Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Falling Away from God

I'm starting on Chapter 2 of Jeremiah today, and I had a dear friend who pointed out that Jeremiah isn't the easiest of books to follow along with, which it isn't, but I'm going to do my best to hear the Holy Spirit, and continue on in this venture! I'm covering Chapter 2: 1 - 5.

1 - 5"The word of the Lord came to me:"Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: "I remember the devotion of your youth, how you as a bride loved me and followed me through the desesert, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them. Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, all you clans of the house of Israel. This is what the Lord says - "What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves".

I hear people all the time who ask, "How can any of that in the Bible relate to me today"?

These verses can be applied on a personal level, as well as compared to the situation that not only our country, but the whole world.

On the personal level - when one first becomes a believer in Christ, they are usually excited - full of joy and can't wait to tell everyone what happened to them! If they don't get grounded in God's word, and the time comes for testing them to allow them growth as a Christian, they will find themselves as the Israelites did - feeling as though they are in the wilderness alone, and are more easily able to fall back into their old sinful ways of life.

On the worldwide level - When the Lord brought Israel out from Egypt, they were excited and rejoicing - eager to do God's will. Then the time came to where they were out in the wilderness, and while Moses was up on the mount to receive the 10 Commandments, they became restless - they began to question their deliverance and started to fall back into the sins of the pagans. As I read these verses, and I am aware of how the world's situations are right now with the economic markets falling apart, wars and threats of new wars from Iran against Israel - I feel like the Holy Spirit is leading me to compare how we as believers, and we as a country, are acting no different than the Israelites did when they were out in the wilderness and fell into sin. Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. The forefathers had asked for the wisdom of God to pen out our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
Today, our nation, and many other nations are like the Israelites out in the wilderness. We have strayed from the founding principles of Godly morals, from seeking God for wisdom in making and enacting our laws, and have "followed worthless idols".
How many that we hear about who have been the leaders of our country, or the top dogs at all these corporations who have fallen apart and left us with the garbage to clean up, have now followed their worthless idols and have become worthless themselves?

God asks in the verses above, "What fault did you find in me that you strayed so far from me"?

This short little passage today has really brought into the light, how desperately our leaders need our prayers. Our country as fallen away from the Lord, and he's been merciful to us, but that mercy won't last forever. It's time to repent as a nation, and if you are in a place of a falling away from the Lord - repent and get back into a right relationship with him.

One final note of encouragement - In the book of Revelation 22, which is the last chapter of the book and of the Bible, The Lord says in verse 12 :"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city".

Shalom! And a Happy New Year to our Jewish Brothers and Sisters


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