April 8, 2016

1 Kings 9:6-7 “But if you or your sons 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, 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.”

It is incredible to me that God warned Solomon this clearly and this bluntly, and yet he still committed idolatry with his foreign wives. Thinking about it, he had to have told someone about this vision for it to have been recorded like this, which should have cemented it in his heart and mind. As Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Solomon was blessed incredibly in every area, more than anyone else of his day, and yet he descended into taking all that for granted, as though he had earned and deserved it, and didn’t walk in humble gratitude. This warning from God was fulfilled to the letter, and even today antisemitism is all too common. We must remember that God’s warnings are just as valid as His other promises and fear Him enough to be obedient.

I have always taken Solomon as a very personal bad example, because I too have been incredibly blessed in many areas, and have been tempted to think I deserved at least some of it all. That is a temptation from the devil, because it is all grace; I haven’t earned any of it. I am not to deny what God has placed in me, because that doesn’t give Him the glory He deserves. However, I am to use it all in grateful humility, serving Him through serving those around me, so that they too may be drawn closer to Him in His family. I am to walk in full assurance of His provision in every area, again not because I’ve got it all together but because He does. I am not to seek anything material or temporal for its own sake, but rather receive such things as tools for spiritual purposes, to accomplish what He intends for me. Everything about Him is supreme, and I am to walk in the obedience of love and gratitude. Even there I have to depend on Him, because I am not capable of being fully faithful on my own; only He can enable me to do so.

Father, thank You yet again for Your grace. Thank You that my head cold is much improved. Thank You for solving the mystery of my tablet computer not booting. Thank You that we’ll be able to get our visas transferred to our new passports today. Thank You for the awareness that I can get nothing right by myself, but that You are always there to do it through me if I will trust and obey You. May every detail of today be as You desire and intend, destroying the works of the devil and drawing people to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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