(1 Kings 8:32 KJV) Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.Notice the phrase in the middle of the verse: “to bring his way upon his head.” At the end of the verse the righteous are rewarded. This verse is underlining a simple truth: We often get what we deserve.
Please don’t go off on a doctrinal dissertation about all being sinners and none being righteous. That is not the point. Just accept a simple truth. How we live makes a difference in how we live. I remember listening to someone from Korea talking about the effects of salvation on his life. One of the points he made was that it raised his living standard dramatically because once he was saved he stopped drinking, gambling and all manner of wild living. This put money in his pocket to care for his family and himself. A simple cause and effect relationship.
We can carry this line of thought too far and I will touch on that in a later post, but we ignore this simple truth: God rewards those who live righteous lives. Sometimes it is simple cause and effect. Being sober keeps you from being arrested for drunk driving. Sometimes it is the direct intervention of God. The Bible is full of promises but when I read them I see the conditional clauses, the if/then statements. Here is just one example:
(1 Kings 3:14 KJV) And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.I can’t categorically say that there are no promises with without conditions but if you look I believe you will usually find them.
Having lived in sin so long, most of us are good at ignoring the conditions. We still think we can manipulate God and get Him to play our games. We say, “But you said you would bless me. You promised.” To which God says, “This is why I prefer e-mails to telephone calls. Go back and read the message again. Think about what I actually said, not what you wanted to hear.”
Are you listening? Not to me, but to the voice of God. Are you reading the entire promise, conditions and all. Many times when I have gone back and read the verse in question, and the context I find that my memory was at fault, not the promise. Remember that just as we are promised we will not be tempted beyond what we can endure, we will also not be given conditions that we cannot fulfill.
To be continued...
homo unius libri