No late posting this week. LOL. These last few books of the Bible have been all about God trying to get the Israelites to live right and follow His commandments. However, they just couldn't seem to get with the program. So, in the end He kind of has to turn a deaf ear to them and punish them. Not only that but He punishes those evil nations around them.
If I lived back then and saw some of the miracles and wondrous acts that are documented in the Bible, I don't think I'd have a hard time following God's commands. I mean He was going to give them a land flowing with milk and honey and make them undefeatable! They had the ultimate protection. Can you imagine if we could live a land flowing with milk and honey and we didn't have to want for anything-food, clothing, safety, etc?! I just don't know how none of the generations of the Israelites couldn't have gotten their acts together, but I wish they had because I can't help but wonder if our world would be a better place in today's society. I'm almost certain that things would be a lot better over there in the Middle East. Anyways, here's what I learned in Week 32.
1-"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not." (Lamentations 3:22) A lot of us are hanging on by a thread because of God's mercy and His compassion. I feel so blessed to know that God has compassion for us. It's comforting because it means that when we're going through our rough times, He feels for us. It reassures me that He's not relishing in our pain, but instead is working to help us get through it and come out wiser and more victorious.
2-"For He does not afflict willingly, not grieve the children of men. We have transgressed and rebelled; You have not pardoned." (Lamentations 3:33, 42) God never causes bad things to happen to us just because. He just doesn't work that way. After all He created us to be His children so that He could love us and nurture us the way we do our children. When we step outside of the will of God, we are bringing hard times on ourselves. It's like the devotional I was reading this weekend said, sometimes instead of asking 'Why God? Why me?,' we need to ask ourselves 'Why not me?' None of us walks perfectly in our faith and it's only right we get punished or chastised in some way when we do wrong.
3-"...I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations." (Ezekiel 7:3) Wasn't it Justin Timberlake who sang "What goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around?" You reap what you sow people. Karma is indeed real and you will be repaid for your actions whether they are good or bad.
4-"It (the seedling) took root there and grew into a low spreading vine. Its branches turned up toward the eagle, and its roots grew down into the ground. It produced strong branches and put our shoots. But then another great eagle came with broad wings and full plumage. So the vine now sent its roots and branches toward him for water, even though it was already planted in good soil and had plenty of water so it could grow into a splendid vine and produce rich leaves and luscious fruit." (Ezekiel 17:6-8) Some of us are like the seedling in this parable. We already have a winning environment for success in all aspects of our lives, but our eyes get the best of us and trick us into thinking the grass is greener on the other side. It's not though. The Israelites couldn't get right because they were always getting caught up in the grass appearing to be greener on the other side. We have to learn sometimes to just be content and appreciate what we have. Remember that if He can trust us with a little, He can trust us with a lot but we can't jump ship before we build up that trust.
5-"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father; nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." (Ezekiel 18:20). As parents we can only do our best to make sure we are putting good morals and ethics into them. However, just like we had to find our own way and often strayed from the things our parents taught us, so will they. That doesn't necessarily mean that you are responsible for their bad choices. So, don't always take it personal when they mess up. If you've done your best then you have not failed them. Parenting is hard enough without any added mommy or daddy guilt for things we can't control.
Week 33 Readings
8/12: Ezekiel 33-39
8/13: Ezekiel 40-48
8/14: Daniel 1-3
8/15: Daniel 4-6
8/16: Daniel 7-12
8/17: Hosea 1-3
8/18: Hosea 4-5
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