Blessed or Not?
2 Chronicles 10; 2 Chronicles 11; 2 Chronicles 12; 1 Corinthians 14:1-19; Proverbs 20:15-24 NIV
The story of Rehoboam highlights just how complicated our relationship with God can be. Throughout the story, the writer makes it clear when Rehoboam was following God and when he wasn’t. The writer also makes it clear when there were consequences for Rehoboam’s actions.
However, in Rehoboam’s life, as in ours, there had to be times that were “in between” – times where he wasn’t really following God closely, yet was having success in his kingdom. I’ve had similar moments in my life where I assumed that because I was being successful that I was following the plan of God.
There are serious flaws in this thinking, of course. The first is that it seems that God sometimes gives us a “grace period” when we head off in the wrong direction. He gives us time to figure it out and make a course correction. The second flaw in thinking, however, is worse than the first. It is when we assume that God’s desire is for us to succeed (in the way we most often define success).
There are plenty of TV preachers (and many more non-TV preachers) who insist that God wants us to make lots of money, get lots of promotions, drive nice cars and live in big houses. Now, let me be clear, I don’t think God is necessarily opposed to those things. I just don’t think any of those things are God’s main interest, nor should they be a litmus test for whether or not we are “blessed”. In fact, I think the whole concept is a lie and a trick from the author of lies.
If we can be tricked into thinking that we can measure God’s love by how much money we have, how healthy we are or how comfortable our life is, then it becomes really easy, in times of discomfort, to convince us that God doesn’t love us at all. In fact, if we judge anyone’s love by whether or not they make our lives easy, we might conclude that no one loves us!
However, when I look at the story of Rehoboam, what I see is a never-ending love of the Father. Like a parent disciplining a child, God didn’t simply allow Rehoboam to do whatever he pleased, but instead, gave consequences for his actions. But through it all, God loved Rehoboam and was ready to extend a hand of grace whenever it could be received.
I’m glad He does the same for me.
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