Looking for Grace In All the Odd Places

Most of you know that I plow through the Bible in my devotions in a fairly routine pattern. Though I don’t read as much every day as I used to, I’ve found that a slower pace brings deeper meaning and sometimes astonishing discoveries.

Recently, I found the most profound display of grace in the book of 1st Kings.

crown

You’ll find the passage in 1st Kings 11:38. And it’s the remarkable context of the passage that makes the content entirely astounding. At this point in the story, because of his association with non-Jewish wives, women have turned David’s son Solomon’s heart from the Lord. The Lord is angry enough to take away the kingdom from Solomon; but for the sake of his father David, he leaves ONE tribe (Judah) under the kingship of Solomon’s son.

The context is correction, God’s justifiable wrath at human defiance, and the consequence of disobedience. It marks an ugly milestone in the history of the Jewish people. The splitting of the tribes and the establishment of a Northern Kingdom precedes the Assyrian and Babylonian captivity. Who knows what might have happened had Solomon obeyed God?

And yet, God’s grace.

God has appointed the next King, the one to whom he will give the northern tribes. The new king is a servant and warrior in Solomon’s household. Here is the passage where God chooses him as king:

“However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 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. I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.”

Did you recognize those promises? Do they sound familiar? They should. The promise is the same, nearly word for word, as the promise God gave David and the promise God made to Solomon.

I’ve read this passage dozens of times, and I’ve never caught it. Here is what shocks me: Even in the midst of correction, of second choices, of failed kingships, God extends divine grace. If you will . . . I will.

How remarkable! How kind! How out of the ordinary is our God! Who would imagine that after all that has gone wrong, our God still has the compassion and the desire and the commitment to bless the new king, (of the second choice kingdom), with the same conditional (but generous) blessing that he gave David, and Solomon before him.

Have you found yourself facing the consequences of failure? Are you suffering through correction? Are you struggling for the courage to ‘fess up and turn away from that which holds you?

Consider looking for Grace in the midst of it. If God chose to supernaturally bless a faithful Israel — even when He meant to have a single kingdom reflect his God-head — then certainly God can choose to bless you as you repent and begin again.

In correction, there is hope. In failure, there is Grace.

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2 Responses to “Looking for Grace In All the Odd Places”

  1. Dj young Says:

    Nicely done. Great insight

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