Read:  2 Kings 23:31-24:7

Focus:
“The LORD would not forgive this.”  2 Kings 24:4b 

Judah was in a long term downward spiral away from God.  They had a few Kings who tried to turn the nation back to God, but they were just a few in a line of many, many evil kings who led the country in idolatry, injustice, and sin.   At this point, the country is being ruled by the Egyptians through kings appointed by the Pharaoh.  Eventually, the nation will be invaded by the Babylonians and completely fall.

The nation of Judah had given itself to sin and idolatry.  It had moments of awakening and turning to God, and God would forgive them and restore them.  The long term pattern however, was to return to their wicked ways and turn from God.   God had had enough and let them lose everything in hopes that they would return to Him.

So often, people have a come to Jesus moment, where they turn to God and follow Him for a time, only to return to their sin and turn from God later.  God will eventually let us reap the consequences of going our own way and living without Him – in hopes of us hitting bottom and turning to Him.  It’s not that God can’t forgive you no matter how far you have fallen, it’s that He won’t enable you through cheap grace to remain in a destructive pattern.  If you want to keep going back to the idols in your life, He will cut you loose to do so (24:4b “The LORD would not forgive this.”)

It’s not that what you have done isn’t forgivable, it’s that what you are doing isn’t going to be forgiven till you repent and live differently.  So what about the addict?  Cheap grace doesn’t help the addict either…  Addiction is no respecter of persons and it will kill you if you don’t get the help you need to stop.

If you are an addict, I believe God has grace for the recovery process, but don’t play the I’m sorry – run back to my sin – I’m sorry game.  Do whatever you need to do to stop.  It’s life or death.  Eventually you will lose everything that matters in life, and hopefully come to your senses and turn to God.  You can choose to avoid that pain and do the tough thing now or you can choose to go your own way and lose it all.  Do whatever it takes, swallow your pride and get some help now… the alternative isn’t pretty.

Prayer:
God – You know I am not perfect, but I do choose this day to follow you.  To turn from sin in my life, and to do whatever it takes to not return to it.  Thank you for your grace and forgiveness and thank you for the beauty of life in you.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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