Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. 21 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.1 Kings 4:20-21 ESV
The eye of the storm.
This time of peace in Israel seems a beautiful thing. No wars or rumors of war. Peace treaties and collaboration. A time of abundance and wealth. Construction projects and growth. Unashamed worship and sacrifice.
I know the hard battles fought to get them to this point. And, I also know what is to come shortly as they begin to drift from following God. But for now, they enjoy a season of relative prosperity and calm. Blessing after blessing rolls their way. A beautifully crafted temple, a wise king, ornate furnishings throughout temple and palace. And, along the way, a reminder from God.
11 Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”1 Kings 6:11-13 ESV
Thankfully our salvation is not conditional as Solomon’s blessings were in those days. But, God’s desires for us are still the same. He still calls me to obey. He still wants His word established in my life. Thankfully, He still wants to dwell with me.
The words of Jesus hundreds of years later as shared in the book of John come to mind. He spoke these while walking in Solomon’s colonnade in the temple. Perhaps he called to mind that promise spoken to Solomon and the continual desire for relationship between God and man.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.John 10:27-29 ESV
While my life might still fluctuate in terms of intimacy with God and consistency in my spiritual walk and discipline, my eternity is secure. Israel would stray so far so fast and experience God’s wrath and judgment. Jesus covered that for me. Every time, He picks me back up, draws me back to himself, reminds me of His voice, and continues to lead me in his truth. No one can snatch me out of God’s hand.
Dear Jesus, thank you for making this permanent. Thank you for the secured gift of eternal life bought at the cost of your life that I could never have earned, yet that I still desire inconsistently. Thank you for the blessings, for eternal peace, for unending love, and for your secure hold on my life. Continue to grow my faith this day and always. In Jesus name, amen.