Saturday, March 31, 2012
Welcome to Day 90 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Judges 9, Account of Gideon’s (Jerub-Baal) son, Abimelek… who murdered 70 of Gideon’s sons, leaving only one that escaped. Abimelek ruled only for three years until he was killed… v 56 “Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers.”
Judges 10:6 “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines…” And because the Israelites forsook the LORD and no longer served him, 7 he became angry with them…”
11 “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? 13 But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. 14
Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!”
15 But the Israelites said to the LORD, “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” 16 Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD. And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer.”
1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”
I’m beginning to sound like a broken record… Israel turns from God to worship other gods, Baal and Ashtoreths. They are surviving or oppressed for 45 years after Abilelek… Hardly living the good life in the land of milk and honey to which they had entered several generations ago. All because they turned away from the LORD.
Remember back in Numbers 33:55? “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.” And that’s what happened. They didn’t completely destroy the Canaanites or the Moabites and it cost them.
God’s promise was simple enough, serve me and I’ll take care of you. Or not.
It’s so hard for me to watch this history unfold.
In our culture today, and I touched on this a while back… there is a polytheism that has crept into our society.
As we have been reading, the Bible is pretty clear about what God thinks about other gods… All roads don’t lead to God. There is one road and that is through Jesus.
Yes, there are other roads but they lead to other gods. And that’s fine if other people want to follow that road… that’s their decision.
Christians are often criticized for being narrow-minded… for thinking it’s our way or the highway. I can show respect to others and their beliefs, and I do. But in the end, the Bible is very clear that “without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin.” See Hebrews 9. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6.
I was thinking about the parable of the sower and the seed… I always thought it should be titled differently, because it’s more about soil… the soil of our heart, to receive God’s word and to let it grow and bear fruit.
But there are so many distractions, cares and worries that can choke that growth.
Lord, I want to have a heart that is good soil. Thank you for your word, for how clear it is that you just want us to love, trust, follow and worship you. And only you.