Good morning, everyone! This is just something I am thinking and pondering on while I’m having my quiet time today and I thought I’d share it here. I’m in 2 Kings for one of my chapters in my reading plan and I’ve just found it so amazing how, from chapter to chapter, there might sporadically be one king here and there that did right in God’s eyes (Hezekiah was the only one-so far-that actually did completely right by removing all the high places and idols and everything else as God commanded; 2 Kings 18:3-8), but then their own son would come along next and build those high places and idols back up and do everything evil in the Lord’s sight and bring about God’s judgment. Then you’d have that go on for several generations…a vicious cycle. More evil than good, even within family lines.
I know that’s the condition of man, but it’s just so disappointing. In my opinion, where they failed first of all, was by not holding to Deuteronomy 6. They did not obey God’s commands to teach the next generation DILIGENTLY to obey all of the Lord’s instructions and to love Him with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength. To never turn on Him or disobey Him. To walk in His ways, keep themselves from the sin and idolatry of the people around them. And it was to the demise of their very souls. So many of them incurred God’s wrath and judgment and earned what they deserved for the great err of their ways.
We are in such a sad state today for the very same reason. I know that Deuteronomy 6 was written to Israel, God’s chosen people, but God is the same forever so don’t you think He really wanted that instituted for all time?? That every generation ever to come would be taught diligently to obey and love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?? I do. A lot of times in modern-day Christianity, we are taught (whether directly or passively) to almost disregard the Old Testament. I’ve even heard well-meaning pastors and teachers emphatically state that because we are under the “New Covenant of grace,” we really only need to spend time in the New Testament. I actually sort of practiced this for much of the beginning of my walk. I mean sure, I would read the Old Testament SOME, but more as part of a checklist while going through a reading plan or something. Even when “digging in” through a Bible study of some sort, it wasn’t held in nearly as high regard as it should have been.
I want to make a side-note here really quick (or actually, who knows how quick it will be…let me just get to it, lol). Last night in our home fellowship, we had some really deep discussions over the Old Testament…and it was AWESOME. This is a new group that God has so graciously formed over the past few months in our life…in our home…in our hearts, and man–the conversations we have been having honestly have been mind-blowing. We’ve been walking with the Lord for 15 years and we truly consider ourselves to be Bereans, meaning we are never content to take anyone’s word for what God says in His Word! We seek it out for ourselves diligently, and we worship the Father in Spirit and Truth and try to be led of Him in all things. Y’all know some of our experience in “Churchianity” and how we do not believe it lines up with Scripture, so yes…we question everything. It’s the mind of Christ that God has given us…we use it!! Anyway, some of the things that we talked about last night (and last week, too) are things that we have never even considered or thought about in all these years. And it hit me as we were talking about all of it. We have never been at a place in our walk yet where we could handle discussions of this magnitude, honestly. Our spiritual maturity wasn’t there and I don’t think our minds and hearts could have really comprehended it all. So this got me really excited because you start to see God’s Word open up in a whole new way…like layers of an onion being peeled back. It’s been so awesome!!! We haven’t had someone (in real life) to teach us things in so long. And I don’t say that in a prideful way…we are ALWAYS learning, ALWAYS digging in…but typically we learn from God Himself. From His Word and His Spirit. As He intends all of us to do. And yes, He’s used many, many men (and women) over the years, to teach us all kinds of things. But we also have had to “eat the fish and spit out the bones,” if you know what I mean. You have to learn through the Spirit to have discernment, to test everything, and take nothing at face value. Remember my recent post, “Do Not Be Deceived”…There’s so much deception here today. It’s so easy to be lied to and manipulated at every turn, and not even know it. That’s the scary thing! And saying all this was the point to my “side-note”–if anyone tells you (or even implies) that you don’t really need to know the Old Testament, run for the hills and pick up your Bible and start reading in the OLD TESTAMENT!!!!! As I said before this long aside, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is holy. He is our Creator. We are all made in His image…but we are not all His children. 1 John 3:1-10:
1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
I have lately just been flooded in my spirit as I read through God’s beautiful, timeless, inerrant Word with so many lies being taught, held, and stood firmly upon as truth by some well-meaning brothers and sisters–some highly deceived and truly uneducated yet seeking their way through all of this the best way they know how, and some completely oblivious and even obstinate toward God’s Word because they hold to man’s word, interpretations, and indoctrinations over the actual Bible itself. It’s sad and it’s scary to me as I watch it play out day after day. I hate social media and the way that we all interact behind our screens today. It really bothers me and if I had my say-so, I’d be off of all of it in a heartbeat…but I also understand that this is just how it is for right now-the main mode of communication, and it’s a tool that God can use for good so that we can reach people with the Gospel and try to teach them Biblical Truth. That’s what I use these platforms for. And I am grateful to be able to connect with others in this way, even if I don’t can’t stand the method.
Anyway, I feel like I’m all over the place in this post but like I said, the Holy Spirit just keeps prompting me of things and reminding me so I’m just typing as I think through all of it. We need to read, study, and ask for God’s wisdom and revelation as we go through the Old Testament (and New) in order to really understand, first and foremost, the character of God and His attributes. As Will regularly says, “God sticks to the same themes.” Always. He doesn’t change. And if WE have misunderstood Him based off faulty teachings, misconceptions, or trying to fit Him into a mold that we are comfortable with, WE better be the ones to change our views to line up with the truth. His Word (illuminated by His Spirit) is the only thing on this planet that we can trust to tell us Who He is (and why we so desperately need Him). When we get away from that and go our own way, we are headed to destruction. Which goes full circle back to my original thought and closes out this point.
In the Old Testament with Israel, the peril of the younger generation was due to the elders not doing their part to pass on a godly heritage to them. They had forsaken the Lord and His ways and taught their children to do the same. So even today, how do you pick up that mantle and pass it on when it was never passed to you in the first place?? What if you’ve never known a true Christian in any of your family tree? Well, that’s the case for both Will and myself…so we get it. It just seems so impossible, so insurmountable, and such a gigantic responsibility–to have all the weight on us now to pass this legacy forward without any history of godliness or example of discipleship to draw from. But what we DO have and what we DO draw from, is again–the strength and power of the Holy Spirit, Who helps us in our weakness and leads us into all truth…and the infallible, living Word to guide and teach us about all that God would have us to know and learn. I know that we do our best, but it’s a great responsibility and I feel so inadequate a lot of the times because the bar is so high and so much is at stake. I pray that our children and every generation that may come after us will walk in the ways of the Lord and see and remember our example, and that they would pass a baton of loving, fearing, and serving the Lord onto their children and all of the lineage hereafter. I will pray that for all of you and your families as well. Thanks for listening to me ramble on about this and I pray it resonates with someone today.