Scripture: 1 Kings 14:25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, King Shishak of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; 26 he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house; he took everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made; 27 so King Rehoboam made shields of bronze instead, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house.

Observation: This passage describes how the Egyptians plundered Jerusalem in a devastating defeat. And why did this defeat occur? Because God’s people had turned away from the Lord by worshipping pagan gods. The Lord hoped that, by experiencing the pain and humiliation of defeat, his people would turn away from their wicked ways and return to the Lord. But they did not. As bad as things had gotten among God’s people in our passage, it would actually get worse. Much worse.

Application: It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. The experience of painful consequences can often educate us more powerfully than any verbal warning about right and wrong. We call this sort of thing learning “the hard way”. As I expect is true of many of you, I often learn the hard way. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Here are some questions I’m reflecting on this morning:

  • Where am I crossing the line from right to wrong?
  • What are the potential consequences of my disobedience?
  • What would it look like for me to turn back now rather than later?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are a stiff-necked people, which is another way of saying we are stubborn. Give us grace that we might turn from our sinful ways before it’s too late. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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