Category Archives: Old Testament Unfaithfulness

Zechariah 11 Sermon Favor and Union.

Back around Christmas time I was reading in my daily reading plan and came to be gifted with two candy canes from someone at the job. I put them in my wheelchair bag to later eat them but one somehow broke on me. I then was reminded of what I had been reading through in the Old Testament reading plan, and the prophet had been told to take two staffs and break each to symbolize events that would unfold.

—-This is what the Lord my God says: “Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the Lord. “I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbors and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.” So I shepherded the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock. In one month I got rid of the three shepherds. The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them and said, “I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.” Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. It was revoked on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the Lord. I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord. Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel. Then the Lord said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves. “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!” (Zechariah 11:4-17)

“The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them and said, “I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.”

The Lord had taken care of his people yet they grew tired of him. They started turning to other gods and as a result the Assyrian nation as well as Babylon enslaved the people of Israel and Judah for 70 years.

Union- the second staff that was broken represented the family bond between the two kingdoms that became Judah and Israel, and until after the reign of Solomon they were united under one king but after Solomon died Rehoboam, Solomon’s son became king over Israel in the north and Jeroboam became king of Judah in the south.

“Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel. Then the Lord said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves. “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!” —-Gentile kings for one took hold of both the nations of Judah and Israel but we also see this concept play out in the days of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Pharisees and religious leaders used God’s Law to oppress the people and not point them to the True Shepherd (Jesus) who said:

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:11-18)

Sin came to divide Judah and Israel, and sin divides people of today. What can we learn from this passage in Zechariah?

Well first of all, sin brings separation and creates barriers between people. Secondly, it drives a wedge between us and the God who created us and everyone else! Yet the good news is, in spite of leaders who sin and misuse positions of power or influence, there is one Shepherd who will do justly and righteously, and judge all according to impartial equity. Jesus Christ is our Shepherd and as Psalms 23 says “The Lord is my shepherd” and Jesus is not some cruel and overbearing taskmaster that is disinterested in the lives of people. God is holy and righteous and hates sin and we see his anger toward it throughout especially OT literature but can we see why? Sin drives us from Him, the only true source of hope and a sustaining source of well being.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. (Jeremiah 2:13)

God not only is angered by sin and trusting in idols and gods that are not, but grieved. He knows we need him far more than we realize. God is at times compassionately angry! Suppose you are a parent of a teenage son or daughter who starts to pursue a reckless course of life and you try to talk the sense into them but they do the thing we as young people do, say “Whatever, stay out of my life!” Parents can relate to this concept yet we seem to divorce God’s anger toward sin from his compassion and love for mankind? Why?

God is both angry and compassionate- he hates sin and sees it as an affront to who he is- yet he is compassionate and pities sinners who suffer the misfortunes of their own sin!

Therefore, Jesus came to rescue sinners as the Shepherd King the God anointed to bring two kingdoms under his Lordship, Judah and Israel, but also reconcile the World to Him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 –

Christ removed the barrier between us and one another and us and God. We must lay hold of this though and receive it!

Jeremiah 1:4-19 Sermon, The Call Of Jeremiah- “Do not say, “I am too young.”

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ” “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?” “I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.” The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord. “Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah. I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made. “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. [Jeremiah 1:4-19] Jeremiah was most likely intimidated by God’s call to confront the people of Israel and Judah over their sins, for one, he was a youth. Often people see people who are younger as inexperienced or not knowlegable. There can be a attitude of “What? You telling me what to do? Ha your just a young person and I have years on my side.” Yet where was Jeremiah’s confidence? God’s call and commission. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul says: Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 Paul preached a messsage of the Gospel and repentence and turning to Christ for reconciliation to God. Yet the prophet Jeremiah and the Apostle Paul both knew that God was the strong force to back up the work he had called them to do. In the story of Jeremiah he was young but reminded by the Lord that He was on his side even if the people refused to listen to him because of his age. Jeremiah throughout the book of Jeremiah spoke warnings of God’s judgement coming from Assyria and Babylon if they did not turn away from sin and idol worship. Unfortunately they people would not repent and judgement came. Whatever it is that may seem to be a deterent, whether being young or whatever society may try to use to discredit the message. We should irregardless obey God’s call and share the message he gives us to proclaim, the Gospel. God said to another prophet in this time: And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Ezekiel 2:6-8 – The point is God calls them to obey and proclaim what he gave them to say, and then said irregardless of whether the people responded or not was not the focus but rather obeying and proclaiming the message he gave to them to preach to the people. Often times most of the people rejected God’s message and fell into God’s judgement for it but the prophets did their part and were faithful to obey. The same is true when we share the Gospel as modern 21 century believers. We cannot make a single person respond, only God can truly change hearts but regardless of the outcome, our role is obeying and doing as our Lord commands 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16 –

