Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 9-11
Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 9:6-9
6) “But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7) then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8) And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9) Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.’”
At the dedication of the Temple of the Lord (1 Kings 8) King Solomon gave a prayer of dedication asking for God’s blessing on the sanctuary. In 1 Kings 9, God responds to Solomon saying His eyes and heart will be with the temple for all time (vs. 3), adding that He will be with Solomon and his sons as kings over Israel through their generations if he is obedient to God as his father David was (vs. 4-5).
God doesn’t stop there. He goes on to warn Solomon of all that will happen to him, his lineage, the temple, and the entire nation of Israel if he turns away from following the Lord. Calamity. Exile. Destruction.
God’s intention was always for Israel to present a witness to the rest of the world that would glorify Him and lead people to want to follow and obey Him. Going all the way back to Abraham…
Genesis 26:4 – I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
…And ultimately fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah. The nation of Israel was always meant to be a witness pointing the world towards this blessed hope. But if Israel would not be a witness through their obedience to God, they would serve as a witness by God’s judgment against them. They would become a proverb and a byword, and people would ask why did this destruction come upon them? And it would be known, it was because they turned away from following the one true God and worshiped idols and indulged in despicable sins. This destruction would be but a shadow of the final judgment against those who refuse to accept the salvation God offers through Jesus.
God will be glorified, one way or another. By the mercy He shows to those who turn to Him, or by the just judgment against those who forsake Him and His leading.
Exodus 22:20 – Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the LORD alone, shall be devoted to destruction.