April 29, 2014
I Kings 11:38
If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. NIV (1984)
The troubles for Israel that Solomon began continue here. Solomon had not remained faithful to a whole-hearted devotion to God. The first first verse of this same chapter begins, “King Solomon, however…” It was not a good however. It eventually led to the dividing of the tribes of Israel.
This is the backdrop of this verse, one we have heard God say many times. – walk in obedience, do what is right. It is the same verse with a new person, a new king. It has to be stated again and again and again. I think we sometimes assume that the next generation knows – that they know by osmosis what God wants. We may think they automatically know all the blessings we have received from God – or that they know of the salvation we have because of Jesus and the grace and blessings the Father has for us. But it isn’t true. We have to open our hearts and tell them. We have to pass on the baton. It won’t happen automatically. The next generation needs to hear from us about Jesus. About His truth and grace. It’s up to you and me.
This morning, Jim and I were talking . We received word about some of the devastation of the tornado that tore through Arkansas two days ago. Three of the 16 people killed belonged to a family of 11; the father worked at Family Life, a ministry of help and hope for marriages and families. He and his two daughters were killed. Another family of 8 from Family Life were saved in their closet that was built as a storm shelter. The house all around them was destroyed. Our prayers go out to all of them. One of the surviving daughters sent out a message to make sure to hug and love their fathers.
Things happen. While we are praying for them, we also were looking back in gratitude to the covering of protection over us as Jim walked across America. We went through tornado alley with merely a warning one night and were provided a place to go for protection. Jim walked safely while 5 others that year did not make it on their cross-country trek due to cars and trucks. The Lord provided when we had no place to turn. He provided a mild summer for Jim to walk. He was so gracious to us. It was a grace of protection. To others it may be a different kind of grace – of comfort. I want the next generation to know that God provided, He protected, that He is good. I also want them to know that God walks with them every step of the way.