In computer programming the if/else statement executes a block of code if a specified condition is true. If the condition is false, another block of code can be executed. The if/else statement is part of coding’s “conditional” statements, which are used to perform different actions based on different conditions. What happens if we apply this conditional coding format to 1 Kings 9:1-9?
Here is the setting: Solomon had finished building the temple of the Lord and the royal palace when God speaks to him and says “[if] you walk faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command… I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever.” (vs 4-5) The flipside or [else] component to this conditional statement reads like this, “[But] [if] you or your descendants turn away from me… then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them.” There is a definite conditional statement here that requires our attention.
This passage reminds us of David’s integrity of heart and uprightness as king and servant of God. David’s obedience to God serves as the standard measure that all future kings are compared. The incredible truth and hope that we can draw from this fact is that we know that David was not a perfect person and yet he was considered a man after God’s own heart. He failed miserably at times as a man and as a king. His integrity of heart and uprightness is represented by his repentance, his deep and ultimate love for God. David, like Noah, Abraham, Job and others all help us see a faithful commitment to a standard of values that define integrity; values like goodness, honesty, graciousness, compassion and truth. As we walk in the presence of God today we need to be aware of how we are measuring up to this ancient but relevant measure of integrity.