“If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to a foreign land far away or near. But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, ‘We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.” - 2 Chronicles 6:36-37
We like encouragements but aren't so excited about warnings, nevertheless here is one for you today. Solomon prayed the words above at the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem, and did you see what he prophetically said? Read it again, and you will notice that he describes EXACTLY what happened to Israel and Judah a couple hundred years later: they had turned away from God, and He allowed their enemies to conquer them and then take them away in exile. Solomon had a sense of something dangerous in their future... but didn't have sense enough to recognize how his own actions would set it all in motion. A few years after Solomon prayed this remarkable prayer asking God for mercy on future generations, Solomon turned sharply away from God through a series of poor choices which the Lord repeatedly warned him not to make. The wrongs Solomon embraced sowed the seeds of that captivity that would envelop their entire nation. He's asking God to show mercy for something he would actually cause.
Today, thank God for his mercy and great grace ABSOLUTELY. But with your thanks, how about adding a big dose of humility by asking Him to help you listen and obey His voice this week. Only fools believe in "Easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission." Forgiveness involves pain, damage, and the long slow task of rebuilding. It's far better to pay attention on the front and stay on track. If you get a glimpse of what might go wrong spiritually, morally, ethically - then ask God to help you go the right way. His forgiveness is already out there - what we need is for our obedience to be right here.
Father, thank You for being here when we fall - but help us remember that You'd prefer to help us stand in the first place!
Spark - ouch, that's hot.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.