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(Part 37)


February 14, 2020

Today’s readings:
1 Kings 11:29-12:19
Psalm 81:11-16
Mark 7:31-37

A house build on rock will stand, while a house built on sand will fall. One who listens to God’s words and acts on them builds on rock. One who does not builds on sand.

Such was the case with Israel. God had brought them out of slavery in Egypt, provided for them in the desert, and allowed them to take the promised land. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Open wide your mouth that I may fill it.” (Ps 81:11). But Israel often veered away and would not live out God’s commands. “But my people did not listen to my words; Israel would not submit to me.” (Ps 81:12). They did not listen to and did not act on God’s words! They had built on sand! They suffered the consequence. “So I thrust them away to the hardness of their heart; ‘Let them walk in their own machinations.’” (Ps 81:13).

Such was the case with David and his son Solomon. David lived according to God’s words, while his son Solomon ultimately did not. So David’s house and kingdom stood, while Solomon’s house and kingdom collapsed. Israel split, and its ten tribes were given by God to Jeroboam, leaving Solomon’s son Rehoboam with only one tribe (1 Kgs 11:31-32).

Such was the case with Jeroboam. Given the ten tribes, God through the prophet Ahijah promised him, “If, then, you heed all that I command you, walking in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments like David my servant, I will be with you. I will build a lasting house for you, just as I did for David; I will give Israel to you.” (1 Kgs 11:38). God told Jeroboam that if he listens to His words and acts on them, his house would stand. Unfortunately, Jeroboam too veered away. Ultimately, the ten tribes of Israel collapsed and were completely ruined, being lost forever.

God is consistent. Jesus’ word still stands. If God’s people obey His commands, they will prosper. “O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways, in a moment I would humble their foes, and turn back my hand against their oppressors.” (Ps 81:14-15). Did you get that? If God’s people listen to His words and act on them, their house or kingdom will stand and not collapse. And they will prevail over their enemies.

Now we as MFC are God’s people. We, as is our whole Church, are oppressed by the enemy. God can easily defeat them, and we can share in that victory. But we need to listen and obey. Now as MFC we are an evangelistic and missionary community. We exist for mission. We do the work of evangelization. We proclaim the salvation of Jesus to the world. Do we do so? Do we listen to God’s words and do we proclaim God’s word? Or are we deaf and mute, like the man healed by Jesus? Do we not hear God’s words, and do we not act on God’s commission to proclaim the gospel? If so, we must repent. Then Jesus can heal us and bless us. Jesus prayed and acted to heal the man, “and immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.” (Mk 7:35). Open your ears to listen to God’s words and then act on God’s command, and speak plainly about Jesus the Savior.

Here is something interesting. Jesus “ordered them not to tell anyone.” (Mk 7:36a). This was because his time had not yet come. “But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it.” (Mk 7:36b). How could they remain silent in the face of God’s great work? They were told not to proclaim but they did. Christians today, on the other hand, are told to proclaim but they do not. What a sorry situation. And what a way to build on sand.

It is our choice to build on rock or on sand. The result of our choice can either be glorious or devastating. As MFC, our choice ought to be clear.

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