Saturday, December 31, 2016
DECEMBER 30 "DO YOU REALLY WANT TO GO THERE?"
Do you really want to start a dialogue with God? Or as we would say today, “do you really want to go there?” Normally that statement reflects the idea that you don’t want to start an argument you are going to sorely lose; there is just piles of evidence heaped up against us, if we want to start throwing accusations. What I especially like about the Old Testament is we get actual dialogue from God and I find that fascinating. How does God think? What upsets him, if He was going to speak, what would he say? If you will read through the whole Old Testament you will get to know Jehovah/Yahweh quite well!
Today we read in the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi and Jehovah has one last opportunity to speak. It will be 400 years before God ever speaks to the Jewish people again! And what we find is that it is the typical conversation between man & God. God says, “I have always loved you” man says, “how have you loved us!” It’s the conversation that still goes on in every break room, church foyer and family functions. We say, “God loves you”, they say, “how has He loved us, look at my life and all that has happened to me, you call that love!” Warning from today’s reading…it is an argument you don’t want to start with God. However they started the argument so God says, just like He did with “Job”, I will end it. God begins to bring up all the worthless and phony offerings they have brought to Him over the years, sheep, goats and lambs that were sick, lame, crippled that they took from their flock and knew they could not have sold these animals for 1 cent and had the nerve to say, “here is my offering Lord, how I love you!” In the middle of worthless offerings they married heathen women and in marrying heathen women we can say that “liked/loved” heathen women, how could this be? They divorced and abandoned their wives when they were fed up with them and left them destitute. And why…because a prettier, younger woman came along? There is a term used in Psychology “selective amnesia” and it is a mental illness we all suffer from, especially religious people. Self deception is another unhealthy mental disorder. Mentally, warped people cannot serve God. They truly do not see or purposely choose to block out/forget, the phony, hypocritical religious life they live. They have convinced themselves the lamb they sacrificed “was the best of their flock”. They have convinced themselves “divorce” was the only option. They have convinced themselves the “ungodly” were not that “ungodly”. They do not see their hypocrisy, all they see is the misery of their life, the struggles, what seems like a cursed life and when you come to them and say “God loves you” you’d better duck quick, because they might just swing at your head! In their minds, they have been nothing but faithful, and God has been anything but faithful. God does not speak often but when He does speak He lets it all out! Do you really want to get into an argument with God about who has been more faithful? Do you really want to get accusatory with God? Do you really want to go there? If you have a beef with God it is better that we look and search introspectively rather than point the finger at God. The more we refuse to look inwardly at ourselves; and outwardly choose to condemn God, the more we are given ourselves up to deception and you know what they say the problem is with deceived people…they are deceived! And unless a miracle happens, how do you ever reach a Christian who has given themselves unto deception? If you think the people in Malachi “saw the light” once the truth was told to them, you are naively wrong. In their self deluded minds they are right, they are just and God is wrong and God is unjust and the scary thing is, we are all just a few steps away from finding ourselves in this state of mind if we are not careful.