What If…If Only –Part 2

I have learned something recently. The solution to handling uncomfortable weight gain is to..…buy bigger clothes! It is also dangerous to send your wife to Kohls during a sale with additional discount coupons. Remember you have to spend money to save money!

My visiting nurse came today to draw blood and change my PICC line dressing. My protein levels have been in the normal range that past two weeks. I have been feeling stronger and am ready for a good “growth” spurt as far as the rehab progress. Please continue to pray about shoulder muscle strength and range of motion.

Ted Grizzel came by today to help repair the dings in our bathroom door. Ted and Murlene have been such as a great help to us but this is the first time I have posted a picture of either of them. I will now try to use the walker to get from the bathroom door to the toilet and shower and be consistent at thereby accomplishing the first goal my physical therapist set for me in December. What seemed like such a stretch then has become a reality faster than I expected.

Yesterday I began to talk about King Jeroboam and his disobedience and idolatry that removed God’s favor and promise of an enduring kingdom. One of the more significant events takes place when a prophet pronounces judgment against Jeroboam and his idol and altar as Jeroboam is in the midst of offering a sacrifice to the “golden calf.” The prophet identifies King Josiah of Judah by name as the future King who out of zeal for God who would work to destroy idolatry from Judah and Israel. This prophecy in all of its details came to pass almost three hundred years later!

What can we learn from this account in the Bible?

 1 – God desires good things for His people

Just as God spoke His promise to Saul, Solomon and Jeroboam as Kings, He desires those who follow Him to know His peace and provision. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it in abundance” (John 10:10)

2 – What God has promised cannot be secured by human reasoning

I am reminded of Paul’s words in Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

Securing God’s promises and His blessing requires continual trust in Him and obedience to His Word. Jeroboam’s actions were dictated by human insecurities; he forgot the lesson learned from Solomon’s life, he trusted human advisers and turned his back on the promise of God.

3 – When you know God’s Word, obey God’s Word

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”  Matthew 7:24

Know and do,listen and obey. These are critical concepts for our life that will test our faith when our natural reasoning pulls us in the opposite direction. As a Pastor the saddest comment I would get from someone would be, “I know what the Bible says, but….”  This would happen as they prepared to make a poor choice.

 4 – Our disobedience impacts others

The judgment of God on Jeroboam impacted his reign and his family. It had an impact on an entire nation for generations to come. Even after times of revival and turning back to God, Israel never recovered from their divided hearts to the Lord. The judgment of God on Jeroboam eventually became the judgment of God on a nation.

I will still hear someone deceiving themselves by saying, “what I do, how I live my life, impacts only me.” Explain that one to the fatherless child. Explain that to the spouse or family member of a drug addict or alcoholic. It is even evident on the sports team or on the job when one person is doing “their own thing.” Our lives are intricately connected in more ways than we understand.

It is one thing to look at the life of King Jeroboam or King Solomon or King Saul and think “if only he would have or what if he would have…” It is another to come to a point in our life or the end of our life and be asking the same questions. Why do we see these types of accounts in scripture? My friend Pastor Bill Oudemolen puts it this way, “God shares other’s consequences to impact our choices.” The good news is God’s mercies endure forever; the time to turn to Him and seek Him to live for Him is now.