Read: 2 Kings 23:31-24:7
“And the LORD sent against him…” 2 Kings 24:2
Have you ever noticed how good it feels to sin? (What?!!… I know what you are thinking, “What kind of positive, God-honoring message starts out like that?” Well hear me out…) Sin does feel good otherwise we wouldn’t continuously choose to be disobedient to God by engaging in it. Sin feels good, exciting, and provides immediate gratification…. But never lasts! In fact, not only does it not last, it usually leads to our demise if not addressed.
So often we engage in behavior that is not honoring to God and never think of the consequences that follow. We love that feeling of adrenaline, we look forward to shining when others are put down, we excel at deceiving those around us, we momentarily live for a fantasy conjured up in our heads, we get pleasure in making that last comment that drives the dagger deeper, and we find enjoyment at the expense of others all because we look for that split second of gratification. The lies that come from the enemy encourage us to believe that those actions are harmless and are the way to happiness and success.
The problem is when we start to believe those lies, we lose sight of a greater satisfaction that Christ offers; an eternal satisfaction. Our sin is not harmless. If you think about it, our sin killed a man. Not Romans, not hostile Jews… our sin put Christ on the cross and if it is not dealt with it will work to kill us too.
When we choose to live in a way that glorifies evil, the work that Christ did on the cross is neglected. We also find throughout scripture that God will not allow evil to be glorified. In 2 Kings 23:31 and 24:1-2, we observe the example of two kings with very short reigns, because they chose to “do what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.” As a consequence to the lifestyles they both led, God removed them from positions of authority and allowed the people under them to suffer as well.
These kings were given the opportunity to serve God… The Great God of Israel… The God of the universe… but chose to live for themselves instead. Everyday, we are given the same choice to make. Do we choose to serve the Almighty God or do we act according to our own agenda? One way offers eternal satisfaction… the other leads to destruction and only offers temporary moments of happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that sometimes those fleeting moments are actually tough to look past, but we must strive to put them behind us. If we keep Christ as our focus, we will understand that those little ways of the world will not fulfill something that only God can. We won’t be persuaded to settle for crumbs in the garbage when we can feast with the King on steak and lobster.
So the real question is, do you want to one day be called a “Good and Faithful Servant” or would you rather be disqualified from service because you choose to live for moments of false pleasure?
Lord, why I would ever choose to settle for things that only provide temporary gratification when you offer complete fulfillment is beyond me. I can only say that I am grateful that you give me new grace and remind me of hope every day. Throughout the week, help me to keep my focus on you. Help me to stay guarded to all the lies the enemy whispers in my ears and to put unholy temptations behind me. Encourage me to keep my hand to the plow and to never look back. In Your Saving Name I pray, Amen.