Monday, July 19

Know the difference

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 11-12, Psalm 84, John 19

2 Chronicles 12:7–8 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.”

Observation

After Rehoboam’s rule was established, he abandoned the Lord.  Because of this unfaithfulness, the Lord allowed Shishak of Egypt to invade and conquer Judah.  The prophet Shemaiah brought a message from God: “You have abandoned Me; now I abandon you to Shishak.”  When the leaders heard this and humbled themselves and repented, God responded with mercy and promised to deliver them…but not without consequences.  They would be subject to Shishak (meaning they paid tribute each year) “so that they may learn the difference between serving me (the Lord) and serving the kings of other lands.”  

Application

We need to know the difference between serving the Lord and serving other masters!

When we follow the Lord and do what He says, we are living life as it was meant to be lived and things go well.  When we don’t, we are at cross-purposes with life, with our design, and with our Creator, and life doesn’t go well. 

Said another way: When we disobey, we pay.  Also, we can suffer because others disobey.  A friend of mine recently told me that he wondered if the Christian faith “worked” because he did things right and was still suffering.  I pointed out that his pain was because someone else very close to him disobeyed God.   It turns out that God’s way does “work”.  When the other person chose another master, sadly they both discovered “the difference between serving the Lord and the kings of other lands.”

Serving the Lord lines up with life as it’s meant to be lived.

Serving another master brings disaster.  

Know the difference…and choose whom you will serve.

Prayer: Lord, I choose to follow You.  Help me to simply hear what You say and do it.