DO WHAT PLEASES GOD
Date: April 8
Category: Follow God
1 Kings 11:38a
"And if you will hearken to all I command you and will walk in My ways and do right in My sight, keeping My statutes and My commandments…."
This is what we call a conditional promise. The Bible frequently talks about these conditional promises, and because the Bible frequently teaches about them, I will too. In this passage, God is making a promise to the Israelites, which we can read about in the second part of the verse, "..I will be with you and build you a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you." So God promised Solomon that He would build him a sure house, meaning a sure dynasty, just as He did for his father, David. But there were certain conditions that Solomon had to meet.
God promises us many things, and many of those promises have some requirements that you and I have to fulfill before we can see those promises come to pass in our lives. The beginning of this verse teaches us what those conditions are. It says, "And if you will hearken to all I command you…"
We have to listen to everything God commands us. "Hearken" means to listen. We have to have an ear to hear what God says. Often we listen to what others say rather than what God says. But a precondition to the promise that God makes in this case is to listen to what God has to say.
Some people only obey some of God's commandments. For example, they are obedient to God in every area of their lives but they don't tithe. That's not listening to all God's commandments. So we have to listen to everything He commands. We have to know what He likes and what He doesn't like. We have to listen to what God says is pleasing in His sight.
The Word of God should change us; we shouldn't try to change the Word of God. We shouldn't try to interpret the Scriptures according to our idea of morality. But we should change our morality to line up with the Scriptures.
But we shouldn't stop at hearkening to His commandments. The verse then says, "..and will walk in My ways." In other words, God wants you to live according to the commandments that He wants us to hearken to. Then the verse says, "and do right in My sight." So not only do we have to listen to what God says is right, but we have to actually do what is pleasing in His sight. That is another one of God's preconditions.
To know what is right in God's sight, we have to ask Him. If God doesn't approve of something, then we shouldn't do it. Ultimately all of us are going to have to give an account to God for the way we lived on the earth, and God will reward us or punish us for our deeds. So doing what God wants should always be first in our lives.
A lot of people wear a wristband with the letters W.W.J.D. - What Would Jesus Do? That's a very good question to ask ourselves whenever we're faced with a situation in our lives. Even if nobody else sees what you do, God sees. That's why God should be the most important person in your life to please.
Then this verse explains what it means to do what is right in God's sight. "..keeping My statutes and My commandments." In other words, doing what God tells us to do. We know the Ten Commandments. We know the Sermon on the Mount. We know the Book of Proverbs. We should obey all of God's Word. That's what it means to do what pleases God. The same thing works in marriage. If a husband wants to please his wife, he has to listen to what she likes and doesn't like. Then he has to do whatever he can to fulfill as many of her desires as possible. If a wife wants to please her husband, then she has to do the same thing. You can't show your spouse love the way you think they will accept it. You have to know how they interpret love and show them love in the way they understand it.
That's how we please God. First, we have to know what He likes and doesn't like, and we learn that by hearkening unto Him. Then we have to do what He likes, meaning we have to do what's pleasing in His sight, and that is keeping His commandments and His statutes. That's how God accepts our love – through our obedience. As we complete all these preconditions, God will fulfill His promises in our lives.