God’s Permanent Promises

1 Kings 2:37 “For on the day you go out and cross over the brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.”

1 Chronicles 29:18 “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You.”

Observation: First we have Shimei, who deserved to die. He had cursed King David as David fled Absalom. David and now Solomon had extended grace to Shimei, saying in effect, “If you’ll live where I can keep an eye on you, you may live, but if you cross a certain line, I’ll have you killed and it will be your fault, not mine.” After three years, with the immediacy of the king’s warning having faded from his ears and with what seemed good reason (to chase runaway servants), Shimei crossed the line. When Solomon heard of it, he simply kept his word, and Shimei was killed.

Then we have a magnificent contrast in 1 Chronicles 29, where David asked God to “preserve forever the intentions of Your people, and direct their heart toward You.” Here David, at the end of his life, has absolute confidence in the ability of the Lord to keep what is His. David isn’t asking God to keep trials from His people; indeed, David has learned that we often have our best growth through trials. But he is unshakeable in knowing that if people will truly set their heart on following God, He will keep them, preserve them, through even the most horrible trials.

Application: How often am I like Shimei, thinking that I have such a good reason to sin, to bend what God has said, that surely this time it’ll be OK? Surely He will understand, and besides, He seems so far away He probably won’t even notice.

A heart set on following God will never think like that. God keeps His promises. As long as I have breath, I can change forever my destiny after death by repenting, by turning from such thinking and behavior. I always have the option of turning fully to God, as David demonstrated in Chronicles, but unless I do, I receive the deserved punishment of Shimei. But a heart set on God will be preserved through all loss, all devastation, and will be delivered into the eternal, loving embrace of the Father.

Prayer: Lord God, Your unchanging ways are so permanent. Jesus said He is the rock upon which we will be broken if we do not follow Him. I ask You to break me now, Lord, so I will not be broken by my sin. Thank You for giving me passion to pursue You with my whole heart, no matter what comes.

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