“The Downward Spiral of Sin” April 2

 

The Downward Spiral - God offers full disclosure. He allows us to make our own choices, but we should not think we can disobey God and somehow be in control of where it ends. Today's reading in Deuteronomy gives us a stark picture of total depravity and where the downward spiral of sin can lead.God offers full disclosure. He allows us to make our own choices, but we should not think we can disobey God and somehow be in control of where it ends. Today’s reading in Deuteronomy gives us a stark picture of total depravity and where the downward spiral of sin can lead, including cannibalism and things that could be taken from today’s headlines.

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 27 & 28
Psalm 39.12-13
Proverbs 13.7-8
Luke 6.27-49

 

The Downward Spiral of Sin

 

Deuteronomy 27 & 28:

Memorials and the Ten Commandments

 

Chapter 27.2-3, “… you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ just as the LORD God of your fathers promised you.”

Moses Ten Commandments Stones Isolated on White Background.Some people think it’s foolish to make such a big deal about things like having the “Ten Commandments” posted in schools and other public places. But, apparently, God thinks it’s a pretty good idea to have reminders of the truth! We see God telling His people to set up memorials and reminders over and over in the Scriptures.

The Scriptures themselves are reminders, too, and we should be faithful to read and meditate on them so we can remember His love, remember His promises, and remember His faithfulness.

 

The Downward Spiral of Sin

 

Now to chapter 28. It’s hard to read some of this:

45 “So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.

49 “The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young.

“…your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you … You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters … he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat …The tender and delicate woman … will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, her placenta … she will eat them secretly …” (Deut. 28.51-57). Continue reading

“Shame, Sin, Apostasy & Cannibalism” June 9

 

Shame, Sin, Apostasy & Cannibalism - Oh, the depths of sin to which human beings can sink without a relationship with the One True God! And His faithfulness to keep those who belong to Him!Oh, the depths of sin to which human beings can sink without a relationship with the One True God! And His faithfulness to keep those who belong to Him! But what about apostasy, those who serve God for a season and then walk away?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 5 & 6
Psalm 72.1-7
Proverbs 18.10-11
John 18.1-18

 

Shame, Sin, Apostasy & Cannibalism

 

2 Kings 5 & 6:

Serving God No Matter Where You Are

Chapter 5.2-3 really amazes me and has a great message for us.

“And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.'”

Here’s a young girl who had been ripped away from her family and life as she knew it, forced to work as a slave, and yet, look at her heart attitude—one of loyalty and concern for the people under whose authority God had placed her.

Why would God allow that to happen to her in the first place? For the same reason He allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery and carried off to a foreign land—to fulfill His plans and purposes AND to bless those He uses. We need to remember that our good and His glory are always connected.

As a result of this little servant girl, Naaman would come to know the One True God.

 

 

The Joys and Sorrows of Discipling Others

discipleship Bible studyAnother passage that spoke to me was 5.25-26. After Naaman had gone to the Prophet and been healed, he offered Elisha gifts of silver and clothing, but Elisha had refused them. After he left, Elisha’s servant Gehazi followed him, told him that the Prophet had changed his mind, and had greedily taken the gifts.

“Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, ‘Where did you go, Gehazi?’ And he said, ‘Your servant did not go anywhere.’ Then he said to him, ‘Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you?’ …”

It is such a blessing to see those you have led to the Lord or discipled grow and walk in the truth, but by the same token, it is painful to see them walk away from the truth.

How Elisha’s heart must have been broken to see Gehazi, who had seen so many of God’s miracles, turn his back on God for monetary gain!

 

Without Shame

Chapter 6 recounts a very disturbing story. Samaria is under siege, food is so scarce that the people are starving. Verses 26-29:

“Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, ‘Help, my lord, O king!’ And he said, ‘If the LORD does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?’ Then the king said to her, ‘What is troubling you?’ And she answered, ‘This woman said to me, “Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.” So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, “Give your son, that we may eat him”; but she has hidden her son.'”

Can you imagine such a thing even under starvation conditions? The first thing that struck me was the woman’s lack of shame! She didn’t mind telling the king what they had done! But as I thought about this passage, I couldn’t help but ponder the fact that while we are shocked to think that such a thing could happen, how often we read or hear about women who allow their boyfriends to abuse or even kill their babies or children. And we hear of others who even do so themselves.

We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that there is a message in this for us, too. When we read these stories we’re so tempted to get self-righteous and think:  Continue reading

November 3 “The loss of His restraining grace!” & LINKUP

wave tsunami oceanThe Bible tells it like it is, sometimes including the depths of human depravity. When we read about those things, instead of looking down our noses, we must realize that if God were to remove His restraining grace, we are all capable of almost anything. May we fear God and pray to stay on His path.

 

Today’s Readings:
Lamentations 1 & 2
Psalm 119.137-144
Proverbs 28.9-10
Titus 3.1-15

 

Lamentations 1 & 2:

Heart-broken over sin & destruction

The book of Lamentations was written by Jeremiah and was basically a funeral dirge. The prophet was mourning the destruction of Jerusalem, God’s holy city. Even though the people had rejected his warnings, even tortured and imprisoned him for speaking the truth, Jeremiah was heart-broken over their destruction.

Let’s pray that as the body of Christ we would be heart-broken over the sin and destruction in our nation instead of self-righteous, self-pitying or judgmental.

 

Psalm 119.137-144:

His restraining grace

Verse 137 says, “Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments.”

God is righteous and all His judgments are upright. They are good!

It’s interesting this is placed here alongside our reading in Lamentations. It would be easy to read a verse like Lamentations 2.20, “…Should the women eat their offspring, the children they have cuddled? …” and we think, “How could a good God cause such a thing to happen to innocent children?” But we must realize God did not “cause” such a horrible thing to happen. James 1.13-15 says: Continue reading

June 9 “On eternal security, apostasy & cannibalism” & LINKUP

Oh, the depths to which human beings can sink without a relationship with the One True God! And His faithfulness to keep those who belong to Him!

eternal security

Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 5 & 6
Psalm 72.1-7
Proverbs 18.10-11
John 18.1-18

2 Kings 5 & 6:

Serving God no matter where you are

Chapter 5.2-3 really amazes me and has a great message for us.

“And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.'”

Here’s a young girl who had been ripped away from her family and life as she knew it, forced to work as a slave, and yet, look at her heart attitude—one of loyalty and concern for the people under whose authority God had placed her.

Why would God allow that to happen to her in the first place? For the same reason He allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery and carried off to a foreign land—to fulfill His plans and purposes AND to bless those He was using. We need to remember that our good and His glory are always connected.

As a result of this little servant girl, Naaman would come to know the One True God.

Continue reading

April 2 “Total depravity, sexual immorality & cannibalism”

God offers full disclosure. He allows us to make our own choices, but we should not think we can disobey God and somehow be in control of where it ends. Today’s reading in Deuteronomy gives us a stark picture of total depravity.

total depravity

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 27 & 28
Psalm 39.12-13
Proverbs 13.7-8
Luke 6.27-49

Deuteronomy 27 & 28:

Memorials and the Ten Commandments

Chapter 27.2-3, “… you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ just as the LORD God of your fathers promised you.”

Some people think it’s foolish to make such a big deal about things like having the “Ten Commandments” posted in the schools and other public places. But, apparently, God thinks it a pretty good idea to have reminders of the truth! We see God telling His people to set up memorials and reminders over and over in the Scriptures.

moses holding the ten commandments

The Scriptures themselves are reminders, too, and we should be faithful to read and meditate on them so we can remember His love, remember His promises, and remember His faithfulness.

The flesh of your sons and daughters

Chapter 28—it’s hard to read some of this, “…your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you … You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters … he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat …The tender and delicate woman … will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, her placenta … she will eat them secretly …” Continue reading