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Immerse: Chronicles Week 5

Don't Mess With That Guy

Have you ever interacted with or met someone who you knew was “bad to the bone?” It’s like, when you meet them you know not to mess with them or get on their bad side because they have the potential to do some bad things if provoked. My wife Julie told me about friend she had several years ago who was strong enough to roll up a frying pan like a burrito and rip a full-size phone book in half (if you are too young to know what a phone book is, just google it). He was one of those people who I would want to stay on his good side because if he can rip apart a phone book and roll up a frying pan, what would happen if his hand met my face at full speed?
We stay on the good side of people because of their strength or because of how they look. Some people don’t look intimidating, so their power and position in society is what can be used for people to stay on their good side.

Throughout the reading this week, I learned King Darius was one of those people. I’m not sure if he was an intimidating looking man, but he definitely used his power to tell the people, “Don’t mess with me.” He sent a decree to let people know not to interfere in the rebuilding of the temple. He told them to give those rebuilding whatever help they needed, so the temple could be rebuilt the right way. After he says all this, he gave them the punishment for disobeying the decree. “Those who violate this decree in any way will have a beam pulled from their house. Then they will be lifted up and impaled on it, and their house will be reduced to a pile of rubble” (Immerse: Chronicles p. 110). When I read this passage, I couldn’t help but laugh at the lengths Darius would go to make sure the temple was finished. He was definitely using his power and authority to get his message across and to tell the people, “Don’t mess with me. I will destroy you with the snap of my finger if you do.”

This got me thinking, God could very easily do the same thing to us. In the Gospels, Jesus gives us examples and “rules” of how we should live. How many times do we go against what God says on how we should live? If He wanted to, He could snap His fingers and have us impaled on a beam from our house. He’s not that way though. He is a God of grace and mercy. He gives us second, third, and forth chances to live for Him. I’m writing to myself when I write this; don’t take His grace and mercy for granted. Just because He offers it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and live our best life for Him each and every day.

In this season of Thanksgiving, take some time to thank God for loving us the way He does and for not impaling us on our house beam when we mess up.