Copyright (c), 2017, E. Thone Hall
Often, we consider the “perks” of salvation and fellowship with God. In the Old Testament, the Israelites dreamed about their Land of Milk and Honey. Today we sing Hand-in-Hand with Jesus, and discuss walking the streets of Gold. We are caught up in the “up side” of our Lord. But we can never forget the “down side” of sin and disobedience, if we are saved, we will eventually walk the streets of gold, but the road may get very bumpy on the way there!
In 2 Chronicles 7:19-22 KJV we are told:
“But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; Then will I pluck them up the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.”
It is useful to note the context these warnings (“threats”) were issued. This is not just one more case as in Judges and also in the later Kings of Israel and Judah where God is warning His people that they needed to turn from their evil ways, and follow Him.
In fact, one could argue that this is the time of the greatest glory of the Israelites as God’s people. This is the time of the sanctification of the great temple of Solomon. Here is a brief outline of this chapter:
1. Verses 1-3 God sends fire from Heaven to consume the sacrifice. The Glory of the Lord is present in the temple.
2. Verses 4-11 Solomon and all the people make sacrifices to the Lord.
3. Verses 12-18 God promises to hear their prayers if Israel repents and calls out to Him.
But then in our text God tells the people that if they turn away, and serve other gods then He would:
1. Pluck them up by the roots.
2. Hide the Temple from his sight and make it a joke and a curse before other nations.
3. Make all other nations wonder why He did this.
Indeed, Israel was the greatest, richest, more successful nation of this time but the price of disobedience for their sins (after many chances to return to Him) was a total destruction of the entire nation.
I pray that our Nation will not fall into this same attitude and therefore also pay for this disobedience. To be a saved person in a nation of disobedience must be truly horrifying.