Jeremiah 42 Sermon- The escape plan that made their problem worse!

7 Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8 So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest. 9 He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: 10 ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. 12 I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’

13 “However, if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ and so disobey the Lord your God, 14 and if you say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread,’ 15 then hear the word of the Lord, you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, 16 then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. 17 Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague; not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘As my anger and wrath have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem, so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be a curse[b] and an object of horror, a curse[c] and an object of reproach; you will never see this place again.’

19 “Remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.”

In Verse 14 we see God warning them that if they ran from where he called them to stay thinking they would have a more favorable outcome, they would be overtaken by the very thing they dreaded.

In the following chapter we see them disobey the Lord and trust their own solution to their problem

——When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them — Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.” So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah. Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. They also led away all those whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan—the men, the women, the children and the king’s daughters. And they took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah along with them. So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes. (Jeremiah 43:1-7)

Then:

“Now this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Why bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant? Why arouse my anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves a curse and an object of reproach among all the nations on earth. Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestors and by the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem? To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your ancestors. “Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah. I will take away the remnant of Judah who were determined to go to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by sword or famine. They will become a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach. I will punish those who live in Egypt with the sword, famine and plague, as I punished Jerusalem. None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.” Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine. ” The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?” Then Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, who were answering him, “Did not the Lord remember and call to mind the incense burned in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem by you and your ancestors, your kings and your officials and the people of the land? When the Lord could no longer endure your wicked actions and the detestable things you did, your land became a curse and a desolate waste without inhabitants, as it is today. Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.” Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah in Egypt. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You and your wives have done what you said you would do when you promised, ‘We will certainly carry out the vows we made to burn incense and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.’ “Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows! But hear the word of the Lord, all you Jews living in Egypt: ‘I swear by my great name,’ says the Lord , ‘that no one from Judah living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name or swear, “As surely as the Sovereign Lord lives.” For I am watching over them for harm, not for good; the Jews in Egypt will perish by sword and famine until they are all destroyed. Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand —mine or theirs. “‘This will be the sign to you that I will punish you in this place,’ declares the Lord, ‘so that you will know that my threats of harm against you will surely stand.’ This is what the Lord says: ‘I am going to deliver Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies who want to kill him, just as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the enemy who wanted to kill him.’” (Jeremiah 44:7-30)

These people failed to see their real problem, they wrongly assumed their worship of foreign gods was bringing them success and averting disaster, they said “But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”

Yet they failed to recognize this as being the result of their problems. Their worship of idols and sinning against the Lord God who brought them out of Egypt long ago was the one who they had angered and he was the one who brought disaster by Babylon, that Jeremiah had kept predicting would come.

Yet we see here how even when God allows disaster as the result of a rebellious lifestyle, the sinful deception of the heart can fool us all into not discerning correctly why we suffer. Galatians 6:8 says “Whatsoever a man sows that he will also reap” and for their longstanding unrepentant hearts toward God’s messengers they reaped the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s warning.

So what can we take home here? Some of us may have reaped the consequences of sin, we have maybe seen God’s heavy hand in our lives over choices that finally produces hardship. Yet God told these people to just obey and remain in the land and not flee in fear to Egypt: unfortunately they disobeyed and it went from bad to worse, however, we are given these examples to learn from.

