Wednesday, November 11, 2015

4 Things We Must Do To Secure A Blessing For Our Nation

The Minor Prophets Speak To Today

God's Must Do List

A Veterans Tribute

Zechariah 8:14-17 NLT



 “For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind."

This is what you must do.

"Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." Taught to children, preached to adults, and used to sell thousands and thousands of nicknacks, this little quip does not make God's must do list. Wise, and you can find scriptures to justify it, but God is a bit more specific.

"Do this. Do that." Not very grace based, this quip replaced a living relationship with God in the teachings of many fundamentalists and not a few evangelicals while I grew up. Yes, you can find it in Isaiah! But read the whole passage:

12 He said, 
    “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”;
and, “This is the place of repose”—
    but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:
    Do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that;
    a little here, a little there
so that as they go they will fall backward;
    they will be injured and snared and captured.
Isaiah 28:12-13

This is the heart of the Law and why, disconnected from resting in the Lord, the Law kills as Paul so often reminds us in the New Testament.

So often in my ministry individuals came, after receiving their Saviour, and asked me, "What do I have to do?" They wanted a list of do's and don'ts. Physical steps that would guarantee they were in the will of God. We humans sure do want to control all things, even our salvation. We want to do it not rest in the Lord.

For the nations, God gives a list of must do's. In reality, it is a list of do nots.  It is a list of things God hates and, therefore, his children, if they are resting in the bosom of the Lord, will also hate. No nation can thrive that does not follow God's must do list.

But this is what you must do: 
  1. Tell the truth to each other. 
  2. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace.
  3. Don’t scheme against each other.
  4. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. 

This is a picture of a culture of justice. This is the bedrock of true political correctness. These are the clear marks of a Godly leader. And these are the marks of a godly people. If we love God, these things will be foreign among us.

"I hate all these things," says theLord.

Resting near God's heart, we will also learn to hate these things.

But now I am determined to bless you. So don’t be afraid.

God began this portion of prophecy by reminding his children of three things:

1.     Your ancestors angered me.
2.      I was determined to punish you.
3.      I did not change my mind.

God gets angry with his children. I know that, in American at least, this is not socially correct. Modern psychology tells us that to get angry and to discipline in anger are grievous faults that we must learn to control. But God gets angry. In his anger at his children's lack of repentance and hard-heartedness, God warns us that punishment is coming.

If we continue in our hard mindset and wayward living, he tells us many times, he will punish us. And on that point he does not change his mind. When he calls us to repent and we fail to turn to him and his truth, he does not repent of his declaration or his actions.

Israel and Judah knew this. We would do well to learn it before we are forced to learn it by experience. Experience isn't always the best way.

But this same unwillingness to change his mind also applies to his blessings. When God determines to bless his children, he will not change his mind.

This characteristic of God leads us to not be afraid.

Photo Credits: 
A Veterans Tribute by Wayne Anson some rights reserved
Washington Is Watching You by Wayne Anson some rights reserved
I Am Determined To Bless You by Wayne Anson some rights reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment

Privacy Policy