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Not A Simple Story

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Life seems straightforward in the laws of the Old Testament. Obey God and get blessed. Disobey Him and expect trouble. IT's a satisfying theology. But is it that simple?


King Asa's story seems to fit the pattern. He led his people away from false gods and his kingdom thrived (2 Chronicles 15:1-19). Then late in his reign, he depended on himself instead of God (2 Chronicles 16:2-7) and the rest of his life was marked by war and illness (verse 12).


It's easy to look at that story and draw a simple conclusion. Bu when the prophet Hanani warned Asa, he said that God will "strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him" (2 Chronicles 16:9). Why do our hearts need strengthening? Because doing the right thing may require courage and perseverance.


Job got the starring role in a cosmic tragedy. His crime? "He [was] blameless and upright" (Job 1:8). Joseph, falsely accused of attempted rape, languished in prison for years-to sere God's good purposes (Genesis 39:19041:1). And Jeremiah was beaten and put in stocks (Jeremiah 20:2). What was the prophet's offense? Telling the truth to rebellious people (Jeremiah 26:15).


Life is not simple, and God;s way are not our ways. Making the right decision may come at a cost. But in God's eternal plan, His blessing arrive in due time.

-Tim Gustafson

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