Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kings, Prophets, and You and Me

I want to confess something to you tonight...

I am constantly writing blogs. I write them every day in my head, it's just that most of them only make it that far...they never see the light of day, so of course they don't make it to blogger. :)

I've been doing some self reflecting about this...trying to figure out why I don't sit down and write every cool thing that I learn from the Word on a daily basis.

Truly, I'd love to do just that. But I don't. So the obvious question is "Why not?"

I think it's because what I've been studying the past 8 months or so has been so awe-inspiring to me; so new; so laden with the history of Israel, of which I am no expert, that quite honestly, I've had to have some time to really meditate upon what I've learned.

I simply mean I've had to chew on these truths I've been learning. I've had to have time to let them solidify in my heart.

Does that make sense at all?

I sure hope so, for your sakes. For my sake, I'm all good with it. :)

The major lessons for me in our study of "A Divided Heart, A Divided Nation" - (1Kings & 2nd Chronicles) were :
1. It's all about God being glorified. All of it. It has to be. Anything less from us is total    disobedience.
The temple - a place for God's glory to reside
Jerusalem - the city which God chose for Himself where His Name would dwell
King David - God's chosen man, for God's glory and God's purposes although he sinned grievously, he never once turned from serving the One True God, the God of Israel, to serving idols...never. He was repentant over his sin, and submitted to God's discipline all the while trusting in His mercy and lovingkindness.
Solomon - at first it seemed he started his reign well, but I'm not so sure I think so. At the time that he prayed his prayer for wisdom from God, he had already made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh to marry his daughter. This was total disobedience to God.

Yet, at times he really knocked it out of the park with his prayers. He prayed as someone who knew the Lord, and was genuine in his prayer to him, or so it seems.

Yet, his life did not imitate his prayers.
I'm still "chewing" on what I've learned about Solomon. Some would say he had a divided heart. I'm not sure that's possible. I love how one of the ladies in our group put it...."If you cut your heart in half, you die."

How did Solomon do with bringing God glory? Not so good...he worshiped false gods, built houses for the many gods that his 700+ wives served. Yes, he built the temple to God, but then he built other temples/high places to idols! And lots of them!
Rehoboam and Jeroboam are next in line. You see, after Solomon, the nation of Israel divided. 

There were definite consequences to disobeying the Word of the LORD.

There are still consequences to disobedience to the LORD Most High. We don't often hear about that in some of our churches these days, but it's the truth. 

God disciplines those whom He loves.

For our good, for our edification. 

What loving parent wouldn't discipline a disobedient child? If your child keeps putting his head in the oven so he can smell the cookies baking, repeatedly ignoring your instruction not to do that because he could get burned, aren't you going to discipline him at some point, for his best?

Think about this....a kid who is putting his head into a hot oven IS going to be disciplined one way or another....either by you, or by the oven. 

I have a friend who says that either she will discipline her children, or the world will. 

So it is with God. He loves us, and knows what's best for us, even if we don't agree. If we belong to Him, His plans are always to do good for us in the end. (Deut. 8)

What did I learn from Kings & Prophets?

It's all about God glorified. 

In Kings 
In fulfilled plans, like the temple being built 
In honored promises, like how there has always been and will always be a King on the throne of David. 
In Me- My daily question needs to be, "Lord, how to you want to be glorified in me today?
What is my job assignment for Your glory, Lord?"
In You - will you obey? Will you live for His glory in all things, and not for your desires?  

Will you begin your day tomorrow talking with the Lord, and telling Him,                
"I'm here Father, a ready ambassador of Christ Jesus...a minister of the reconciliation that you performed for mankind. Your bond-servant. What "field" do you want me to work today, Master?"

Can you tell that I'm still "chewing" ?

We'll talk about the first King of Judah and the next King of Israel, next.

And, we'll talk about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, too!

Much Love ... 


Jeanna said...

Thanks for introducing youself to me on my blog! I just read through many of your posts and I agree that we have a lot in common. I am excited to meet you. Will you be at the picnic next Saturday? My daughter is dying to meet other homeschoolers here, and so am I!!!

Deb said...

This is so good Jes,

I have just returned from the Precept’s Conference…
That to say, I have come away with a continued work of God in my heart, another step to better enable me to fulfill what God wants to do, to be Glorified in my life.

…as you talked about God being Glorified…

If all the work He does in any of our lives is without...Glorifying is useless.

Praise His Holy Excellent Name.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jes:

You've touched upon something that sparked me to respond. I find myself occasionally thinking about Solomon and wondering why, if he had so much wisdom, he led the lifestyle he did.

I think I understand a few things clearer today than I did a few years ago.

Solomon's father, David, was known as a man after God's own heart. But he had blood on his hands (his affair with Bathsheba and his killing of Uriah). God later brought him to repentance and his heart was contrite, but ultimately God's building of his temple was completed through David's son, Solomon.

I can kind of relate to this with our 25 years of owning our business and how we have struggled so much over the years. We owned our company for 13 years before we became Christians. I have no doubt that God's hand has always been on us - we have seen it over and over. But my belief is that God will truly bless us and take us to the next level through our son, Jimmy, who works with us now. He has such a heart for God (and this was not something we taught him - truly it was a gift from God Himself). So when I read about God building the temple through Solomon, this resonates with me.

I always find myself troubled, however, that Solomon had everything, the kingdom, riches and honor - even more wisdom and discernment than anyone ever. That has always been my hangup. If Solomon could have everything - and have so much wisdom and discernment - and fall apart - not even finish strong, then what hope do we have today?

So this morning while I was putting on my makeup, I heard something on the radio that made me start thinking. It was about Hebrews 11 - the "Faith" chapter. I realized they all lived with the "hope" of what was to come - they were living under the old covenant, filled with rules and regulations.

None of those people ever lived to see the fulfillment of their promises, but they had the hope - the hope that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. And I think that is where the difference is for us today - that we are living under a different covenant. As Christians, we have the living Christ dwelling in us, to guide us, teach us and convict us on a daily basis.

I believe that Solomon's heart was in the right place in the beginning, even tho he was making bad choices (his plans to marry Pharoah's daughter for example), because he told God, "You have made your servant king in place of my father David, but I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties." He then asked God for a discerning heart so he could govern the people and distinguish between right and wrong.

And I think that is key to why God blessed him like he did - he saw his heart. Don't you think that's it? I also was reminded fresh today that God CHOSE him - Solomon was part of the lineage of Jesus Christ - and we know that not everyone in that lineage was what we would have chosen had we been given the task. But God is God, and he blesses who He blesses.

All of this to say I understand your thinking . . . but for today, I'm just going to thank God that I live under the New Covenant, and also that I have the completed Word to read and digest and meditate and contemplate . . .

So did this make sense?