Monday, June 16, 2008

Cover to Cover: connect the dots


Friday morning I was getting ready to dash out the door to work when I felt God speaking to me. I had been reading Chuck Swindoll's Elijah: A Man of Heroism and Humility in preparation for meeting Elijah in the scriptures and I was pondering something I had read. Suddenly, I felt God nudge my heart and say, "Connect the dots, Karen. Look and see."


All of this makes perfect sense in my head and I am going to try and explain it here. Please forgive me if I do a poor job.

We have recently finished the story of David, a man after God's own heart. Although David had his shortcomings, he loved God and truly desired to follow Him and please Him.
"David always did what the Lord said was right and obeyed his commands all his life, except the one time when David sinned against Uriah the Hittite." 1 Kings 15:5

Then we have Solomon, a king raised and instructed by David. A man that God came and spoke to twice. A man who followed God for most of his life, in most things. And yet,
"As Solomon grew old, his wives caused him to follow other gods. He did not follow the Lord completely as his father David had done. Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the people of Sidon, and Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what the Lord said was wrong and did not follow the Lord completely as his father David had done. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built two places for worship. One was a place to worship Chemosh, the hated god of the Moabites, and the other was a place to worship Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. Solomon did the same thing for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their gods." 1 Kings 11:4-8

I wonder if Solomon thought that it wasn't a big deal. Maybe it was a little something he could do to make his many wives happy. No problem, right? A little step off the path of righteousness, no one will notice. Every body's happy, what's the harm?

Except...

God was angry. And He stripped most of Solomon's kingdom from his son. Handed it right over to Jeroboam.

And ...

"Jeroboam built temples on the places of worship. He also chose priests from all the people, not just from the tribe of Levi. And he started a new festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, just like the festival in Judah. During that time the king offered sacrifices on the altar, along with sacrifices to the calves in Bethel he had made. He also chose priests in Bethel to serve at the places of worship he had made. So Jeroboam chose his own time for a festival for the Israelites—the fifteenth day of the eighth month. During that time he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built in Bethel. He set up a festival for the Israelites and offered sacrifices on the altar." 1 Kings 12:31-33

Mr. Swindoll has this to say about Jeroboam. "He is significant not only for his position as the first monarch of that era but also because he was the king who deliberately planted seeds of idolatry among the people of Israel. (p6)"

So, here are the dots. Do you already see them? We go from following God's path to straying just a little from God's path to complete immersion into sin and a total disregard for God Himself.

At first, I was very judgemental of the Israelites, wondering how on earth they could have fallen so far, so fast. But then there's God's voice again, nudging me, reminding me of how many times I've stepped "off to the side" for just a moment. Or so I tell myself. And then, suddenly I find myself so far from Him, with no idea how I could have ever gotten there.

I suppose my lesson for the week is a warning.

Connect the dots.
Follow the path.
Remember that any step from the path leads us to destruction.

Please feel free to join us at Bev's for her weekly recap. I'm praying for each one of you this week. Blessings!

8 comments:

Ang baylis said...

Thank you, Karen for this great explanation. I love reading your insights each week. You apply our readings in life in a way that is so easy to understand. What a great warning to me as well! I better pray I stay on track and don't stray! I'll keep you in my prayers as well.
Much love,
Angie

annette said...

Karen,

Even though I am not a part of Cover to Cover, the insights you and Annette post are such a blessing to me.

I have often thought it is easy to be like the Israelites and take a step off the path.

Have a blessed week.

THE ROOST said...

Isn't it wonderful how God speaks to us through his word. His love amazes me. Thanks for the lesson.

Bev Brandon said...

You did a great job Karen, a very moving one at that! Moved my heart! I just posted kind of late with all going on over here. Thanks for a great word! Bev

helenw13 said...

Well done Karen...I love that...connect the dots...you did...and I will remember this in a new way...I am sure glad the Lord spoke to you...and you listened well.

Blessings to you,

Helen

Nise' said...

I have always loved dot to dot puzzles and often would guess what it was before I was finished. How come I am so bad at connecting them in my own life? Thanks for a great reminder to watch out for those times we may be stepping off the path thinking its no big deal.

annie's eyes said...

I get it! Each dot is either a seed of faith or destruction so any step can be the path to Life or path to destruction. I loved your analogy. And your heart for Him.

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