I am starting the read the minor prophets after just finishing Jeremiah and Ezekiel. If you have some interest in history, then these books will perk up your attention for it seems that it could have been written for todays world.
Anyone who says the Bible is not for today, has never read it!
We see that both Jeremiah and Ezekiel warned the Israelites over and over to turn from their sin and turn to God in repentance. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) So the message throughout the Bible remains the same…confess our sins, turn away from our sins, and He is there waiting with open arms.
We are reminded that God sometimes compares our behavior to adultery against Him (see Eze 16:17). “Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways.” (Eze 16:17) Think about it, have we as a nation, become more corrupt than Sodom? Pride, excess of food and prosperous ease? Just how corrupt do things have to get before we will wake up?
Because of such behavior, “He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings.” (Dan 2:21a) He allows suffering and pain to draw us closer to Him. He allows suffering and pain to strengthen us. The choice is ours but often we do not take responsibility but rather blame others or even blame God Himself. Daniel 11:35 reminds us, “some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.”
For months now, I have heard many Christians make proclamation after proclamation that God won’t allow “His own” to go through these hard times. But I ask you, didn’t He let His own go to Babylon? They were to “build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage; that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there and do not decrease.” (Jere 29: 5-6) Why did the Israelites have to go through the exile? Because of their sin, of not repenting, of doing their own thing, of not obeying the Word of the Lord. Oftentimes, there is a lesson to learn when we read Scripture and see this kind of punishment.
What lesson is God trying to teach us today? I see people quote this Scripture, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isa 5:20) It’s one thing to quote Scripture, it’s quite another thing to start living it out. That’s what God expected out of the Israelites and that is exactly what He expects out of each person who calls themselves a Christian or a Christ follower.
What exactly does this look like? He calls each of us to different tasks but one thing is for sure, whatever He calls us to will not be against His Word. Too many churches today are trying to draw in people by acting like the world…with their music, lack of Scripture reading, lack of Biblical preaching and lack of challenges to live a different life than what the world is living.
He calls His own to obedience—obedience to His Word. You won’t know what that obedience looks like unless you are reading the Bible. As you are reading the Bible, He, through the Holy Spirit, will prick your heart and you will know that what you’ve read is not only for you but that you are to obey those words. “Faithful Promises of God” can help you understand what you are reading and how to apply it in your life.
My newest book, “Faithful Journey to Serve”, just came out recently. As a memoir, it is filled with story after story of my missionary trips to Russia and Tobago. Read biographies about famous Chrisitians, it will further your insight in serving God. If anyone is interested in getting the latest book, they can contact me through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or facebook. I am also available do a book signing at your church or library; during which time, I will tell a few stories that aren’t in the book.
God Bless you!