Lessons I learnt
- When disobedience piles up, it destroys the foundation-v16And they forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the [starry] hosts of the heavens and served Baal.So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria to this day."On Christ the solid Rock I stand" is one of the faith inspiring songs, but when our lives have disobedience creeping in, it slowly, digs away from under us, the Rock, our foundation moves away and with it, all the blessings we had received. This, I think, happens slowly and can be avoided if we remove the disobediences with repentance and obedience. Well the Israelites didn't do that, they didn't want to go back to their foundation, they wanted to go a different way and they did, they were overtaken by the Assyrian king and sent into exile into Assyrian country. They forfeited their land of blessing, their land of promise.
- How to prevent losing one's foundation, how to overcome the sin of disobedience?-Its not much of a mystery, getting rid of sin from our lives, its all out there in the Word of God clearly stated, so that all may know and be saved and thereby be blessed. "v13Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all the prophets and all the seers, saying, Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the Law which I commanded your fathers and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets." The Israelites came to such a state because they let sin remain, even if some of them(the kings) had good intentions partially of following God it didn't bring any good fruit, because sin wasn't totally gone. God, in his warning signals had given them a way out of all this mess. (1) To turn away from the evil ways (2) To follow God's statutes and laws. Thats the sure shot way for overcoming any sin in our life. In my experience, its not enough to just turn away from sin, but to move towards the Word of God and follow God's Word. Thats the way to victory over any sin and sinful habit.
- What we follow is what we'll become: "v15They despised and rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings to them, and they followed vanity (false gods--falsehood, emptiness, and futility) and [they themselves and their prayers] became false (empty and futile).". What they were following is what they became, they became useless, like the gods they followed. I don't think there has ever been a Christian missionary, who had followed Christ wholeheartedly and had not seen the fruit their life could bring. Truly without Christ in our lives, every part of it, we cannot bear anything fruitful.
- What example have we set for others to follow?- I love the way LLL mentioned in her blog , "The only Jesus some people will see is the Jesus in you". When the Assyrian king relocated some people from babylon and other places to dwell in Samaria, the newcomers didnt know how to worship the Living God and were being destroyed. The king then sent one of the captive priests of Israel back to Samaria to teach them how to serve the Lord. Now these new people did learn to follow the Living God, but you know what happened next??? "v29But every nationality still made gods of their own and put them in the shrines of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nationality in the city in which they dwelt.-v32So they feared the Lord, yet appointed from among themselves, whether high or low, priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places.
33They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods, as did the nations from among whom they had been carried away." What have we here? They were doing what the Israelites had done, they didn't see any difference between their gods and the Living God. The Israelites never demonstrated their worship of the Living God being special in any way!!! Are we like that, do we try to be as common as the others. Well we were never meant to be. We were meant to be "salt" (no substitute) and "light"(no substitute). How could we have thought we were meant to blend in and disappear, have u ever seen salt like that, which blends in and u don't even know its there, I haven't. Have u seen light that was switched on and it disappeared in the darkness? For without the salt, the food wouldn't have any taste at all. So lets set the right example, if u say your God is a Living God, then LIVE LIKE U MEAN IT.
Conclusion: The reason we are a special people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, is because of our Living God, lets not be the common, the usual, the normal, the same, but be different, be holy, be righteous, be truthful, be faithful, be the light and salt of the earth, just as our God wants us to be. If we say Jesus is our Lord and God then let's live like we mean it. We are all that Jesus meant us to be and we will do all that Jesus wants us to do.