At the end of the day yesterday I finally 'sat down' to see what was going on in the world and do a quick glance on facebook (sadly this is probably where I get most of my news as people post news articles). After the past week of reading articles about the Grossnel case, my heart sinking after watching this news report about a family who is being stripped of the ability to homeschool (this obviously touches my heart deeply), and following the same-sex marriage debate a few weeks ago (amidst a number of other issues I've been keeping my eye on), my initial reaction to the Boston marathon was "what is wrong with this country??? Seriously! What is wrong with people!"
But, we know the answer to that, don't we. It's sin. And it's not just in the hearts of those in the United States. It's everywhere.
I started a bible study with a group of gals from college. We're doing it via email... kind of excited to see how it rolls out. We're studying the book of Judges. Might seem kind of odd, but even in the first chapter I see so much richness and so much that pertains to our culture even today.
If you aren't familiar with the book of Judges or even the Old Testament, in Dueteronomy 6:1-7 God says this to the Israelites:
"When the Lord your God bring you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord you God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire. For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. "
Shortly after Joshua leads the Isrealites into the promise land, we read this in the first chapter of Judges:
However, Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shean...(vs. 27)
Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites... (vs. 29)
Nor did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron.... (vs. 30)
Nor did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Acco... (vs. 31)
Nor did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of of Beth Shemesh... (vs. 33)
Really? What happened? God specifically told them to do something (utterly destroy them) and they chose not to obey. My head ran down a list of questions....
Why didn't they obey? Did they forget what God had told them to do? And if they forgot... how could they forget such a big thing? Did they just give up fighting the good fight of faith in God's promises (and judgements)? Did they decide to stop fighting against the grain of culture because it was easier to just live along side these people that God told them to destroy? Did they think God wasn't serious?
So then I started asking myself the same questions because I have had my fair share of not wanting to do what God has asked of me.... Why have I disobeyed? Why, at times, have I chosen not what God wants but what I want instead? Why have I allowed myself to stray from Gods truth and not adhere to the one thing I know is a rock solid foundation- God's word. Do I think that God changes with the times too?
I just keep coming back to the reality that it isn't about me... and the minute I begin to think life is about me, about my happiness, about my pleasure, about what I want or what I like, then it's no longer about God. A very dangerous place to be. Did the Israelites begin thinking like that? DId they loose sight that it's not about them but it's suppose to be all about God? Did they forget they were suppose to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds and souls?
Oh, I pray that my family, my husband, myself, my kids, those I love deeply would be bold enough, have courage enough, have confidence enough in the Almighty God to obey unlike the tribes of Israel in Judges. I pray that my kids would grow to know and understand and trust You enough, Lord, to do all that you ask of them. I know what results from individuals, from groups of people, from countries that choose to do what's right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6; 21:25).
That is the world we live in. People do right in their own eyes. Oh, how I wonder what the world would be like if we all did what was right in God's eyes and not our own. What would the world be like if feelings and emotions didn't dictate what was right, but we sought to find joy and pleasure in the things that God declares as right in His word.
As I thought about the Boston Marathon last night, all I could say was, "Lord Jesus come quickly! How much longer must we endure the devastation of a fallen world! Come quickly Lord! Come quickly!"