BIBLE READING: 1Kings
“The wages of sin is death…”
words that were written by the Apostle Paul so many years ago, still send
shockwaves today to our very core. Along
with death, sin has other horrible consequences that affect us and those around
us. Sin causes us mental anguish,
crippling guilt and self-loathing shame.
Our sin causes us to forget the joy and happiness that we have in Jesus
and focus on the bitterness of our wretchedness. Our reading today takes us to Solomon as he
has dedicated the Temple the Lord. After
all the celebration has ended and the people have all returned home from the
feast, the LORD once again appears to Solomon.
During His exchange with Solomon, God offers some very crucial
information that just might help us find that joy that comes in Christ.
“And as for
you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of
heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and
keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over
Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a
man on the throne of Israel.” (1 Kings 9:4-5).
Did you notice that? It is interesting that the LORD said that
David walked with “integrity of
heat and uprightness”. If I correctly recall from our earlier readings, David was a liar who
faked being insane, who committed adultery and had a man murdered to cover it
up. After all the sin that David had
committed God still considered him “a man
after His own heart” (I Samuel 13.14 ). It would have been easy for David to wallow
in his guilt and shame. In fact, the
Psalms record that at times David did just that. However, God knew his heart. He knew that after he sinned, he was
repentant for all his transgressions. We
are all sinners, yet we still can be considered people of “integrity of heart and uprightness”. Paul was right, sin does equal
death, but we didn’t let him finish, “…but
the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Don’t let you sin rob you of
the joy and happiness we have through Jesus Christ.