Think back to the biggest accomplishment of your life. It probably didn’t just happen. It probably took a lot of planning, a lot of preparation, and a lot of really hard work. You probably felt a big sense of accomplishment and also a sense of relief that it was all over. Maybe it was the day you graduated college. “No more classes,” you thought. Maybe you finished restoring a car and it finally ran and looked good again. That first drive was a mix of a weight being lifted and joy in the accomplishment.
Imagine how the people of Israel felt as the temple building concluded. It was a dream of David and Solomon had built it. It was the demonstration of Israel’s enduring commitment to worship God alone. But it took many workers doing everything they could for 7 years (20 years to finish the temple and the king’s house). Can you imagine the amount of excitement in the air as they gathered for the temple’s dedication!? The dream had become a reality. Solomon built a small platform, about 10 feet high and, in the sight of all the people, bowed his sovereignty to the Sovereign of all and committed himself and the people to serving the Lord. It was certainly a day to remember!
But what about the next day, or the next week? What about a couple of years down the road? As with anything, the excitement wears off. The cap and gown get replaced by your work clothes. That rebuilt muscle car gets a few more miles on it. The “new car smell” wears off and things go back to normal. During Solomon’s reign, the priests never stopped worshiping according to the commandments they had been issued. But we know the rest of Israel’s history. They eventually strayed away. They dropped off the bandwagon. They became complacent in their commitment.
God had told Solomon that if he would walk before God in integrity, uprightness, and obedience, then God would continue to allow him and his descendants to reign in Israel. However, if Solomon or his descendants would abandon those commandments, God would cut off his blessings, allow the immaculate temple they had built for Him to be destroyed, and make Israel a euphemism in the world around them. We know the rest of the story. In 605 BC, then again in 597, and finally 586 BC, God allowed Israel to be taken into captivity, and in the final wave, the temple was destroyed. God fulfilled his promise.
It’s easy for us to look at all that and say, “Man, I’d never fall into that trap.” But what about our current situation. Have you allowed any complacency to creep into your life? The first week or two of the lockdown, you probably gathered faithfully around the computer screen to join in worship. But then, it lost its excitement and newness. Then we started drive-in services. You were there. And then it lost its newness. Next, we put up the tent! And then it lost its newness. Soon, we’ll be back in the church building, Lord-willing. It will be exciting and new. I hope you’ll be there! But I also pray that we will see continued faithfulness from you. Don’t let the excitement dictate your commitment to God. Instead, allow it to reignite your passion for God, but make your commitment to God independent of the excitement.
Psalm 128:1 “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in His ways.”