Fear- is never a valid excuse to disobey God. God knows all and if he calls us to obey in some way we should rest assured that he knows more then we do. Yet they trusted their escape plan- that more so was their disaster plan that sealed their doom.

The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper. Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

Proverbs 28:25-26

We should not let the trouble around us as a result of even personal sin drive us further down a bad path. If a person is driving and they get off course and realize they have been driving 25 minutes in the wrong direction, it be silly to say, it is no use turning around, might as well keep driving this way. No rather the sensible thing is to stop and turn around and go the other way, even though it has created inconvenience and loss of time, they can still turn around and get to the right track! Yet this is repentence- we turn around from the reckless road

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief.

Proverbs 14:12-13 –

The road of sin may seem right and even have laughter on it, yet deep down under the facade of many is a very felt emptiness and it ends in grief and judgement.

When we turn to Jesus, we acknowlege our sins messed up our life and we see how far off track in sin we are. We see we are worthy of God’s judgement, his anger, his just sentence- but the hope comed by turning from the mess we have created and accepting the forgiveness and cleansing work Jesus died to grant us. We ought to then trust him with our lives and follow Him!

Idolatrous Ashera Pole Dancers, Unfaithful People, God’s Anger- God’s Mercy and Pursuing Love!

There was in OT times something known as an Ashera pole. It was a pole made that incorporated idol worship. The Lord brought the people of Israel out of Egypt and warned them not to adopt the Caanenite practices but to drive them entirely out with their idols and “Ashera poles”

Now let’s imagine for a second, God throughout the Bible is very clear he hates idol worship. The worship and trust of anything other then Him and elevating it to a place of god. That angers God probably just as much as if you found out, a person you were commited to and loved and were in a relationship with had a side little fiasco going on. What if you found out your wife had been smooching another man, or had set up a stripping pole in your living room? Or what if she was running a little prostitution business and this was going on in your room? This is a human metaphore for a much more broadscale spiritual lesson- Human beings and their sin and idols, provoke the Lord to great anger and cause His heart grief!

These people gave God grief upon grief and provoked him to anger. A lot of people say, “Well, God just seemed so angry in the Old Testament” but consider the analogy above. These promiscuous people God saved out of Egyptian oppression had a long history of forsaking God and his laws and whoring themselves with gods of the other nations. God gave them time to change their ways and number of times handed them over to their enemies saying

—-After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord. Because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt, he captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he said to them, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.’” The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.” When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.” (2 Chronicles 12:1-8)

Earlier on also in Judges we see a pattern:

——Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord ’s anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their ancestors did.” The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua. (Judges 2:11-23)

1.) God had been good to them, saved them from the Egyptian oppression hundreds of years before. He gave them a land that was good and they repaid him by ditching the relationship and running to the arms of idols and other gods. So they first of were unfaithfully paying God back with evil for the good that he did for them.

[So human nature- lets all be honest and own we have wicked tendencies as such if we let our sinful nature truly call the shots]

2.) They not only repaid God with evil, but that evil led them to idol worship and choosing things that were useless hunks of metal, wood, stone and wood to bow down to. (Note, many in our times may not worship literal idols but in the West, people do so much evil for green paper as one example. Our culture places more value on physical appearence and looking good then character so often. People worship many gods, self being often number one and many in our nation have forsaken the Laws of the Lord, (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.) Pride becomes a little god people elevate and set shrines for themselves to worship self. God hates pride as much as literal idol worship. Pride says “I am the best, I do not need anyone or God, I am most important and with my might and right hand make things happen. My will be done!”

Now lets look at a character in 1 Kings, he was quite a pole dancer —-

Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him. (1 Kings 16:33 -)

Ole Ahab was not a good guy. He was actually one, if not the most wicked of kings Israel had. One incident that truly sealed Ahab and his wife queen Jezebel’s fate was Ahab came across a vinyard he coveted that belonged to Nabal. Nabal would not sell it to him because he was commanded by God not to. So Ahab pouted over it. His wife Jezebel took notice and seemingly was the one who wore the belt in that relationship. As wicked as Ahab was, Jezebel was even more dasterdly I would say and had him under her pinky.

