Gospel and Wrath (1 Kings 9:6-9)

1 Kings 9:6-9 (ESV)

6 But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.’ ”


            The gospel seems to find its way into every book of the Bible.  In fact, one can come across the gospel in the most surprising of places.


            Take as an example the above passage.  As God answers Solomon’s prayer for his blessing on the people and on the newly built temple, we see something of how God will judge people rightly.  God told Solomon that, if the people of God are faithful to worship him, he would bless them.  If, however, the people of God turned away from him and chased after false gods, God would destroy the temple.  All who saw the ruin of the temple would know that what God had done was right, for all would know that for a person to turn away from the living God is to earn for one’s self the wrath of God.


            How is this the gospel?  What we see here is the perfect wrath of God.  When men turn away from God, they will find their souls eternally ruined because of their refusal to come to God and serve him. 


            But wait a minute, isn’t the gospel all about people coming to God through saving faith in Jesus.  Absolutely it is.  For all who come to God through saving faith in Christ, their eternity is glorious.  For all, however, who turn their backs on Christ and choose to find their own way—to worship their own little false gods of self-sufficiency, money, power, etc.—they will find that rejecting Jesus is rejecting God.  God will always do justice.  He will always give right recompense to all who turn from him and to false gods.  The only way to come to God rightly is through Christ.  Anything else is a false god.


            The way that I can say that the gospel is in the above passage is that it shows yet again that God has a way to please him.  To reject God’s way leads to death.  However, it is also well-known that to come to God in his way, according to his terms, leads to eternal blessing.