I cannot help but scratch my head in wonder and be dumbfounded when I see how often we fail to let God’s blessings motivate us for even greater faithfulness in service!  I see how God has blessed Grace Bible College, my life, and my family in the past, and how He is blessing us now, and it inspires me to serve Him with greater vigor, being even more generous with that which God has blessed me!

However, this is not a typical human reaction!  King Solomon, the son of the great and victorious warrior King David, was blessed by God with wisdom, great wealth, and peace from his enemies.  God granted Solomon the privilege of building the temple in Jerusalem and he decorated the interior with pure gold (I Kings 6, 7:12-51).  Solomon placed the Ark of the Covenant inside the temple with great ceremony dedicated it to the Lord (I Kings 8).  Everywhere he looked, there was prosperity and blessing from the hand of God; yet, Solomon turned away from this gracious God and was unfaithful.  When Solomon built the temple, he erected an even larger royal palace and constructed an extra palace for his wife, who was Pharaoh’s daughter (I Kings 7:1-11).  In fact, Solomon married many women due to his wealth and influence, and contrary to his endowed wisdom, “his wives led him astray” (I Kings 11:1-6).  He even built places of worship for the detestable foreign gods of his foreign wives, and they polluted the land God had given to him with their idolatrous practices.  Because of this, God withdrew His blessing, and ultimately, most of the kingdom of Israel, from his hands.

Because of Solomon’s unfaithfulness, not many years after this, the prophet Ahijah promised Jeroboam a significant leadership role (I Kings 11:26-33).  He is promised prominence and a family line of blessing if he will step forward and lead Israel in obedience (I Kings 11:37-38).  True to God’s promise through his prophet Ahijah, after Solomon’s death, Jeroboam is sought out to lead ten tribes of Israel; and Rehoboam retains only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.  Jeroboam is greatly blessed and placed in leadership, but he too, in a self-seeking, consolidating political move, places golden calves at Bethel and Dan to keep the Israelites from returning to Jerusalem to worship at the temple (I Kings 12:25-33).  He is blessed and yet unfaithful!

Each of us should regularly pause, taking time to recount the blessings of the Lord in order to fully bring honor and praise to Him for His abundant blessings. Our recent graduation weekend was ample evidence of God’s favor and blessing upon our College.  The homes we live in, our families and friends, as well as our churches are all reasons to sincerely thank God.  Let us not fall to our human tendency to take credit for what God has and is doing to bless us.  Let us take His blessings as motivation to be grateful people who sing out His praises continually before all people.  His blessing should move us to walk in greater faith and dependence than in the past as individuals, families, and as a College.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
His greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
They tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
And I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
And I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
And joyfully sing of your righteousness (Psalm 145:3-7)

– President Ken B. Kemper