——His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?” He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. In those letters she wrote: “Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.” So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.” As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.” When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’” Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!” “I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’ “And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’ “Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country.” (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.) When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”

(1 Kings 21:5-29 -)

There seemed to temporarily be hope for this evil king and he humbled himself and seemingly repented. Yet unfortunately Abab shows throughout his story that it was not lasting. The good news is true repentence and turning to Jesus Christ can remove our sins as far as the “east from the west” yet we must truly surrender, not partial like Ahab who eventually died for his sin.

The Israelites also kept on in sin too—

—-They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. (2 Kings 17:16-17)

“sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.”

Eventually God had had enough, and the Babylonians were sent against them and destroyed their city and deported them into a foreign land to serve them for 70 years. This was a very unpleasant time for the nation and the prophet Jeremiah who prophesied this would happen spoke the word of the Lord

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Jeremiah 29:10-14 –

This was both a message of certain judgement but also hope. It left the opportunity for these people to repent and still receive God’s forgiveness and restoration.

1.) The seventy years was set- often when people sin and the consequences come, they wonder why if they repented why they are still stuck in an unpleasant spot. Yet, there are consequences that often remain though forgiveness is certain when we turn back to the Lord and forsake our sins. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” This is guarantee for the believer that blows it and confesses “Agrees with the Lord his or her sin is sin and they did wrong” This is true for a non Christian who turns to Christ for forgiveness also “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved” and when someone believes the Gospel, and seees their need to be forgiven of sin and rebellion toward God, Christ saves them when they trust His sacrifice on the cross and raising from the dead to bring then cleansing and forgiveness. We as a result are called to follow!

It mean the consequences magically are erased. Yet, there is hope, when we turn back to the Lord and resume following him wholeheartedly, he can bring good out of even our failures!

Some may read this tonight and feel it speaking to them, yet I want to encourage anyone who does read this to turn to the Lord and not let guilt or feelings of unworthiness keep you from Him. The Word of God says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

No one of us is worthy of God. None of us can earn salvation or the love of God. Yet “God demonstrated his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)

God’s love welcomes us to come even though we are aweful left to ourselves, unfaithful and have sinned. His love wants to still save us and welcome us back!

God Showed No Partiality In Judging The Nation

God Evaluated The Entire Nation- the whole of them.

Often people blame the politicians most, and alot of time there is more pin the tail on someone else game going on but when God judged the nation of Israel, he played no favorites. He impartially called them all out.

“Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has not been cleansed or rained on in the day of wrath.’ There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken. The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord. ”

Ezekiel 22:24-31

1.) The Princes

•There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her.

These rulers used their power and authority to do violence and abused their power!

2.) The Priests.

•Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean;

•and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.

“Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things” – What does this mean though? They basically damaged the credibility of the Teaching of God by how they taught. They refused to make a distinction between “Clean and unclean”

Modern times a preacher or Bible teacher has a serious job. To present what the Word of God says and not elevate societal opinion over it. He is supposed to exalt God’s Word above his own opinion or preference as well. There are things that God’s Word says that challenge us all and at times we wont necessarily like it because it is challenging and convicting but we should still present it in it’s fullness so we all can grow by it. There are a lot of supposedly Christian churches today that do God’s Word diservice by neglecting what is taught that indeed is not popularly accepted in our culture. The priests in the time of Ezekial and Jeremiah and other prophets were sternly rebuked for failure to teach God’s law as they should have been. The nation as a whole suffered for it and was judged through being taken captive by Babylon.

3.) The Officials-

•Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain.

These leaders took advantage of people and did violence for unjust gain. Here in America or any country, greed can poison the hearts of people called to uphold law and justice. Political leaders and judges can be bribed. Law makers can let self interest and monetary gain affect their law making decisions. This all is corrupt and God indicted Israel for this very thing.

