December 24, 2012

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”Judges 17:6

I think that I may need to reduce my consumption of wordpress blog reading. A tear has come to my eye on several occasions while reading the words of the lost.  Their own words cry out to their hopeless condition and need of a savior.

I have been shocked at the number of atheist blogs whose sole purpose is to attack people of faith, particularly the Christian faith. In general, these atheistic blogs rage against a god that they don’t believe exists, cast insults at me for beliefs that they don’t really understand, and scoff at a book that they have never studied. I tend to recoil from their aggressive hopelessness.

I stumble through a consistent stream of blogs pouring forth a confusing volume of spiritualisms that are probably best described as agnostic; an expression of a futility in searching for the absolute truth. Their words express to me a sense of defeat. They cannot use their own reason and logic to prove or disprove God so they punt – they settle for second best. A life of principles developed on what suits them the best.  I am astounded by the gamble they take in a belief system of their own creation; it will all work out if I am just a good person – that is a monumental gamble. It is a desperate hope.

The “Christian” blogs present a surprising wide spectrum of beliefs. I have read the words of those who have been hurt deeply, those who have been excluded, those who are running, those who are in rebellion and those who are wolves trying to destroy and tear down all in the name of true faith.

I don’t know how God handles it all because the magnitude of the lost and seeking is overwhelming to me.

One would have hoped that with all the fulfilled prophesies and proofs of the Bible that the times of doing what was right in our own eyes would be diminishing. From what I can see, “everyone did what was right is his own eyes” can be a motto for our generation. I am not sure how the Israelites of Judges can have us beat at doing life our own way.

I have become a little numb to conversations starting with “I think” or “can’t mean that” or “my god wouldn’t do that” but contain no or only selective scriptural support.  I am no longer surprised by the disregard shown to faithful theologians of old, who have searched the scriptures with much more vigor than I have, by being tossed aside as relics of an uninformed or intolerant past.

I guess what I am most confused by is trust that people place in themselves.

I know myself.  I know that I can be deceived. I know that I have inherent biases that will skew my decisions. I know that there is so much that I don’t know. I know that teachers of God’s word will be judged based on what they teach. I know that wolves will come into the faith and lead many astray. I know that I am to be examining myself.

Most of all, I know that my sanctification is not complete. Therefore, what seems right in my own eyes is probably wrong. My sinful nature is not inclined to follow God. Why would I trust it?

English: The Bible

English: The Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I need a sure foundation.  I need something absolute that I can trust.  I need a filter that I can use to sieve all the opinions of this world to discover the nuggets of truth.  We have been given such a tool. The Word of God, the Bible, is our standard. God has given us what we need so that we will not be deceived by ourselves or others. We need to be like the Bereans in Acts.

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11

This is why we need to know our Bibles.  God has given us his Word for our own good. I want to be like the Bereans – the only way I examine myself and have assurance is to be a man of the Word. The only way to be a man of the Word is to be in it daily.

Let’s learn how to use His word for His glory and our benefit.  Let’s dedicate ourselves to being people of God; a people of the Word.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for your word.  Thank you for not leaving me on my own to try and figure this confusing world out.  Thank you for protecting me from the wolves that roam about trying to lead me astray.  Lord, open my eyes to the truths of your word. Father, fill me with your Spirit – teach me to know your ways; help me in my unbelief.  Don’t leave me like I am. Transform me more this day into what you want me to be.  You are so good to me, beyond anything I could ever merit. I praise your name for you are my God.   Amen


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  2. “He was in the world and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize him.” — we know it to be the truth, but it still makes our hearts ache. Blessings, JD. 😀

    • Amen – I have known too many who know the scriptures but cannot see Christ as their Savior. I breaks my heart; but God is good and there is still time to stack some “gospel wood” around them. You never know what spark the Spirit may use to ignite a cleansing fire within them.
      God Bless!

