Encouragement

Getting the One Thing Right that Really Matters

They were brave warriors, famous men, and heads of their families. But they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers and prostituted themselves to the gods of the peoples of the land whom God had destroyed before them. – I Chronicles 5:25

 

These words were used by the Chronicler to describe the men of Manasseh, one of the tribes of Israel. According to the text they got many things right. They were great on the battlefield, bravely defending their people with honor. They wore the pants in the family, running a tight ship at home. They were also famous, meaning they were pillars in the community. You could say they were the envy of the town- everybody wanted to be like these warriors. But there was a problem, they were not right spiritually. We can do many things well in this life, but if we get this one area wrong then all the good things we have done do not matter. “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Be encouraged and keep the faith.

Posted by Scott Jeffreys with

Busting Idols

He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. – II Kings 18:4 

In OT times (after Israel had divided into two different nations) one of the few great kings of the old southern kingdom of Judah was Hezekiah. He sought to purge his people of idolatry and one of the things he did in order to accomplish that goal was to smash the bronze snake that Moses had made. In the time of Moses, when the Israelites were journeying through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, they were bitten by venous snakes. God told Moses to build a bronze statue of a serpent for the people’s healing but eventually what was a good thing ended up becoming bad. The Israelites began to worship the bronze snake as a god, instead of worshipping the God who commanded Moses to make the statue as an instrument and sign of the healing that God would give to them. 

What we learn from this text is that human beings can take something that was good and blessed by God and turn it into an idol. Though we may not build a bronze snake today, we do build sanctuaries, buy curriculums, and use things to enhance our worship experience in the church. We also create rhythms, patterns, and ways of doing certain things in the life of the church and it is very easy for us to become more attached to these things than it is to the God these things are supposed to draw us toward. When this happens sometimes hard choices have to be made, such as the one Hezekiah made. Be encouraged to make these hard choices if need be, so that you may faithfully and honorably worship the Lord your God only.

Posted by Scott Jeffreys with

12345678910 ... 1314