1 Chronicles 11:1-3 (Part 1) – Seeking God’s Will – Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else!

Posted: February 19, 2020 in 99-Uncategorized

1 Chronicles 11:1-3 (Part 1 of 2)

David Anointed King

Recently, in a meeting of pastors that I attended, where there was a discussion of just what is going to happen to the United Methodist Church as we battle with the issue of human sexuality, there were two comments about the situation that stuck with me that do not have anything to do with the direct issue that our denomination is considering a split over. One was about that “God will be with us no matter what happens. He is with us now and He will be with us after whatever happens at General Conference” And the other was about the goodness of inclusiveness.

Those two thoughts got me to thinking about the nation of Israel as we read through its history in the Old Testament. First, it is clear from Scripture that God will withdraw His glory and His blessing from His people when they act contrary to His commands (see the Old Testament, Ezekiel Chapter 10). Further, in the New Testament, As the apostle Paul explained, God’s temple is now His Church, the people whom He dwells in through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16). And the initial giving of the Spirit to the Church was accompanied by the miraculous signs of wind and fire, reminiscent of the glory of Ezekiel’s vision (see Acts 2). In all these warnings, Ezekiel included, we should recognize that God was not only talking about the ancient destruction He allowed to befall His people. He is also talking about the future—of nations today and of us individually. All of us have a choice before us of whether to be faithful to God or to reject Him. The apostle Paul taught that the greatest mystery of all time is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Jesus Christ living in us through His Spirit is the most wonderful thing a human being can experience in this life. Yet one of the main lessons from Ezekiel is that God will allow us to follow our desires even when those desires are contrary to His design for us. However, that does not mean that He will bless that which is against His will. This was true for Israel, this was true for the first century church, and it is true for us today as a modern-day people of God. I think that is what is meant by God withdrawing from Israel. He withdrew His blessing from the nation of Israel. When they, generation after generation, strayed from His commands, Israel progressively became a weaker and weaker nation to the point that it basically disappeared from existence as an independent nation. Therefore, yes, God is present among us each and every day. He is an omnipresent God. However, He will not bless that which is against His will. At the same time, we worship a God who is quick to forgive and will separate us as far as the east is from the west  from the sins that we turn away from in repentance through Jesus Christ. He dearly wants to bless us and will forgive us of our transgressions but it is evident from Scripture, He will not bless that which is against His commands. God does love us no matter what we do but He will not bless that which is against His will. Therefore, it is my prayer that in our denomination’s struggle that we do nothing less than discerning what God’s will is, and as Ken Nelson recently said, “May our church discern what God’s will is and do that – nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else!”

Second, and related to the first, the debate within the church is about inclusiveness and how good that is. And that certainly is true. We are to love all people from all walks of life. We are to love everyone into the midst of the fellowship of the people of God. However, inclusiveness should not be the only goal that we have as a people of God. Yes, we must reach outside our doors and connect with people from all walks of life. We must love each and every person with whom we come in contact in our lives. We are to be representatives of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that He offers each and every sinner including ourselves. In that sense, we are to be very inclusive. However, inclusiveness is not the end goal of the Christian faith. It is how we open the doors of the kingdom to those outside it. Once we have included every nation, tribe, and tongue, then, we are to stand aside and let God’s Word in its entirety to do its work through the Holy Spirit. God will certainly bless that. He will not withdraw His blessing from that. Yes, inclusiveness is what we all should be about regardless of denomination. We are called to love all. But that is so that all people can be brought into the presence of God’s Word. That is my prayer for our denomination, that we love all people into our midst and then let God’s Word do its work. My prayer that inclusiveness is not the end goal but rather step one in the process of bringing people into the presence of God’s Word. God will bless that. God will not withdraw His blessing from that.

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read through 1 Chronicles 11:1-3 about the anointing of David as King. After a long struggle in which he was faithful to God, he was finally king. It got me to thinking about the fact that Saul would have continued as king if only He had done God’s will instead of seeking his own. However, he did not and Scripture tells us that God withdraw from Saul, because Saul was not seeking the Lord but rather his own way. Let’s read this passage with that idea in mind:

Chapter 11

1 Then all Israel gathered together to David at Hebron and said, “See, we are your bone and flesh. 2 For some time now, even while Saul was king, it was you who commanded the army of Israel. The Lord your God said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over my people Israel.” 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel.

In this passage, we are reminded that in the book of 2 Samuel, it details the HOW of David coming to power while Chronicles emphasizes that GOD declared David to be the ruler. God was working through the efforts of many people, even through some of former King Saul’s own family. God is still sovereign over history, directing events to accomplish His will. The books of Chronicles demonstrate that no matter what people may do or not do to try to hinder God’s work, God still controls all events and works His will in them.

Regardless of what happens with our denomination, God is sovereign and He will accomplish His will through the actions here on earth. He will remain sovereign regardless. Does that mean He will be with us as an omnipresent God. Yes, it does. Does it mean that He will bless that which is against His will? No, it does not. God will sovereignly choose to bless or not bless those who do His will or not. What that blessing or lack of blessing looks like in the 21st century is not mine to know. But I do know from Scripture that God will not bless that which is not in alignment with His will and His Word. God will sovereignly do that regardless of how well intentioned we may be. If our best intentions are not in alignment with God’s will, He will sovereignly not bless it.

Therefore, I go back to these words when it comes to the decisions facing the United Methodist Church – that we pray, pray, pray, pray that we do that which is in alignment with God’s will for our church – nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else.

Amen and Amen.

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