Consequences

Someone asked me the other day, ‘When are you going to do another musing?’  I thought about the others I’ve written and realized that I can’t write anything on my own.  I have to be inspired– inspired by the Holy Spirit–the Spirit of Jesus that resides in my heart.

Well, guess what??  This morning as I was listening to a wrap up teaching on the  First 5.org   app, the inspiration came.  But, in order to write this I need to tell you a little background about the study I am doing–it’s I & II Kings.

This scripture is a record of King Solomon’s reign; he was King David and Bathsheba’s son.  (If you are at all familiar with the Old Testament, you know the story of David and Bathsheba;  Solomon was a product of this sinful relationship.)   But that is not the story that inspired me 😊.  Solomon grew up and was chosen by God to take over the ‘kingship’ from his father and was given the responsibility to build the temple of God, which he had forbidden David to do.  In the beginning, when Solomon was a young king, God told him to ask for anything and He would grant it.  Solomon asked only for wisdom to rule his kingdom, and because God was so pleased with him, he granted him riches and fame as well.  However, back in Deuteronomy, God had given the Israelites guidelines for a king.  He said a king must not build up a large stable of horses or send his people to Egypt to buy horses because he forbade them to ever go back to Egypt.  He also said a king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the Lord.  And, lastly, that he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.  (Deuteronomy 17:  16-17).

Right off, Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh, the king of Egypt and married one of his daughters.  He also married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon and from the Hittites–all pagan nations.  In all, King Solomon acquired 700 wives and 300 concubines. In I Kings 10, we are told that King Solomon accumulated great wealth; even his drinking cups were solid gold.  He had a fleet of trading ships that returned every 3 years loaded with gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks, so he became richer and wiser than any other king on earth.  He built up a huge force of chariots and horses.  He had 14,000 chariots and 12,000 horses.

Do you see a problem here?  Even though Solomon was very wise–in fact he wrote most of Proverbs which is full of wisdom–he was not obedient to God.  He did fall and his fall was hard.  He was able to keep the kingdom for the rest of his life even though one of his officials rose up against him.  Solomon tried to kill him, but he fled to Egypt and stayed until Solomon died.   God said, ‘Because of Solomon’s sin I will punish the descendants of David–though not forever’.  At the end God ripped most of the kingdom from Solomon’s son who succeeded him,  by dividing it into 2 parts.  He only was left with two tribes, which merged into one.  The other 10 became a kingdom of it’s own.   These two kingdoms  became Israel and Judah.  God preserved David’s descendants because it was through this lineage that Jesus was born.

The light bulb came on when I realized that in reading the Old Testament, we tend to think the consequences for sin  happened  in a short time period–and we conclude that punishment for disobedience to God (sin) is quick and sure.  But, alas, sin’s consequences are more often than not slow–very slow.  I suppose this can be viewed as the grace of God.  He gives us so many chances/opportunities to repent and turn from our sin.  But we justify ‘it’ or we say to ourselves, this isn’t going to hurt anybody, I’ll stop (this behavior) tomorrow, next week, or next year.  I’m enjoying this; it seems good and right, God couldn’t possibly punish me for this; it makes me happy and makes me feel good about myself.  Sadly, we know the real truth deep down.  God’s guidelines are black and white, not gray.  He is not concerned with our happiness–he desires our obedience.  As Christians, too often we hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit when we are willfully disobeying what He’s asked of us, but we ignore it.  Soon, we don’t even hear it anymore.  Sin always has a downward spiral.  What starts out as curiosity, or ‘dabbling’ in sinful behavior which is exciting and glamorous to start with, soon requires more and more and more. When our world comes crashing down and we realize how far we’ve fallen, it’s usually too late, our family’s lives have been damaged and our own life is in shambles.

We all sin, we live in a fallen world, and are born with a bent to sin.  Once we have recognized this sinful nature and invited Jesus in to guide us, we have a desire to obey Him.  How do we know what He requires?  It’s all in His Word.  It is imperative that a Christian regularly read and apply God’s  Word.  It’s when we continue in sin that the trouble begins.    When we’ve been ‘born again’, it’s like a new born baby.  Look how long it takes a baby to grow into adulthood–our spiritual growth is just like physical growth, it is gradual but sure if we are aligning ourselves with other like minded believers and are reading His word.  One cannot make the profession/confession to be a Christian and then go on living as before.  This seems to be a sign that the point of confession was an emotional experience and nothing more.  A true repentance begins a process of changing one’s life for the better–a turning around and going a different way, if you will.

I stumbled across a song sung by several different people, but the one I heard was by Casting Crowns.  It is called Slow Fading.  Here are the lyrics:

Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade
Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattering leads to compromises, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises leave broken hearts astray
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade
The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see

Following is the music video–worth taking time to watch.  Just click on ‘Watch on YouTube.

 

Well, I hope I haven’t lost you on this one.  Honestly when I start to write something God has laid on my heart, my fingers fly on the keyboard and scriptures come to mind.  It’s something I’ve never experienced before.  Blessings on your day.

Janet

 

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