As people, we all face the temptation to be the one making our life choices based on our own goals and choosing for ourselves what we say and do. However, God’s plan is for us to be under His direction, as obedient, loving children and faithful servants, following His Superior knowledge to reach His goals. We were created by and for Him, not for ourselves. God makes it clear that there are consequences for choosing to follow Him as well as for ignoring Him.

This is seen throughout the Bible as God shares wisdom and direction and people decide to follow or not. There are good examples in today’s reading guide:  

In Proverbs 19:8-9, God says that “getting” (learning) His wisdom and then “keeping” (living by) that wisdom results in spiritual blessings. But just knowing His wisdom is not sufficient. Choosing to live according to God’s wisdom is the key. Romans 2:13 is a New Testament version of this proverb saying, it is not just “hearers” but “doers” of God’s instructions that God desires. Verse 9 is a specific example, lying in this case, of God promising negative consequences for not obeying His directions.

In Romans 2, Paul talks about the severe consequence of disobeying God’s Laws. No one has an excuse or has earned a pass on judgment for their own disobedience. Paul is setting the stage for God’s truth that all are sinners and need deliverance from the eternal consequences of sin through faith in Jesus, but the passage is clear that obedience is God’s plan for His followers.

In I Chronicles 17:1, David wants to go beyond the God’s spoken Word (v. 6) by choosing to invest part of his life and wealth in building a temple (house) to honor and thank God. This seemed to be a great idea to honor God. Surely God would be pleased. But David did a wise step in consulting a fellow believer with his own close relationship with God, Nathan the prophet, before acting. Turns out that God’s plan was different than what David thought. Again David chose the path of wisdom – obeying God and giving up his own plan as spiritual as it sounded. Historians would refer to Solomon’s Temple not David’s Temple. David, however, got a greater unexpected blessing for hearing and obeying. God promised to build a “house” (lineage) for David instead (17:11-14). The Messiah Himself would be from the Davidic line. A temple that never would be destroyed.

Today’s reading reminds us that being a faithful servant is a two-step process - knowing God’s directions and following them.

by Rick Hays, Deacon

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