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July 17, 2018

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 17 July 2018

Ignoring the Word of God will always result in horrible consequences. Why should you read and study God’s Word? The answer is that the outcome is eternal for ignoring or neglecting the Lord’s Word. “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb 9:28). We must listen to God and heed his Word.

Hebrews 2:1-3a – For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation. . . ?

All humanity needs to “pay much closer attention” to this Word of salvation that came through Jesus Christ, and certainly not to neglect “so great a salvation.” God verified this revelation with “signs and wonders and by various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Drifting from the truth of God’s Word is foolhardy.

God has spoken! He has not resigned us to grope in darkness for spiritual direction. God spoke in many different ways through the Old Testament prophets. God spoke gloriously and completely through Jesus Christ. God is not silent! We must diligently study the Lord God’s message as those people who seek direction, divine treasures, and wisdom for now and ever.

By contrast, Solomon drifted from God's Word, which resulted in devastating consequences. Solomon did not obey God’s requirements for king, which the Lord specified in Deuteronomy 17. The instructions indicate that God intended for Israel to have a king. The nation’s initial request for a king would eventually have been in God’s will; however, it was not in accordance with the Lord’s timing (cf. 1 Sam 8ff.). The king was to be an individual whom the Lord God selected and not a “foreigner” (Deut 17:15). The king was not to “multiply horses,” nor “multiply wives,” and neither was he to “greatly increase silver and gold for himself” (vv. 16-17).

God warned Solomon regarding specific things that he was not to accumulate, yet the king disobeyed as evident in his greatness “in riches” (1 Kgs 10:23), “chariots and horsemen” (v. 26), and loving “many foreign wives” (11:1). Consequently, “the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing . . . but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded” (vv. 9-10), and “then the Lord raised up an adversary to Solomon” (v. 14). God’s sentence was accomplished subsequent to Solomon’s death, as recorded in 1 Kings 12.

Solomon’s kingdom was mighty, yet his personal ambitions were crushing to his people, and would eventually rupture into rebellion. As powerful, wealthy, and wise as he was, Solomon needed to recognize that he was to be obedient to a power even greater than himself (viz. the Lord God). Similar to all God’s leaders, Solomon was granted a choice, and that meant his responsibilities were significant. Jesus said,

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more” (Luke 12:48).

Apparent success can diminish what will genuinely endure, if we do not measure our lives by God’s standards. Authentic success can only be determined over longer periods of time. Genuine success is measured only by perseverance; in this sense, the life of the believer is not a sprint but a marathon. The aspiration and goal in life should be to persist in the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:10-14).

Your Missionary to Georgia's Leaders,

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia

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Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.