed God’s commands for any king in Israel (see Deut. 17: 16-17 copied above in the NKJV) as he took on the spoils of a multiple marriage, involving a daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt, which would have been a double-NO-NO according to God’s regulations on kingship. And we know – from history – that Solomon went on to take on hundreds of wives, accumulating greater wealth in the form of horses, gold, and silver … more NO-NOs, according to God’s kingly boundaries.

And then there was all the subsequent disobedience of God’s people to God’s will, the worst case scenario being the Jews in Jesus’ day, ignoring the very Son of God and having Him crucified. And we know that all of the prophesies which we read meted out to God’s second instructions to Solomon (see 1st Kings 9: 4-9 have come to pass in that the Temple was later destroyed and God’s children were exiled and sent out all over the world.

Read God’s word to Solomon again: “ 6 But if you or your descendants turn away from Me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.” 

And today I titled my journal entry - So Easily We Forget!”

If you’re a parent, have you ever set up a boundary for your children when they were young, giving them the consequences if they ignore or rebuff your instructions? Of course, in your mind, you are setting up these limits to protect your child because you don’t want them hurt or worse; but do you expect them to get it the first time? No, of course not, they’re just children; and they’re little sinners, aren’t they? In no time at all, vigilant parents will note the kiddos breaking the “rules” or going past the boundaries which you set for them; and then you have to exercise the punishment or consequences which you set up to show your child that you really meant it when you set up the boundaries. You have to punish the child – in love – even though the punishment might mean some real pain for the child.

Well, here in 1st Kings 9, God, the Father, is telling Solomon, “the child,” a second time, to beware of disobedience; but did Solomon, the child, get it? Obviously not; and it didn’t take him very long to go way past God’s boundaries for the kings of Israel. And he just kept on ignoring God’s boundaries for kings, didn’t he? And in the Book of Ecclesiastes we read of how Solomon – after many years of womanizing and arrogantly accumulating wealth – learned God’s lessons and wrote in the last words of that book (i.e., Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 [NKJV]): 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “Fear God and keep His commandments, … for this is man’s all. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, .. whether good or evil.” 

My friends, as I go through God’s word this year in my chronological reading plan, I am reminded of many of His guidelines, statutes, and outright laws, many of which I have memorized over the years, … and all of which God has established for my good and for His protection. But … I know how vulnerable I am (again see Jer. 17: 9) to the ploys of our very powerful enemy, Satan, and his worldly sirens, trying to tempt me and pull me away from God’s way and worship and to draw me to do life MY WAY or Satan’s way, worshiping him or myself rather than having my life worship the LORD, Who is the only One worthy of my worship.

Obedience to God is our only viable choice; and living out of His word, showing us the way to live in obedience, is the only way we can succeed as disciples of the Living God. Again, as I have referred my readers here many times for memorization, I refer you to the exhortation of God’s word in Psalm 119: 9-11, 105 and Joshua 1: 8 and Proverbs 3: 5-6 to let God’s truth guide us away from our own sinful nature and to allow God Himself to guide our steps in life.

As God told Solomon [Elder Berry paraphrased] … “My way is the only way! … And it’s My way (of life) or the highway (of death)!” … Not really a choice, is it?

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I will stay in Your word to find Your way and stay with it! Amen

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