The Consequences of Turning Away From God
by Dotty Cockcroft
This verse in Chronicles is repeated several times in different chapters and is followed by a catalogue of the kings of Judah and what happened to them. Generally they either ‘did what was pleasing in God’s sight’ and were blessed with victory over their enemies and peace in the land or they ‘did what was evil in the Lord’s sight’ and were abandoned by him to their fate by enemies or disease.
Recently I met up with five people whom I had known, in the past, to make commitments to the Lord Jesus. Two of them had walked with Him for a long while and held leadership roles in the Church. Sadly all had turned and walked away from Him. I was quite horrified at the positions they were in. One was consumed with bitterness to a point that had destroyed relationships. The lives of two others were totally controlled by ill health. One was overwhelmed with stress at trying to manage life and the last had embarked on an ungodly and potentially harmful relationship.
Naturally this got me thinking (and praying!). After all we, who seek to walk with the Lord, are not immune from problems in life, far from it actually. At this time I have dear brothers and sisters in Christ who are battling with sickness and some who are in very stressful situations. There are those who could be tempted to bitterness or to seeking comfort from wrong places. The difference is in the precious promise in the first part of today’s verse: ‘The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him’. If we can trust Him and rest in that promise there will be a peace no matter what we have to face.
Looking a bit deeper into what it meant for the kings of Judah to ‘stay’ with God and to ‘seek’ Him, it seemed to mean getting rid of all the idols and false gods. It seemed to mean worshipping Him only, and asking Him before making any significant decisions, especially regarding going to battle against the enemies. There was also something about treating the people kindly and well too.
Let’s seek God’s help to stay with him and never abandon Him and to know His peace even in our struggles.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus thank You so much that we have You and the power of the Holy Spirit to help us to stay faithful to You and never abandon You. Please help us to get rid of any idols in our lives, which might lead us astray. Help us to worship You only and seek Your guidance about the decisions we have to make. We pray for all those who seem to have abandoned You, that You will find a way to draw them back to Yourself. Amen.