Monday, January 28, 2008

1 Kings 14

What is this passage all about?

Jeroboam's son gets sick and Jeroboam's wife is informed by the prophet Abigah that this is the beginning of God's judgement on Jeroboam's idolatry. Under Rehoboam, Judah also falls into sin and Jerusalem is attacked by Shishak, king of Egypt.

What can I learn from it?

As I was reading in the Westminster Shorter Catechism yesterday, God is just. This means that he does not leave evil unpunished. Nahum 1:2,3 says, "The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengence and is filled with wrath. ... The LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished." Often we do not see God's punishment coming quickly enough to satisfy our worldy ideas of justice, but the Bible makes clear that God will jusdge all people of all times for all their sin. Hebrews 9:27-28a says, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people..." Some people, like Jeroboam and also King David, live while their beloved children die. Others suffer judgement upon themselves, like Jonah who suffered near drowning before calling on God. But both of these situations are only temporal manifestations of the judgement of God, which will only be fulfilled at Jesus second coming. Revelation 10:6b-7 quotes an angel, " 'There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.' " Revelation 11:15-18 speaks of this time:

"The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,

and he will reign forever and ever.'

And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying:

'We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

the One who is and who was,

because you have taken your great power

and have begun to reign.

The nations are angry;

and your wrath has come.

The time has come for judging the dead,

and for rewarding your servants the prophets

and your saints and those who reverence your name,

both small and great -

and for destroying those who destroy the earth.' "

How can I apply this to my own life?

Take hold of the promise of 1 John 1:9. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Repentance before God, accompanied by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on my behalf, shall yield forgivenness. "1 John 2:1b-2a: "If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins..."

Thank you, God, for sending Jesus so that I might be made righteous in Your eyes!

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