4.) The Prophets-

•Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken.

Those who were called by God to turn people from wrong gave themselves over to corruptness also. They “whitewashed” the sin of the people and made it look less serious then it was, and by means of false vision and lying and divination. They presumed to speak on behalf of God when he had not spoken or told them to.

5.) The People/ Citizens

•The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice.

These people even with little more then just being ordinary citizens also were just as bad. They took advantage of another’s disadvantage, “The poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner” and “Denying them justice.”

Often as wrong as it is, there is a vulnerable people group that others see as easy to exploit, and the Lord took this sin serious throughout the Bible and also these people then were denied justice in courts- possibly because they were poor and from another place.

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord. ” (Ezekial 23:30-31)

Jesus is the ultimate intercessor before God to atone for sin. Through knowlege of him we have escaped corruption and eternal death. However, on the smaller scale, those who genuinely are followers of Him should be praying for our nation- promoting His message and those who teach the Word should not treat it as trivial. The Word of God is serious on the nature of sin and the sacrifice that it cost Jesus to save us from living for sin and self. Many in this country say they are Christians- maybe half the population or at least a third may say this and go to church even. Yet the call is clear in following Jesus Christ- Jesus wants to be Saviour and Lord of all our lives, not just sections we are ok with him being Lord over. He wants all, or nothing- first place, or not at all. [I am refering to a type of Christianity so watered down and whitewashed by culture- that says “I believe in Jesus” but he has little or no say in their lives.] None of us are sinless but we should be commited and continually be growing!

Why God Got Jealous- Pt 3 [Babylonian Breakup- Regeneration Reconciliation.

11/26/2017

“Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’ “Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst. I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold — which they used for Baal. “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body. So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals. I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers; I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them. I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot, ” declares the Lord. “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. “In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord — “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God. ’” Hosea 2:1-23

The Prophet Hosea was sent to prophesy against the sinful ways of God’s Chosen People. And they had thrown him under the bus and forgot all he had done for them but then attributed their praises to others, their success to idols and other “lovers” meaning the nations around them that influenced them to their harm. God says, “She said, ‘will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ They refused to give God the glory and praise for being good to them but as we see in Romans 1, when one fails to praise God as the source, given time, God hands them over to corruption of their own heart. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:21-25)

And so was the case with Israel, depicted in an analogy as a loose and easy woman. Yet worst of all, they abandoned God and treated those who did less good for them with more honor than God who saved them from slavery in Egypt. Like a unfaithful woman who cheats on a good man, or a unfaithful spouse who cheats on a spouse who gives no reason to be unfaithful to, so the natural bent of our hearts in sin is to be faithless to God- –

My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’ Originally God chose Israel and Judah to be his treasured possession and they time and time again ran to idols, backslid, and failed to be the light unto the nations We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life. (Isaiah 26:18 )

Yet, did not God already know in his divine foreknowledge Israel would fail? Yes, and on their part they failed but on God’s part he succeeded- because through these wayward people through the line of David came eventually Christ, and it is through God’s arm of salvation anyone who believes in Christ’s atonement as the Messiah promised hundreds and thousands of years earlier, God did what Israel could not under written code of Law. Through the Prophet Jeremiah God says he will circumcise the hearts [See Jer 4:4] of the people to know him and a day would come where he punishes all that are only circumcised in the flesh— and Jesus described in John 3 the rebirth-through true faith in him.

