Monday, January 25, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 25

I still can't believe how fast this is going. Today I read 1 Kings 8 through 16.

After Solomon finishes building the temple, he admonishes the people.

The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers
1 Kings 8:57.

Soon after, God appeared to Solomon for the second and final time.

But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:

Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:

And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?

And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil

1 Kings 9:6-9.

Before these verses, God made promises of what He would do for Israel if they continue to obey Him. Then He tells Solomon what will happen if Israel starts disobeying God's commandments.

I think the response of anyone who wonders what happened to Israel is particularly telling. "They shall answer, 'Because they forsook the Lord their God... therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil'" (verse 9).

God doesn't arbitrarily choose to punish someone, just as He won't take someone to heaven who doesn't choose to go. We have to make that choice. We accept the gift of salvation or earn punishment. I can accept Jesus' sacrifice or I can choose to disobey His commands and thus reject His offer of eternal life. Ultimately, the choice is mine.


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