As children, we were told that if we were naughty Santa would bring us a lump of coal, and that if we were nice Santa would bring us lots of presents. Well, Santa is a myth (sorry to burst anyone’s bubble), but the naughty-nice principle remains as shown by a passage like 1 Chronicles 28:6-8. This passage describes history. Even so, it reveals how God interacted with mankind under various circumstances. It provides guidance for us in the 21st Century because God has not changed from the Old Testament days to today.
1 Chronicles 28:6-8 (NASB95) reads:
6 “He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him. 7 ‘I will establish his kingdom forever if he resolutely performs My commandments and My ordinances, as is done now.’ 8 “So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever.
The background of this passage is set out in verses 1-5 of 1 Chronicles 28. We see that King David assembled all the leaders of Israel to advise them that even though he wanted to build the Temple, God had told him that he would not, “because you are a man of war and have shed blood.” Instead, God had chosen David’s son Solomon to build the Temple.
Verses 7-8 set out a conditional promise that obedience to God results in blessings. While not expressly set forth, disobedience to God results in curses. In fact, God set forth the same condition along with the reverse side, i.e., disobedience equals curses, to Solomon in 1 Kings 9:4–9 (a copy is in the APPENDIX hereto).
What I did to better understand this passage (and how it impacts me) was to block copy the text of verses 6-8 and begin writing my responses to the 5 W’s and H questions. Email and will send you my notes. None of what I found was “breaking news.” Even so, it was beneficial to refresh my mind about basic biblical principles. What I found is below and I hope it is a benefit to you.
● In v. 6, when God said that Solomon was the ”one who shall build My house,” God wasn’t kidding. David had wanted to, but he disqualified himself. And God has the final say so. God means what He says in His Word, i.e., the Bible. It really doesn’t matter whether I agree or not. What He says is His Word are very words spoken to humankind through the inspired writers. God’s Word has to be my final authority.
● In v. 6, it is comforting to me to read that God chose Solomon to be His son and God to be a Father to Solomon. I rejoice that God chose me before time began to be His child and He is my Father. Today, and not someday in the sweet by-and-by, He is my Father and I am His child! If you are saved, it is worthwhile to spend some time and ponder that wonderful relationship you have with the God of the universe Who spoke it all into existence.
● God’s promise in our text was conditional. I am thankful that my salvation is an unconditional relationship. I do not have to keep it by works. There is nothing I can do to lose it! Very importantly, this is not a license to sin, but is instead, an incentive to obey.
● I obey by “resolutely” performing (v. 7), observing, and seeking (v. 8) after what God teaches in His Word (i.e., God’s “commandments,” God’s “ordinances,” and “all the commandments of the LORD” my God).
● To “resolutely” perform, observe, and seek after what God says in His Word means that:
●● I must diligently engage the Bible because I must know what He says in His Word in order to obey God. I engage the Bible through, for example, a structured reading plan (e.g., the Professor Grant Horner Bible Reading System) and study goals (e.g., writing projects or involvement in Bible study groups) through which I carefully observe what God’s Word says.
●● I must pray for the Holy Spirit to illuminate my mind to what is in the Scriptures because He will teach me. I need to pray before each time of Bible engagement that God would teach and show me what He wants me to take away from that session in His Word so that I arrive at a correct interpretation of a passage.
●● I must be committed to carry out what God teaches me through His Word. I need to constantly pray for guidance and strength to live according to His Word so that I properly apply the correctly-interpreted passage to my life.
The Professor Grant Horner Bible Reading System is a great 500 day Bible reading plan. The following link presents a description of the plan ( https://sohmer.net/media/professor_grant_horners_bible_reading_system.pdf). My goal is to briefly share my thoughts on the passage that stands out the most for me each day.
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change.
Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved.
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Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture marked “NASB95” are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971, 1972,1973,1975, 1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.” Scripture marked “NCV” is taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” The Scriptures marked “NET” are quoted are from the NET Bible® http://netbible.com copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved”. Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Scripture marked “GW” is taken from the God’s Word Bible that is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission.
1 Kings 9:4–9 (NET) – 4 You must serve me with integrity and sincerity, just as your father David did. Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations.5 Then I will allow your dynasty to rule over Israel permanently, just as I promised your father David, ‘You will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 6 “But if you or your sons ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, and decide to serve and worship other gods,7 then I will remove Israel from the land I have given them, I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, and Israel will be mocked and ridiculed among all the nations. 8 This temple will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by it will be shocked and will hiss out their scorn, saying, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?’ 9 Others will then answer, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God, who led their ancestors out of Egypt. They embraced other gods whom they worshiped and served. That is why the Lord has brought all this disaster down on them.’ ”