Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Do You Know God Or Just Know About God?

So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go back to its own place, so that it does not kill us and our people.” For there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men who did not die were stricken with the tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven…. Now the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it to its place.” So they said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but by all means return it to Him with a trespass offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.” Then they said, “What is the trespass offering which we shall return to Him?” They answered, “Five golden tumors and five golden rats, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines. For the same plague was on all of you and on your lords. Therefore you shall make images of your tumors and images of your rats that ravage the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will lighten His hand from you, from your gods, and from your land. Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts?” – 1 Samuel 5:11-12, 6:1-6

<Journal Entry 9 August 2011> The Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant – suffered under God’s hand – acknowledged it was Jehovah God – returned the Ark – but did not turn to God. What is it about man that he can acknowledge God with his mind but not his heart. – it is because his heart belongs to another god and he is totally devoted to his god in spite of his knowledge about Jehovah God. I have been watching an old man tend his cow – taking it from patch to patch to graze. That seems to be the sum of his responsibility – his horizons – his future –  probably the source of his livelihood – simple – totally dependent upon the earth to be faithful & provide grass for his cow – the Lord actually – he may not know it – another thing he may not know is that we are putting up a fence so there will be no more open range. <End of Entry>

Actually that was not the end of the story.  I allowed him to continue to bring his cow on the property and after I had the well operational, he also watered his cow also. Before he had to walk the cow to a water source some distance each day.  A simple thing really. An act of mercy and grace.  He had not entitlement to access the property but he was granted access. How many times have I missed the opportunity to demonstrate the love of God through a simple act of kindness. We must resist the temptation to take credit for the kindness – instead we should remember that we love because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19). The grass and the water consumed by the cow was a trivial thing to me, but vital to the man and his family.  I learned his name but have since forgotten it. No matter – God knows it.

But I digress – back to the Philistines. They way that they responded to their knowledge of God is not different than today.  I am not suggesting that God has sent COVID as a punishment, just that we live in a country that rejects the Creator God. The Bible speaks to principles – like natural laws – they can be denied or ignored, but they are no less true – one of which is that we will reap what we sow.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” – Galatians 6:7-10

This is the scripture that came to mind – it is about God’s children and not about the lost.

“ … they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law. Israel will cry to Me, ‘My God, we know You!’ Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him.  They set up kings, but not by Me; They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them. From their silver and gold They made idols for themselves— That they might be cut off. Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against  them—How long until they attain to innocence? For from Israel is even this: A workman made it, and it is not God; But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces. They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind.” – Hosea 6:1-7

It is a call to repentance. The Bible is a story about the Called of God. It is a love letter to His children. It causes me to examine my heart and my ways. Have I let other gods capture my heart’s devotion? Something that we don’t want to think about – but a temptation that started in the Garden that led to sin by the first Adam. A sin that was overturned by the second Adam – Jesus. 

We are so easily tempted – just like Adam was. Did God really say …. That is wrong … when so many say that it is right? The temptation to embrace what the culture says is right in preference to what God says is right and true. It is a slippery slope. Think about that in terms of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Shine Bright my friend and glorify God with your life.  

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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