Daily Devotionals

Why has the Lord done such a thing?

Courtesy: Steve Ellison
Early in his reign David and the nation of Israel was constantly at war, but the time came when David was firmly established as a powerful king, the nation of Israel was at peace, and David had moved into his newly constructed palace.
David had time to consider the fact that he was living in a palace of cedar while the Lord’s Ark of the Covenant was being housed in a tent. Rightfully, David was troubled by that. The Lord sent word to David that because he was a man of war, a man of bloodshed, he would not be allowed to build a house for the Lord, The Temple. Rather his son Solomon would build it.
When Solomon and the nation completed the Temple, a great ceremony of dedication was held. The Ark of the Covenant was brought in, huge numbers of sacrifices were offered, Solomon offered a beautiful prayer of dedication, and the glory of the Lord filled The Temple. What a magnificent moment that must have been!
As we all ought to remember, it is at times of great emotional successes that we are most vulnerable to falling, and usually the fall is great. In His infinite love and wisdom, the Lord appeared to Solomon with a promise and a warning. God promised that faithful obedience would bring unending blessing and power to Solomon’s descendants.
God didn’t stop with the promise. He went on to warn Solomon that unfaithfulness and disobedience would result in not only forfeiting future blessing but also in the removal of the prior blessing, particularly the destruction of this magnificent Temple. 1 Kings 9:7-9 records the warning, “Then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 “And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord their God’. (NASU)
It appears to me that God is making it perfectly clear that He is willing to remove blessing from His people even though observers will question it. God will make sure that He has people appointed to declare the truth about the reasons for it.
God is a jealous God. He will share His glory with none other. God will do what is necessary to protect His good name. I don’t believe that you or I can come anywhere close to understanding just how much value He places on His name. The bottom line is this. He will bless us and make no mistake about it, the ability to build a temple, offer sacrifices, pray, and experience the awesome presence of God is a great blessing comparable to no other blessing. He plans to receive honor and He deserves to receive honor and glory from His blessing of you. If you do not direct praise and honor and glory toward Him for that blessing, He will receive honor and glory in taking that blessing away.
It is your choice. 1 Kings 9:6 clearly defines the choice. We must follow Him, keep His commandments, and forsake the worshiping of all other objects or beings. God gains glory from blessing the obedient and from punishing the disobedient.

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