God’s Promise and Warning
9 Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all [a]that Solomon desired to do, 2 that the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 4 As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 5 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I [b]promised to your father David, saying, ‘[c]You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
6 “But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will [d]cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 And this house will become [e]a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore the Lord has brought all this adversity on them.’”
Though Solomon probably didn’t realize it, God wasn’t just warning him and the people of Israel. He was giving them advance notice of their future. God knew the Israelites weren’t perfect, and He knew that they would struggle to keep His commands, and even turn away from Him.
Most importantly, God knew that they needed to struggle in order for His plan for them to become a reality. If they lived perfectly for hundreds of years, there would be no need for anything better than the law with its system of sacrifices.
Fortunately for us (and the Israelites), God does not forget about us when we go astray, when we forget about Him. He uses all things for the good of those who love Him. And if that includes you, be sure life will not be all sunshine and roses. Yes, God desires to bless you, but He will always choose that which is best for you, even when that involves heartache and loss.
Despise not His way, for it is the only way to the Father. It is your best way, every day. Even when it’s hard, when it seems a million miles uphill. He will be your strength, your courage through it all, your peace when the storms rage. When evil seeks to triumph, stand tall in His might, and see what He will do in your life.