  3. In trying to weave my way through the differences in how Christians and Jews interpret the scriptures we have in common, I’m sometimes amazed at how truly divergent Jewish and Christian thought can be. I know this is probably “off topic” from your perspective, but this is how one Jewish midrash interprets Judges 17:6:

    “In those days there was no king in Israel; each man did what was right in his own eyes” …suggests that the absence of a king should not be a problem for the nation of Israel; indeed, if God is king, this should be enough to cure the ills of the generation.

    I’m not trying to be offensive or rude, but how the text looks to Christians reading it in plain English can be very different to how a Jewish person might see the same words. In this case, it wasn’t a criticism of the Israelites at all.

    • There is no offense in your comment at all. You point out a very important point. I believe I am in complete agreement with the interpretation of the midrash that you quoted. My understanding is that the Nation of Israel never needed a king. In 1 Samuel 8, the Nation of Israel was warned about having a king but they rejected the warning so that they could be like other nations. God has been and is sufficient for his people. He is enough to cure the ills of the generation. No king needed.

      The reason that I think vs. 6 is a criticism is the context of Judges. Judges 17:5:
      “And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household gods, and ordained one of his sons, who became his priest.”
      All of that was against God’s laws. The reason that they were doing it was because they thought it was right in their own eyes. From what I have studied, vs. 6 is a comment on the ignorance of Micah and his mother that was common of this particular time; they were making idols in the name of the Lord and appointing their own priets, which seemed right to them.
      God had given them His law at this time so they should have been obeying that. Regarding the point of the sufficiency of God as king of Israel, I am in complete agreement.

  4. I hope I did not offend you by my most recent post. My wife warned against it but, for good or bad, that is my humor. The opposition to your beliefs has been going on long before you were present and will continue long past the time you are gone. That should not deter you from voicing those beliefs.

    • Hey Paul – I was not offended in the least. I thought it was hilarious with an underlying truth to it, which is why it is funny. We probably have a similar sense of humor because my wife always worries a little about what I might say.
      I think that most folks tend to take themselves way too serious and as a result have become hyper-sensitive to anyone who does not fall in line with what we believe. You are very correct about the opposition. I believe it is the responsibility of each generation of Christians to be a voice to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to let God be God. It gets really messy when people try to do God’s job.
      Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

  5. great post and reminder of the ground of our faith. the Word of God both living and written. especially on this season, we all should use the occasion to regroup, refocus, and renew. Happy Christmas brother JD from arizona.

  6. Well written, JD. By posting this, you are making such a refreshing difference in the blogosphere. To me it seems that the vast majority of Internet communicators are either against biblical Christianity or else openly uncaring of who is right. To have a blog run by someone sure of what they believe is different. But to have a blog authored by someone sure of God’s Word–that is a bright light (the brightest light possible!) shining into the world of darkness and confusion. It has helped me to understand that those who leave morality up to the individual are left completely afloat without any moral standard. Who then is to say that Hitler was wrong in what he did, for example? Also, those who rail against God for injustice or all the evil in this world, are firmly decided in what they see as “evil”. But in positing evil, they necessarily imply there is such a thing as “good”. By believing in good and evil, they therefore must believe in a moral law. And where do you get a moral law but from a moral law giver transcendent of this finicky human race? In some cultures we love our neighbors, and in other cultures we eat them; who is to say which is the preferable moral code if we do not have a Transcendence? Believe it or not, there is an ultimate proof for the Christian worldview against which there is no logical argument. I have found “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” very helpful in settling this ultimate proof and its defense: http://www.answersingenesis.org/store/product/ultimate-proof-creation-book/?sku=90-3-021

    Thanks for shining out!

    • Hey Shawn
      Thank you for your kind words and very good comments. I appreciate the encouragement.
      Merry Christmas and God Bless!

  7. Thank you for sharing your steadfast faith without railings or rantings. As you continue sharing the truth of God’s word, the Holy Spirit is faithful to touch hearts and open doors to eternal salvation.

    • Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. You expressed my prayer; that the Spirit will take these words and touch hearts and lives may be saved. God’s word is incredibly power.

  8. This world needs Him so deeply.

    • Amen!

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