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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thorn on The Side

"Solomon transferred Pharaoh's daughter (his wife) from David's City to her palace...because the city was holy.." [2 Chron.8]

The magnificent temple in Jerusalem had just been dedicated with lavish garb. In fact, it was built to the letter of God's Word handed down from David to Solomon. And the Lord even appeared to Solomon, telling him, "I've heard all your prayers." Everything seemed perfect. But the problem was, right at the outset, Solomon had married Pharaoh's daughter, and now he was hiding her from God. He had a thorn on the side, a skeleton in his spiritual closet.

So many church people and ministers want to do great things for God, build him great temples or offer him lavish worship programs or concerts. They do everything according to the Word of God. They even have signs and wonders, the Lord himself making an appearance during the meetings. And indeed, everything's genuine. The Lord is really there.

But the problem is if these worshipers still have skeletons in their closets. And many justify this by saying, being born again does not make us perfect. God understands and he knows we're mere humans. Frail. 

But nothing's farther from the truth. God warned Solomon that night of His appearance: "If you mess up with my Word, I'll reject you and your temple!" [7.19-22]. It turned out the Lord's appearance was not just to congratulate Solomon but primarily to warn him. "Yeah you built me a nice temple, but that's beside the point," God seemed to be saying. "The point is, if your obedience doesn't get past showmanship or publicity, everything's vanity. A mere going after the wind."

And in the end, they got rejected. Jerusalem was rejected. Solomon didn't repent from his pagan marriages. He knew from the start that it was wrong to get Pharaoh's daughter as wife. He took her out of David's city because pagans or non believers were not supposed to be staying in places where the Ark of God had gone. What the Ark had trodden on became holy ground. And he thought merely taking his wife out of David's city remedied the problem. 

And many today are like that. They think hiding skeletons in closets solves the problem. Check yourself out. Do you have a none believing sweetheart or are you engaged to be married to one? You know that that's a problem, but what do you do? You bring him or her to church hoping that he or she would be born again. You know what that is? That's just like how Solomon "built a palace" for his Egyptian wife to keep her safe from God's curses there.

When you invite your non-believing sweetheart to church, you just want yourself and that person to be safe from curses. And you just want God's blessing. But you don't love God and are about to be rejected sooner or later by Him if you don't repent. If you loved God you would obey him right at the start--NO unbeliever as spouse or even sweetheart.

And not just that. Do you have hidden sins in your heart and yet you're so active in ministry? Yeah, you may have marvelous accomplishments and track record in ministry and people honor and respect you. Even church people today are so addicted to recognition and citations and awards. But that's all beside the point. The wages of one sin is still death. The truth has not changed, and neither do your accomplishments and good records change that. If you don't get rid of that it's a thorn on the side. 

Can you imagine how it is to work and live with a thorn on the side? And the ridiculous thing is, why don't people take that stupid thing off and be able to move and breathe and live freely? Why keep it and suffer? Because a thorn on the side satiates the flesh, and anyway, it's only the spirit that suffers. When you have a thorn on the side your spirit feels nothing. It's dead.

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