I ran across an interesting verse today:
So the Lord said to the children of Israel, "Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites and from the people of Ammon and from the Philistines? Also the Sidonians and Amalekites and Maonites oppressed you; and you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hand. Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress."
And the children of Israel said to the Lord, "We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray." So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel. (emphasis mine)
What an incredible glimpse into God's heart! One thing I've learned over the past few years is this: if you're not paying attention, you could miss an opportunity to learn something about God. It's like those Highlights pictures. At just a glance, it looks like just a picture. But if you spend time looking, you can find hidden stuff. I think God likes showing us hidden stuff in His Word. It develops your relationship with Him.
Anyway, when I look at this verse, I think God as having the heart of a father. He was punishing them for their disobedience, to be sure, but His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel. So He did something about it.
Here's a verse that came to mind as I thought about this thing:
But Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me." "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
I ran across an interesting verse today:
Lately I've been thinking about leadership. What happens in an organization of some sort if there is a lack of leaders? What effect does a lack of leaders have on the overall mission of an organization? What effect does that have on the leaders that are there?
If a church exists (an organism rather than an organization) that is a little behind the curve on the number of leaders it has, is it because people are saying "no" to God? After all, it's Jesus that builds the church as He sees fit, and I find it hard to believe that He would build something that is missing leaders. Or perhaps He is building dependence in the leaders that are there. There's so much work to be done and few people to do it. And in a situation like this, you can either be bummed out or you can pray. I choose to pray.
Posted by Bill Sines at 6:52 AM
Okay, okay, so its been awhile since I posted. But I did start my other blog recently, and I didn't think this particular post should go on there. So I'm kind of getting into this blogging thing again. I finally have time to do it since I only have one job now!
This last Sunday we finished a series called "Waiting." We talked about one particular aspect of waiting that is (should be anyway) a part of every Christian's life: waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. We talked about some of the aspects of the days leading up to His return, especially how these days will be like the days of Noah, where unrighteousness is quite prevalent.
Now I just finished Joshua and I'm starting Judges. The stones that Israel took out of Jordan really intrigued me. Essentially they were to be a reminder to the generations after of how God worked in their midst.
"You see that pile of stones over there, son?"
"Well let me tell you where they came from." And so the parents were to pass on to their children how God worked in amazing ways. It was their responsibility to make sure they knew what God had done.
As I got into Judges, chapter 2, verse 18 caught my eye:
"When all that generation [Joshua's generation] had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel." Wow! How did this happen? How could an entire generation of people among whom God worked so mightily NOT pass on these incredible things to their kids? The real question is, am I doing the same thing? Do I recognize God's work in my life? And if so, am I telling my kids about it? And if I'm not, what will be the consequences?
Here's one more passage I came across today:
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents...."
This comes from 2 Timothy 3. I find it very interesting that in Paul's description of the last days he includes that the younger generation will have a reputation for being disobedient to parents. Even more interesting is what Paul says to Timothy later in the same chapter:
"But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures...."
So what's the common denominator? Well, here's what we should learn from the Joshua and Judges passages: pass the things of God on to your kids. Tell them how God is working in your life. Read them Bible stories and pass on biblical principles to them. Pray with them. The Lord is their heritage, and it's your job to give Him to them. Otherwise, an entire generation of people will grow up and not know the Lord. And what would this do for society? Well this is what happens in the last days. There will be an entire generation of young people who will not know the Lord. Society as a whole will abandon godly principles and holy living. It will become like it was in Noah's day. And how much of that responsibility will lie with parents who did not pass the things of God on to their kids?
Posted by Bill Sines at 3:25 PM