"Snippets" from David
A New Direction
It is extremely difficult for people to change their way of
doing things. In many instances, people are quite predictable. We like to do
things the same way! To most of us, repetition has "the feel" of "rightness"
about it. We enjoy traditions! Following a tradition cannot be in error! (That
certainly is not the suggestion that all traditions are wrong.) If most of us
have a choice of following a tradition or thinking, we will chose the tradition.
If asked, "Why do you do that and do it in that manner?" we likely will shrug
and reply, "That is the way it is supposed to be done!"
For generations Israelites lived in Egypt. For a significant portion of that time they were slaves. Egypt was a land of idolatry! Many gods were worshipped! Slaves had little or no voice! It did not take long for those born in Egypt to become quite accustomed to idolatrous celebrations and worship. When you have no voice, you accept status quo.
In less than a year from the moment of release from slavery, God was direct and plain regarding His prohibition of idolatry. When God gave Israel the Ten Commandments at Sinai, at the top of those commands was the prohibition against idolatry--before the Sabbath instructions, before the instructions regarding moral behavior including the rejection of murder, adultery, stealing, lying, and coveting! (Exodus 20:2-17)
He and He alone was responsible for delivering Israel from Egyptian slavery! He would not tolerate the competition of other gods! They would not make idols! They would not worship idols! They would not serve idols! He alone was God, and Israel should know it! They depended on Him and Him only! God was very clear and direct with Israel concerning idolatry.
In Deuteronomy 13, God was quite clear about the fact he had not changed His mind about idolatry. If someone exercised spiritual leadership to entice them away from God, that person was to be killed, not believed! Even if it was a family member or a dear friend who tried to entice you, the Israelite was not to listen to him, pity him, or hide what he tried to do. Verse 11 classified such acts as "wicked things." The retribution to encouragement to endorse idolatry was intended to make Israelites fearful of worshipping idols.
For centuries, prior to the Southern Kingdom's Babylonian captivity, the Jewish people had a continuing love affair with idolatry. For example, read Deuteronomy 31:16; Judges 2:6-14; 1 Kings 12:25-33; 1 Kings 18:16-19; and Jeremiah 2:9-13. Frequently through the generations of early Israel, God was shunned and idolatry was embraced.
It is extremely difficult for people to change their way of doing things!
Our gods have changed forms, but we still worship idols. Do we trust and serve our materialism more than our God? Do we trust and adore our pleasure more than our God? Do we trust and treasure our success more than our God? Do we serve God only when it is convenient to do so, or do we devote ourselves to Him when it is inconvenient as well?
Will he strike us down? Does he seek our redirection by terror? No. Just as with the Israelite people in Hosea (the entire book, and especially note 11:8-11 to notice the internal conflict within God when His love of Judah clashed with their rebellious behavior), God seeks our recovery. Read Romans 5:1-11 and 1 Timothy 1:12-16.
Is human redirection impossible? No--difficult, but not impossible! How is it possible? It is possible when we have the courage to love Him who sacrificially loves us. When the courage of the love of appreciation responds to love of selfless sacrifice, human redirection occurs.
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