1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
With everything that is going on in our world today, (COVID-19, BLM, ANTIFA, RIOTING, LOOTING, PROTESTING, DEFUNDING POLICE, ERASING HISTORY, etc. by now you get the picture) I’m hearing almost every day the same statement, “I just want to get back to normal”. I understand, I liked “normal”. We were enjoying prosperity, peace, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. I enjoyed the good of the land, I enjoyed being at peace with my fellow man, I enjoyed the freedom to go and do without the fear of contracting some dreaded disease and most of all I enjoyed being able to worship in peace without the fear of government interference. I enjoyed the fellowship with my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. So, WHAT WENT WRONG, WHAT HAPPENED???????
Well my beloved, a look into the scriptures might give us some insight into the problem. Maybe, just maybe, GOD wasn’t pleased with “normal”. Maybe, just maybe, I/ME have been worshipping I/ME instead of worshipping I AM. Maybe, just maybe, God’s people have been paying so much attention to the world around us that we have forgotten who created it in the beginning.
Let’s examine this warning from the prophet Jeremiah
Jer. 7:21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.
28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
A search of Biblical history will show that Israel was a nation chosen of God to manifest His name in the earth. They were called to be a separate people from the world. As long as Israel would follow the precepts that God gave them they were blessed beyond measure. It was because of disobedience to thefoundational principles of God that various plagues, pestilences, chastisements and judgments came upon them.
After Joseph’s brethren had sold him into slavery, God sent a famine in the land of Canaan. Jacob and his family end up living in Egypt, in the Land of Goshen for approximately 215 years. Why? Well it’s obvious that God wasn’t pleased with the actions of Joseph’s brothers, it’s not NORMAL to sell a sibling into slavery because of jealousy. Apparently, God wasn’t pleased with jealousy and hatred. But the merciful God heard the cries of His people and sent a deliverer to bring them out, and with a mighty hand they were delivered from the hand of Pharaoh only to spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness because of unbelief. Once again God is obviously not pleased.
A study of Leviticus 25 tells us that GOD had given the nation of Israel a set of laws pertaining to the resting of the land.
From the time the law was given until Israel decided they wanted a king, to be like the other nations, Israel, for the most part tried to keep the laws God had given concerning the resting of the land. It was after Israel had decided that they didn’t want God as their king (they preferred a monarchy over a theocracy, 1Sam. 8:5-7) that Israel really began to drift away from the law of God and begin to follow the ways of the world. God had given them commandment to let the land rest every seventh year. When they began to follow the ways of other nations, they neglected the laws of God, rejecting His authority. After a period of approximately 490 years God had had enough and sent King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonians to take Israel captive for 70 years. His land would get its rest, one way or another, God is not mocked.
There was a justifiable reason for God’s suffering of King Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Israel and carrying the people into captivity. It was once again idolatry.
So now what does all this have to do with the current situation of the world today? It might just be that God’s people have been spending way too much time idolizing Hollywood celebrities, recording artists, sports figures, etc. (up to and including one’s own self). When we place more emphasis on the views and ideals of the world than on the word of God, we should expect God to be displeased. If we would consider the current views on the hot topics and compare them with the Biblical views on the same topics, I believe we can get a good picture of why we are in such turmoil.
My beloved, when women prize their lifestyle and their body over the life of a baby, it’s no different than idolatry. When we place a greater value on the opinions of an athlete or a celebrity over the ideals of the Bible, it’s no different than idolatry. When we value our time at the game, theatre, etc. more than the worship of God, it’s no different than idolatry.
God’s word clearly states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. God meant what He said then and He means it now. My beloved, just like Joseph’s brothers we find ourselves dealing with jealousy and hatred. Just like Israel we all have our own Golden Calf. Just like Israel we all find ourselves falling away from the principles of Godly living to accommodate the lifestyles of the world.
I truly do not know if COVID-19 is or is not a judgment from God. But in either case it has made us take a closer look at ourselves and our relationship with God. Many things about the world today are uncertain, but one thing for sure is that God has NOT changed. You can be assured that if God was not pleased with the disobedience of Israel in the Old Testament times, He certainly is not pleased with Spiritual Israel today. Maybe, just maybe, our NEW NORMAL should be actually paying attention to the principles and precepts given to us in God’s word.
Thankfully His mercy endureth forever.
May God Bless Elder Mike Roberts