This is one of those posts that won’t make me the most popular blogger on the block. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about and feel the need to discuss here.
I’m reading through a Chronological Version of the Bible this year and the last few months I’ve been working my way through the kings and prophets. Kings, Chronicles, Isaiah, Nahum, Jeremiah, etc.
And one thing keeps going through my mind…
If God is, and I believe He is, the same yesterday, today, and forever how can we so easily pass over His command to obey His laws.
I’m not talking about sacrificial laws but commandments like . . . having no other gods and honoring the Sabbath.
And before I go any further, please know I’m challenging myself here.
You see, the thing I can’t stop thinking about is how often the Children of Israel, God’s chosen people, just “followed the crowd.”
So, I’m thinking about the idols in my life, the way I spend the Sabbath, and other commandments society says no longer apply.
8 Verses that Challenge My View of the World
The Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” Isaiah 29:13
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8–9
“My people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!” Jeremiah 2:11b
“My people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned away and abandoned me. The do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the Lord, our God'” Jeremiah 5:23–24
“How can you say, ‘We are wise because we have the word of the Lord,’ when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies?” Jeremiah 8:8
Then the Lord said, “For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, ‘Obey me!’ I have repeated this warning over and over to this day, but your ancestors did not listen or even pay attention. Instead, they stubbornly followed their own evil desires.” Jeremiah 11:6–8
It’s always been so easy to look at God’s Old Testament people and wonder how they could turn away from Him and rely on idols again and again. But the truth, I think, is they didn’t even know what they were doing.
They were just listening to popular thinking and going along.
It happens so easily, doesn’t it? There are plenty of “teachers and scholars” who want us to believe that God’s commands no longer apply.
That takes me back to His words…
“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.” Isaiah 42:8
“Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the Lord, the First and the Last. I alone am He.” Isaiah 41:4
But in all my thinking something has given me hope . . . God used King Josiah to change the hearts and minds of His people.
King Josiah summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, and together they went to the Temple, accompanied by the priests and the prophets and all the rest of the people, rich and poor alike. Before them all the king read aloud the whole book of the covenant which had been found in the Temple. He stood by the royal column and made a covenant with the Lord to obey Him, to keep His laws and commands with all his heart and soul, and to put into practice the demands attached to the covenant, as written in the book. And all the people promised to keep the covenant. 2 Kings 23:1–3
So, I’m prayerfully studying God’s Word and challenging myself to…
- know and love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength.
- study His commands and know His will.
- worship Him with awe and wonder.
- serve Him faithfully.
- completely rely on Jesus for forgiveness when I fail.
I know I am covered by grace. I just don’t ever want to take that grace for granted.
It’s not about having to follow a list of “laws,’ it’s about getting to surrender my all to the God of the universe. Because the First and the Last, same yesterday, today, and forever God is not some far away entity . . . He is my personal Creator, Savior, and the Lover of my soul.
It’s our response. Always our response.
I’d love for you to join me as I challenge myself to know His commands and follow them because of love.
“If Christians around the world were to suddenly renounce their personal agendas, their life goals and their aspirations, and begin responding in radical obedience to everything God showed them. the world would be turned upside down. How do we know? Because that’s what first century Christians did, and the world is still talking about it.” ~Henry T. Blackaby
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