Separation and Reconciliation
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I. God values our obedience more than the finest temple on earth as the means of displaying His glory
2Ch 36:15 God sent warnings to them by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. 16 But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. 17 Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed...had no compassion. 19 They burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions.
2Pt 2:4 Coming to Him...5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;10 not a people...now people of God, not mercy but...
II. Sometimes, severe pain is necessary to sever us from our sin/disobedience
(independence is the essence of sin).
Failure to obey in Plan A results in Plan B...C...D... but the glory (manifestation of the power of God) can be greater in Plan B (as is the pain).
Ezra 9:7 we have been very guilty, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation 8 And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a stake in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage. 9 For we were slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended hesed to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem. 10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments, 11 which You commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land, with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from one end to another with their impurity. 12 Now therefore, do not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons; and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.' 13 And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this, 14 should we again break Your commandments, and join in marriage with the people committing these abominations? Would You not be angry with us until You had consumed us, so that there would be no remnant or survivor? 15 O LORD God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!"
III. Hearts wholly set on knowing and doing God's will have no resources (time/energy) for wandering
Ezra 7:10 set his heart (secret of successful kings) and ordered his ways to seek, do, teach. Learn Truth, Live It, Love others w/ It.
1Pt 1:22 Since you have purified your souls by obeying the truth through the Spirit for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,23 having been born again...through the word of God which lives and abides forever...(sufferings...glory)
IV. God's will, done God's way will never lack Satan's opposition (intimidation; unholy unions) nor God's provision
Opposition is an opportunity for God to turn problems into prosperity when we depend on His grace and persevere in doing His will.
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response: