Sunday, July 6, 2008
Cover to Cover:Got Truth?
I don't believe in coincidences. I also believe that God speaks to His children. In unique ways. So, when something runs by me time and time again, both in the Word and through my church and in other areas as well, I try to pay attention.
A couple of weekends ago, we had the privilege of hearing Kay Arthur speak about a very difficult truth. Using Ezekiel 14 as one of her texts, she asked the question, "what happens if a country sins against God?" (I will turn against such people and make a terrible example of them, eliminating them from among my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 14:8) She went on to express her passionate concern that America no longer knows Truth. We have been (sometimes willingly) deceived. (So we have driven away justice, and we have kept away from what is right. Truth is not spoken in the streets; what is honest is not allowed to enter the city. Isaiah 59:14) She talked about how many churches would rather offer platitudes and positive messages rather than Truth so that people might not be frightened or offended. (To whom can I speak? Whom can I warn? Who will listen to me? The people of Israel have closed ears, so they cannot hear my warnings. They don't like the word of the Lord; they don't want to listen to it! Jeremiah 6:10)
As we travelled from the conference to our condo in Florida, I read these words from last weeks chronological reading:
The LORD says: I will not relent from punishing Judah for three crimes, even four, because they have rejected the law of the LORD and have not kept His statutes. The lies that their ancestors followed have led them astray. Amos 2:4
Five times in Amos chapter 4 He says, "yet you did not return to Me" after He describes the punishments He inflicted upon the Israelites.
The answer, it seems, is fairly simple. "For the LORD says to the house of Israel:
Seek Me and live!" Amos 5:4
Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the LORD, the God of Hosts, will be with you, as you have claimed. Amos 5:14
The Lord God says: "The days are coming when I will cause a time of hunger in the land. The people will not be hungry for bread or thirsty for water, but they will be hungry for words from the Lord. Amos 8:11
What hurts our Father more? When a nation is deprived of His Word or when they willing choose to ignore it or put other things in it's place?
Our sermon today talked about the importance of knowing the Truth and doing what is right in the eyes of God no matter what society would have us choose. (Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them but they speak lies against me. Hosea 7:13)
I have to believe that God is trying to get my attention. And He has. We need to know God's Word. We need to know who and what we are fighting against. We need to understand the cost for disobedience or ignorance. And we need to know that He promises, "For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.” 2 Chronicles 30:9.
So press on, dear ones. May His word burn in your heart like a fire (Jeremiah 20:9). Join Bev and the girls this week for a recap of their cover to cover. And check this out for a more coherent explanation of Deeper Still.
Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.