When Jesus spoke truth to the rich young ruler, he turned and walked away. And Jesus didn’t stop him! If we as individuals, or even as a nation, are determined to continue turning our backs on God and refusing to live His way, He will let us! But the results could be disastrous.
2 Corinthians 11.16-33
Turning Our Backs on God
Do Not Prophesy to Us Right Things
Over and over throughout these passages God is warning His people to not rely on themselves or their own wisdom and not to turn to false prophets who merely tell them what they want to hear. He also warned them not to turn to outsiders, other nations, no matter how strong they look. The message is “I am sovereign—I am in control.”
He warns them that all the false prophets, all the strong nations, all the wisdom of man will ultimately be brought to naught. With all the problems in our country today many cling to the idea that some leader, some program, some philosophy, some scientific discovery will solve our problems nationally and individually. We are so much like the people in Isaiah’s time (30.9-13):
Children who will not hear the law of the LORD;
10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
11 Get out of the way,
Turn aside from the path,
Cause the Holy One of Israel
To cease from before us.”
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel.
“ Because you despise this word,
And trust in oppression and perversity,
And rely on them,
13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you
Like a breach ready to fall,
A bulge in a high wall,
Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.
The list of things we no longer want to hear as a nation is endless:
- That rebellion and disrespect is wrong (1 Sam. 15.23). Consequently, we disrespect policeman and other authority figures. Our children, in turn, disrespect us, their teachers, and anyone else who tries to tell them what to do.
- That marriage is to be between one man and one woman for a lifetime (Matt. 19.4-6). Consequently, the rate of divorce and of couples living together without marriage happens across all levels of society in huge numbers and without any shame. And now so-called gay marriage has become the law of the land.
- That sex is holy and reserved for the marriage bed (Heb. 13.4; Rom. 1.24-32). Consequently, sex outside of marriage in all of its forms is rampant: adultery, fornication, rape, incest, molestation, homosexuality, pornography and more.
- That life is precious and God is the giver and taker (Acts 17.24-25; Ps. 139.13-16). Consequently, abortion is now called a woman’s right, euthanasia has been openly debated and practiced, murder is rampant in many of our cities, and mass shootings because of anger, hate, or political ideology happen all too often.
- That work is God-ordained and the way God provides for His people on a day to day basis (2 Thess. 3.10; 1 Tim. 5.8). Consequently, we have husbands and fathers who find every excuse possible not to work and provide for their families, people who know how to “work the system” going from agency to agency, organization to organization, even church to church getting every handout they can, and others who live much of their lives dependent on the government. (Bear in mind, that other passages commanded God’s people to care for the genuinely needy and unable to work.)
And if we continue going our way and turning our backs on God, things will get worse, but the answer is the same today as it was thousands of years ago: to return to God, not to become independent, but God dependent:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength …” (30.15).
And 2 Chronicles 7.13-14:
13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.
And then choosing to live obediently before Him, knowing that He is God (Eccl. 12.13; Jn. 14.15; Ps. 100.1-5).
Today’s Other Readings:
The help of man is useless!
Verses 12-13 echo Isaiah’s warning:
“Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.”
Verse 24, “It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”
Ladies, our husbands didn’t say it; God did!
Faithful Are the Wounds of a Friend
Paul uses some very strong language, even sarcasm, in this letter to the church at Corinth because what was at stake was so important—that is the spiritual well-being of the people and the church as a whole!
Based on the acclaimed sermon series by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller, this book shows everyone—Christians, skeptics, singles, longtime married couples, and those about to be engaged—the vision of what marriage should be according to the Bible.
Modern culture would have you believe that everyone has a soul mate; that romance is the most important part of a successful marriage; that your spouse is there to help you realize your potential; that marriage does not mean forever, but merely for now; and that starting over after a divorce is the best solution to seemingly intractable marriage issues. But these modern-day assumptions are wrong. Timothy Keller, with insights from Kathy, his wife of thirty-seven years, shows marriage to be a glorious relationship that is also misunderstood and mysterious. The Meaning of Marriage offers instruction on how to have a successful marriage, and is essential reading for anyone who wants to know God and love more deeply in this life.
Written for Christian parents, teachers, and youth workers, is about reaching angry, unmotivated, disinterested teens with biblical counsel. Such teens confused and insecure – are selfish; they want what they want, right now. They are corrupted by sin and this corruption is the cause of their problem. Despite all their sin problems, they are still made in the image of God, and this is the key to helping them. This book will help with addressing the teen’s sin and bringing them to their God-given desires and godly actions. Far from dismissing or sugarcoating sin, this approach opens wide the door to evangelizing the unsaved teen and to helping the Christian teen grow in holiness and wisdom.
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Fridays Create with Joy Missional Women Coffeeshop Conversations Grace & Truth Faith & Friends
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“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.