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Vol.  10  No. 4 April 2008  Page 8
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Priscilla's Page By Marilyn LaStrape *Editor's Note*

Why Did God Do It? Look in the Mirror!

Marilyn LaStrape

By Marilyn LaStrape

    A minister preached a sermon recently from Jeremiah 2:1-13. Some have called Jeremiah the “weeping prophet” because God’s message that he preached to the people of Judah was utterly rejected. As a result, of their rebellion and disobedience, the 70-year Babylonian captivity was inevitable.

    Jeremiah reminded them of their once covenant relationship with God. God told Jeremiah, “Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holiness to the LORD, the first fruits of His increase’” (Jeremiah 2:2-3a).

    Moses had told the children of Israel of their coveted status with God when he said, “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

    Israel’s relationship with God in the beginning was one of kindness and unfailing devotion. Israel was God’s love. From this relationship, God was getting them as His prized possession! The Israelites loved God dearly and God loved them in the same way!

    Then, the unthinkable begin to happen; they begin to fall into idolatry and apostasy! God told Jeremiah to ask them, “What injustice have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me, have followed idols, and have become idolaters?” (Jeremiah 2:5). Then, God pronounced this condemnation: “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). They had broken the first and second commandments from Mount Sinai: “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath…you shall not bow down to them nor serve them” (Exodus 20:3-5a).

   When we become children of God, our position before Him is changed forever. Paul describes this exclusive relationship and how we enter it in Romans 1:16-17. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’”

    Do you remember when you first obeyed the Gospel? How did you feel? Do you remember the joy you had, the promise you made to serve God? That special relationship and interaction with our God is so often replaced with forgetting, falling short and no longer being diligent. Initially, this breakdown in our relationship with God is barely visible. Over time, some of the manifestations are:

  • We start shutting out the voice of God; we quit reading our Bibles.
  • We begin to lose our convictions, and compromises become the norm.
  • We begin to cultivate a mindset that disconnects from God.
  • We start changing companions for social activities.
  • We start to blame God when our lives begin to fall apart!

    When we allow these things or any other, worldly intrusions to take over, our relationship with God is gone. When we begin to ignore or suppress our knowledge of God, the last thing we want to do is spend time reading the Bible! It becomes a textbook! We start standing back and rationalizing our spiritual infidelity. Questions of a carnal nature begin to crowd our minds. Can you give me a summary of God’s expectations? Does God grade on a curve? Will this issue even be on the judgment test? How little time can I spend with God and still go to heaven? Is it really my fault that I am in disobedience?

    Whatever answers we give to these questions or any others in this channel of thought, we must understand it is not God’s fault! God has no conception of fault in His character since He is infallible! God has promised us everything we need to live for Him physically and spiritually. Whatever is wrong in our lives is our fault, not God’s! Paul states in Galatians 5:16-17, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

    Whatever the problem is, it is with us; it has never been with God! We make the choice to move away from Him. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners and purify your hearts, double-minded.”

According to V.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the word “fault” means causative of, responsible for. God cannot be blamed! We must look to the two originals and their listening to the lying voice of Satan to accurately point the finger of fault and blame!

    We have so much we need to do in our relationship with God, and we must start doing it now! God will hold us accountable for time we have wasted living for ourselves rather than in thankful obedience to Him. All of our questions regarding our relationship with God and His ultimate desire for us can be answered by looking in the mirror!

  • Who is it that God loves beyond our mental comprehension? Look in the mirror! “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
  • What is God’s greatest and most prized possession? Look in the mirror! “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
  • When was God’s plan for mankind’s redemption initiated? Look in the mirror! “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).
  • Where was the saving Gospel message to be preached? Look in the mirror! “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ…and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27).
  • Why did Christ die that horrible death? Look in the mirror! “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
  • How was that saving Gospel message obeyed? Look in the mirror! “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

    There is a song that states, “Soon we’ll be done with the troubles of this world; I’m going home to live with God!” When we look back over our lives, all that God has done, is doing and will continue to do is because He wants us to belong to Him and live with Him eternally. When we look in the mirror, we are literally looking at God’s reason for all that exists!

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