Christianity 201

November 18, 2014

Obey: Benefits. Disobey: Consequences

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:50 pm
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Today’s devotional comes from the website Daily Manna, a ministry of Deeper Life Bible Church, which originated in Africa with Pastor W. F. Kumuyi, but now has churches around the world including branches in the U.S. and Canada.  As always, click the title below to read the devotional at source.

The God Of Justice

TEXT: 2 KINGS 17:9-23

Key Verse: “…So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day” (2 Kings 17:23).

The dealings of God with the children of Israel reveals a lot of paradoxes: Israel, without deserving the love of God, enjoyed a unique favor and blessing from Him. Apart from that, the original purpose of God for Israel was that they would honor Him and be a light to the world. That is, through them the blessings of God and the word of God would flow to the whole world. What God expected from Israel in return was to be wholly devoted to Him and obey His commandments.

But while God is faithful, Israel demonstrated fickleness of character and unfaithfulness to the covenant of God with them. In Exodus 19:8, the children of Israel solemnly promised: “… all that the Lord hath spoken, we will do.” Yet, in Jeremiah 44:16, they defiantly recanted: “… as for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee.” Such betrayal cannot be tolerated by men, let alone God.

In the passage today, we see one of the examples of the treacheries of the children of Israel. They practiced the evil customs of the surrounding nations, worshiping false gods, accommodating pagan customs and following their own desires. Israel had forgotten the importance and benefits of obeying God’s word. The King and the people had become mired in wickedness. Time and again, God warned them of the danger of turning away from Him and calling them to return.

Eventually, Israel was swept away just as God’s prophets had warned (Jeremiah 25). Sometimes, obeying God’s precepts is difficult and painful but better if we consider the consequences of disobedience. We need to determine to be God’s people and ask for grace to do what He says, regardless of the cost.

God’s patience and mercy are beyond our ability to understand. He will pursue us until we either respond to Him; or, by our own choice and hardness of heart make ourselves unreachable. Then, God’s judgment will be swift and sure.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Man is free to obey God and reap the benefits; or disobey Him and face the consequences.

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