Lessons from Bible Warnings against evil.
An oracle spoken against Jerusalem. - Isaiah 22
– "The LORD has taken away the covering of Judah". – This leaves the people and places exposed to the forces of nature and the forces of evil. Verse 8 is like a conclusion at the beginning
The prophet goes on to explain the problem:
1 They found security and confidence in the 'house of the forest' rather than trusting in the LORD
2 They realized the need for water security, so they built another pool inside the walls. This was smart, but they did not look to the LORD who gave them the water.
3 The call of the LORD to repentance was responded to with feasting and festivity in mockery of the voice of God.
And so the people were left in the guilt of their own sins and the consequences thereof.
4 The end of the oracle describes them pinning their hopes on a man. But the peg gives way, and their security is gone.
Is there a lesson for today?
The Apostle John wrote "the whole world is in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5;19), and the majority feel secure there!
When the call to repentance is raised, so many publicly mock and proclaim 'we are able, we are resilient, we can rebuild, we have resources – like saying, 'we don't need God or we don't want God'.
What should God do?
There are two options:
1 Let them go, as in Romans 1 – God gave them up to their own folly and it's consequences.
2 Apply justice and judgement as a removal of all wrong and the punishment of the wrong doers.
What would you do?
Isaiah wrote of the devastation of the earth:
"The earth lies defiled under the inhabitants, for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth....." (Isaiah 24:5)
Is God unjust for letting humans reap what they have sown?
The Apostle Paul describes those who have chosen to be outside God's kingdom – "sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, homosexual, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers, swindlers.
If you were God, holy is character, just in judgement, what would you do with people who so corrupted their created purpose?
We have been brainwashed to tolerate sin, to look the other way and because we too are guilty we fail to be offended by wrong. God 'sees red' when He sees sin and so should we! But we are 'dumbed down' by the prevalence of rebellion against God.
So much of history is the story of God seeking to turn humanity back to Himself, back to the right, back to good.
Maybe I should list some of the things we as individuals and society need to renounce. Shall I begin with the list given by the LORD Jesus Himself;
Quote: "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within and they defile a person. (Mark 7)
Thus we all stand condemned, and true we have no moral right to judge others, but that does not remove the vertical accountability to God. He, as creator, is the only one with the right to make the rules. We should insistent that His law is final. The call of God is to repent, to renounce sin as sin and not make excuses. This is expressed in the prayer of the tax-collector:
"God, be merciful to me a sinner" – no excuses, no blaming others.
This all sounds so negative, but failure to turn and face up to the truth, leaves people without God and without hope. So when things go wrong, they wonder why and begin the blame game instead of listening to the voice of God. God speaks through His word, the Bible, and shouts to people through difficult circumstances of life.
It is heartening to know that the present pandemic has caused many Christian websites to be overwhelmed with extra viewers. My prayer is that very many will turn to the Lord.
But what of media and society in general? Pressing on without God seems to prevail.
In light of such a negative article, is there any hope?
YES – the same God who 'sees red' when He sees sin, has made a way for people to be forgiven, to be justified, and accepted as children of God living without fear. This is the Good News! I know I have sinned, but I also know that I am accepted by God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lord. His death on the cross was what I deserved, but Jesus died for me.
Now by faith in Him, I am free from condemnation and 'IN CHRIST' God sees, not my sin but His SON. Sure I fail Him, but His Fatherly care brings me back to repentance and forgiveness. His love takes away rebellion and His promises secure my future!
I pray that every individual who reads this article, will respond to the Good News by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as the Bible is full of God's judgements, so it is full of God's promises of mercy and grace.
In conclusion – God is Holy, God is just
God is good, God is gracious and merciful
God has a way to bring people back to Himself
To Him be the praise and the glory now and forever, Amen.
Theres a way back to God
from the dark paths of sin
There's a door that is open
and all may go in
At Calvary's cross
is where you begin
when you come as a sinner to Jesus