Okay, I am obviously a little slow, because it has taken me from Judges to I Kings to finally catch on to something that God has been repeatedly trying to show me, but I've finally got it!

Right now, my devotions are in I Kings, particularly about Jereboam, the revolutionist who stole the kingdom from Solomon's son, Rehoboam, and I read something that I had never noticed before. I knew that God had "raised an adversary" in Jereboam, and I knew that it was completely God's plan for Jereboam to take over most of the kingdom, but the fact that God made a promise to Jereboam to give him and his descendants the kingdom perpetually just like He had promised David earlier, surprised me.

God did not just promise David that privilege immediately. David had been king for a while before God said, "Hey, I like you. You've done a good job, and you've maintained a relationship with Me. I'm going to make this promise to you." But with Jereboam, God did things differently.

Who was Jereboam? He was one of King Solomon's officials. He was a young man who supported his widowed mother by working for Solomon. He apparently was a wise man and a hard worker, because Solomon was impressed with him and promoted him to being over the entire labor force. One day, while Jereboam was traveling to another job site, a man came up to him and told him that God wanted to give most of the kingdom to him. That is when God made the dynasty promise. "If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you." I Kings 11:38.

This surprised me. I stopped and thought about it. This means that Jerry had a relationship with God prior to being chosen as the next king, and that relationship was arguably a strong one.

So if he had such a strong relationship with God before he became king, and he had such a great promise for the future if he maintained that relationship, why would he decide to set up golden calves for Israel to worship instead of God?

Easy. Once he became king, he began relying on himself to protect his kingdom. He decided that God wasn't strong enough to do it. Logically, those calves were a great strategy on his part because it kept the Israelites from traveling to his rival's kingdom to worship God. But, also logically, God gave Jerry the kingdom, and God promised Jerry a dynasty. Doesn't that imply loss prevention on God's part?

I think God is prodding me to depend more on Him in my daily decisions and actions. There isn't one looming thing that I have not handed over to Him, but my constant little actions, my constant little words, my constant little decisions need to be given to Him. He is trust-worthy. He is capable. He is the only One Who knows the future and is able to manipulate it.

I say that I am slow to pick up on this lesson because all the way through Judges and Ruth and first and second Samuel, I've been noticing how God did incredibly miraculous things through people who thought, "This is crazy. The odds are completely against me." Gideon, Ruth, Jonathan and his armor bearer, David, David's Mighty Men (read II Samuel 23:8-23).

God is still the same God. He has not changed. Here are some promises that He has made to me.

Matthew 19:26 - Jesus looked at them and said, "With human beings this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Romans 8:31 - If God is for us, who can be against us?

This subject was touched on in my Sunday School class last week when we discussed the idea that Christians in general are not actively involved in politics and governmental decisions. Abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity and other sins are being accepted and legalized, and most of us sit back and sigh over it. Why aren't we doing something? Why aren't we contacting our local government officials and letting them know that we do not support these decisions?

When we discussed it in class, we reached the conclusion that most of us thought it wouldn't make a difference anyway, so what would be the use? Well, if Jonathan and his armor bearer thought that and decided not to attack the Philistine fort with just the two of them, they would have never seen such a decisive victory. Instead, their logic centered around "Is this what God wants us to do? Will God be with us? If He will, then the odds mean nothing! LET'S GO!"

That's how I want to live, and that is how I'm going to live. You know why? Because "I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength!"
1 Response
  1. That was awesome. A very good devotional-thanks!

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