Sunday, July 23, 2017

JULY 23 "SO DEVOUTLY RELIGIOUS WE ARE"

We have areas in our lives that are so obedient to the Will of God and we have other areas in our lives that are so flagrantly disobedient to God. As I read about Solomon bringing this heathen women back to Jerusalem with him and building her her own house, I am nauseated. Either in disgust, because God had told him not to marry foreign women because they would turn his heart away or I'm nauseated because it reminds me of my own life, at different seasons, or maybe it's a little of both. And of course, as with you and I, to appease his conscience he does something devoutly religious, after being devoutly rebellious, "Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the Lord on the altar of the Lord".  I wonder if Solomon had read about when Samuel rebuked King Saul with these words, "Obedience is better than sacrifice". I remember as a young Christian going out of town with a foreign woman. We stayed over night in a city, I got a hotel, requested twin beds and kept it clean; but regardless, I was in screaming rebellion to the Holy Spirit who hammered me not to take this trip. The first thing I did when i got up in the morning was I read my bible and then knelt and prayed at the foot of my bed. When we are in rebellion, we become devoutly religious. Problem is, God doesn't honor our sacrifices and/or prayers in this time, "for obedience is better than sacrifice and rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft". Not only does God not hear our prayers but we look like fools to those that look on at us, trying to be pious in the midst of sin and rebellion. Imagine how foolish I looked, praying at the foot of my bed that morning. Even though nothing happened, she knew, she was not a Christian (a backslider she was) and she knew I was (or at least supposed to be) and she knew, "do not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever". As Solomon brings this heathen woman to his city, the next order of service for him is to offer burnt offerings unto his God.  His God that he only listens to when it appeals to him. However, before we throw stones at Solomon, let us recognize that this lures in each and every one of us. Not only have I seen it play out in my own life, I have seen it play out in many other Christians that I know and many Christians in my Church. We can be so perfectly obedient in some areas of our lives and so flagrantly disobedient in others.  If ever you find yourself, being super, devoutly, religious, you may want to step back and ask yourself, "what sin am I trying to cover up for here?"