>Grace and animosity

>“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.” 2 Chronicles 6:14-15

This is the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple upon it’s completion. As I was driving back from the airport today, I came across a sermon that was utilizing these verses (I strongly encourage you to read the remainder of the prayer as well. It is powerful.). The title of the sermon was “Grace in an Emergency,” from the broadcast show, “Walk in the Word.” This prayer is not only of thanksgiving but it is filled with adoration. Solomon begins by acknowledging the mighty nature of God and that he alone is God. Solomon also states that the Lord is a God who keeps the promises he makes, more so His covenants.
Solomon is genuinely crying out to God and as the chapter continues you hear him plea on many individual issues all concluding that when the children of Israel are in hardship and turn to God, when they cry out we are at the point where we know that we can not do it, Lord, hear our plea. Solomon is acknowledging that the people of Israel justly deserve the hardships that they inflict upon themselves, but asks for God’s mercy when they themselves acknowledge their faults. And in the following chapter, God does in fact make a covenant to have his eyes on the temple, to hear the cries of the people, and to honor their faithfulness. Then the reality–BUT IF the people turn from God, he promised to remove himself from them and to cast a deaf ear on their cries.
For many years, Solomon was faithful and the people of Israel were faithful and they found great wealth because of it. But as time and time has shown, they strayed. People began worshiping idols. They began to become self serving and rebelled against God. And just as He said, God allowed the people of Israel to be scattered. This is still evident in today’s society. Have you ever wondered WHY there is some much tension in the Middle East? Have you ever considered why the animosity seems to be completely focused on the destruction of Israel? It’s Biblical and if you needed any more proof of Biblical truth–look at every headline in the news. God honors those who worship Him. America has seen it’s fair share of comfort, I believe, because of it’s roots being deep in scripture. The Founding Fathers did indeed want a freedom of religion but they never intended for religion to be stripped from the public place to appease animosity. We as a nation have become “tolerant” in the name of peace and that in itself is causing the ruckus. What is tolerance? If I am tolerant of a homosexual lifestyle that evidently means that I don’t have the right to believe that it is not right for children to be raised with two mommy’s or two daddy’s. But in a backwards turnaround, no one has to be tolerant of me and my belief that I should not simply believe in God and the Bible but that I should live my life in a way that honors God and stand against the sins that I know are wrong.
We all need grace. But that grace will only come when we humble ourselves, acknowledge God for who He truly is, and confess our sins and weaknesses. I know that I fail, but I also know that God loves me enough to lift me to new heights. And in the end–His grace is all I need.

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