Friday, June 21, 2019

The Vision (6.21.19): The LORD shall return thy wickedness

Image: CRBC 2019 VBS Crew! Great week of learning about the life of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew.

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on 1 Kings 2.

Therefore the Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head (1 Kings 2:44b).

Solomon’s ending statement here concerning the just punishment of Shimei stands out.

This same principle is expressed by Paul in Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Eastern religions have the concept of karma, a distortion of this truth. A popular adage likewise says, “What goes around, comes around.”

The Biblical idea is different, however, because it does not posit some impersonal force, but the monitoring and intervention of a sovereign and just God. God is not mocked! He will not wink at our sin! If you live in an ungodly manner you will meet an ungodly end!

What does our sin deserve? It deserves the wrath of God. We deserve to have our wickedness brought down upon our heads, to reap what we have sown.

We deserve not only temporal punishment but eternal punishment.

A fundamental dilemma within the human experience is here expressed. God is holy and righteous, and he has holy and righteous standards with respect to which we have fallen short.

We are all like Adonijah in our pride and over-reaching.

We are all like Abiathar in that we have failed in our religious duties.

We are all like Joab in that we have been prone to violence, lust for revenge, and unjust anger.

We are all like Shimei in that we have cursed at just authority and trespassed gracious boundaries set for us.

And we are all also like David and Solomon too in their distinctive sins.

The prophet Isaiah, who ministered during the twilight of the Kingdom of Judah, would prophesy of a mysterious suffering servant who would come. He would be “wounded for our transgressions” and the Lord would lay on him “the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:5-6).

Then, in the fullness of time, Christ came. Of him Paul would write: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Rom 5:8-9).

Yes, we deserve to have our wickedness returned upon our own heads, to reap what we have sown. But the good news of the gospel is that Christ has reaped for us what we have sown.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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