If… Then… Else…

For some reason, this didn’t auto-post today!!!

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47


11 The Lord’s word came to Solomon, 12 Regarding this temple that you are building: If you follow my laws, enact my regulations, and keep all my commands faithfully, then I will fulfill for you my promise that I made to your father David. 13 I will live among the Israelites. I won’t abandon my people Israel. (1 Kings 6:11-13, Common English Bible)

Prior to ministry, I made my living as a programmer/analyst with the FDIC. The IF-THEN-ELSE statement was an essential part of my daily work. Essentially it was IF this condition exists THEN do this ELSE (do this). It might look like this:

10 IF counter = 10
30 ELSE counter=counter + 1 .
40 GOTO 10
50 END

This little piece of BASIC computer code (though this is simple BASIC does not mean simple. It is acronym standing for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) for a counter loop. The computer looks at a variable, in this case, “counter” does the variable equal 10? If it does then it is to go to line 50 and end the program. If not, the computer is to add 1 to the variable and return to line 10 and look at the variable and follow the path again. It is basic (not the programming language) boolean logic.

I think it might be better to call it basic divine logic. After all, God told Solomon IF you follow my commands THEN I won’t abandon Israel ELSE (implied) I will, many centuries before George Boole laid down the foundations of the logic bearing his name.

God’s statement to Solomon, simple logic though it may be, had far greater consequences, consequences with effects lasting for years that impacted the real lives of a real nation. God gave them a simple pathway to follow. If this THEN that ELSE you are just in trouble.

God was just saying to Solomon what God had said before and would say again to the kings that would follow Solomon. Be faithful to me then I will remain faithful to you else I will leave you on your own and you will be in trouble. It is a simple statement that the Israelites just couldn’t find it within themselves to follow.

We are often hard on the Israelites for not learning from their own history of being obedient and having God’s blessings followed by being disobedient and having God’s consequences. You would think they would have learned. What we see, however, is the nation repeating the same foolish behavior again and again.

But before we are too hard on the Israelites, we really need to take a look in the mirror. We aren’t much better. God tells us to be faithful and we still fall short. All too often, we think, “I’ve got Jesus. That’s all that matters. If I go too far, I confess and ask forgiveness, then God will forgive me and life goes on.” The flaw in that logic is, just because there is forgiveness does not mean the consequences of our choices go away. If you choose to run a red light while driving and say as we enter the intersection, “Lord forgive me.” God will forgive. But, the eighteen-wheeler bearing down on you probably will occupy the same space as you in pretty short order. We have forgiveness, we also have consequences.

The key is more than forgiveness, it is obedience.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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