“Their Poverty; Our Lesson”Categories: Christian Living, Daily Bible Reading, Tuesday Email Devo
The stories that we're reading this week sound like they could be from some sort of post-apocalyptic movie plot. A low-level politician is murdered by a mob, there is a certain degree of martial law, real justice is scarce, and everyone in the story is either part of the oppressive enemy or living in abject poverty. Is this what God intended life in the promised land to be like? Not. At. All.
The harsh reality of what's now happened to Solomon's powerful, wealthy, and respectable nation makes for a great demonstration of what happens to people who rebel against God. Think of how much they lost—culturally, spiritually, economically, politically. Lives were taken. Their national identity was destroyed. Even their land, a permanent home which once flowed with milk and honey, is now a desolate strip of earth playing host to people who are, for all practical purposes, homeless. And why did all of that happen? Because they rebelled against God.
Sin always comes at a high cost. Especially for those who know what God's way truly is, the tradeoff between God's goodness and sin's deception is never, ever worth it. The writer of Hebrews talked about that in a way that reminds us that it is never worth choosing sin when we know what God's will truly is. Take his words to heart, and stand firmly with God in your words, in your actions, and in your heart.
"For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation." (Heb. 6:4-9)
- Dan Lankford, minister