I ended yesterday’s post with reminding us that the Lord never leaves out the details; He stands firm and by our side as He promised. “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Ps 18:2)
That is definitely true, IF we seek a relationship with Him, humble ourselves and our will to His, are obedient to His commands, and care more about what He thinks than anyone else; and we base our truth on His absolute truth. Our Creator God is a loving God, but He isn’t One who will be ignored and be okay with it. “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deut 4:24) The Lord was serious when He commanded, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex 20:3).
If you take a good look at what we individually and as families are focusing on in this country and your state, what our churches are focusing on, and what our government is doing, I think we should be able to agree that we are living in the world that God created and trying to live by our own rules and our own subjective “truths”. What we are doing is creating our own gods, our own guidelines and we are angering our heavenly Father.
The Israelites found themselves in the same predicament. “And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: ‘Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.'” (2 Chron 15:2) What did the Lord have against them? “For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law” (2 Chron 15:3).
Of course we know that God is everywhere, so we know that saying that Israel has been without the true God doesn’t mean He wasn’t there; but it does mean they didn’t seek His face, and were satisfied with lesser gods. The Lord was clear in the covenant He made with His people: “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them” (2 Kings 17:35). As children of God, we must examine our lives and behavior in relation to what God’s Word says.
This verse also says that Israel has been without a teaching priest. The purpose of a priest is to clarify God’s Word to the people so that they understand it. “For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” (Mal 2:7) Unfortunately, many pastors are changing their message to increase numbers in their churches by telling people what they want to hear so that they will be comfortable in their sin. Paul said this time would come: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Tim 4:3).
So if the Lord’s people are not seeking a relationship with the one true God, seeking His truth, then we are not living by His guidelines. It is through His law that we become aware of our need of a Savior. “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom 3:20)
As we attend church and Bible study, we are to become convicted of our sin, so that we humble ourselves before the Lord and repent. If we leave a sermon week after week feeling good about ourselves, we need to look at why we’re so happy to be like pigs happily living in their slop; because if we don’t address and repent of our sin, that’s truly what we are.
The solution that God made for us is in the next verse: “but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them” (2 Chron 15:4). Until we turn to God and repent, however He will turn us over to the consequences of turning away from Him. “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness” (Rom 1:24a); “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions” (1:26a); and “and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind” (1:28a).
When the Lord has turned us over to ourselves and is therefore either causing or allowing our distress by forsaking us because we have forsaken Him, there is only one solution. “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron 7:13-14)
It’s time to seriously repent as His people! I highly recommend that you take 30 minutes to listen to a sermon from Dr. Tony Evans entitled Divine Disruption. I hope it will open your eyes as it has mine.