Hosea continues to say: -She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ — [See similar story, Luke 15, Prodigal Son]

-She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold — which they used for Baal. “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body. So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. This nation did truly what we all by nature are prone to do, value them that hardly care about us over the ones we do have that care, and especially we are prone to this in our sinful falleness with God. We forget God gives us all the good we enjoy and can rob him of glory do him and give it to others or our idols we create in our hearts. Yet the hope is that just as God showed compassion again after he suffered his people for their sin, so too does he show favor to us when we repent of our unfaithfulness to him. The season of reaping what we have sown may carry on so that we learn the difference between the good way vs the bitter consequences, yet even in his chastening he responds to the heart felt cry of a repentant sinner or backslidden believer. –

-Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. “In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord — “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God. ’” Hosea 2:1-23

After God carried out his rod of judgement toward his people by giving them into the hands of Babylon, God brought the sword against Babylon and the people returned to their native soil and we see God’s compassion restore his people who did turn back to him. “I will betroth you in faithfulness and you will acknowledge the Lord,” So in a nutshell, if the Lord’s relationship with Israel was a dating one under Mosaic law that they failed to hold up their part in, the betrothal is when

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33 –

When God creates a new heart through faith and one turning to Christ, it is no longer do this, do not do that,- because to use the analogy of dating vs marriage- dating is expectations and marriage is covenantal and based on a vow. So if by the Holy Spirit God enters into man or woman to redeem them from the written code- Law, and transfers them into a state of following God’s commands in response of love for God, then it is a even greater state then before.

Why God Get’s Jealous! PT 2—Spiritually Promiscuous with idols

11/25/2017

All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations — a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick;

Isaiah 65:2-3

Imagine for a moment you caught your wife or husband, your boyfriend or girlfriend whom you were commited to cheating, flirting and arousing your jealousy without any regard for how you felt, and with great audacity, they thought you did not mean what you said when you broke off the relationship or divorced them.

These people were chosen as God’s special inheritance and He was good to them, he saved them countless time from their enemies and provided for them. He established them in the Promised Land, modern Israel.

Since I am a man, I will write from male skin, but i suppose if I caught my wife with another man’s hands on her, I would be aroused to indignation and great jealousy. What if whoever the man was that catches his wife or lady he has commited to be loyal to and possibly marry, what if he treat her well and bought her sweet tokens of his affection like jewelry, flowers, and he tried his hardest to treat her like a lady, and was romantic. Suppose he would run to her rescue when she was in a bad spot and spend hours trying to comfort her when she was sad. Yet suppose one day, she finds him dull and unexciting and has some “side excitement” she finds more “fun” and suppose not only that, she has let other men who would not even value her enough to make sacrifices to show her how much she is worth but she lets them just put their filthy hands all over her.

Yet Israel time and time again through the prophets was likened to a whore, or an unfaithful wife. The Bible uses many analogies to describe Israel’s and Judah’s love affairs with other gods. They cuddled in the arms of their idols and undressed for foreign gods. So, the Lord broke up with them. He basically said, “Ok then, run to your lover boys and they are later going to defile you ans turn on you, humiliate you and make a sport of you for your whorish ways!”

So it was, the Babylonians finally marched against Jerusaelem and Judah and took her captive as a slave subjected to the reign of the kings of Babylon. Yet the Lord did patiently give them time to change but eventually made good on his promise and they dwelt as foreigners in a strange land not their own for 70 years. Finally God came back to her and restored her and planted her once again.

What can we learn? Idols are in all our hearts and we may use the analogy above just to make a case. Yet God of course wants our total devotion and trust- after all, he is worth it. Yet idolatry of the heart makes us desire this, or trust that, or long for such and such more so then God and Jesus Christ himself. Everytime we sin, we in essence kiss the hands of idols. Because we choose to delight more in sin at that moment then what God can give us in his presence!

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:4-10)

So, here is the deal, when we have a choice between God’s ways and closeness to God versus the Worldly ways of sin, self and pride, when we choose the World over God, we make love to an idol in our heart! When we chase wealth as our number one pursuit or let greed put his grubby hands on our hearts, we are unfaithful to the Lord. Or when the man chooses to let his eyes lust after firbid fruit, he in those moments says, “God your not enough or exciting me enough right now so Im going to look at lustful pleasures.” Or when we in pride choose our ways, our feelings, our wants and grumble because we do not get our way, we say, “God you are not enough now and I am going to do what I want.”

Now wish I could say that I am free of idols entirely but no, my sinful tendencies are a daily “put to death” to do list- but we do it in His power and not human strength.

One prime way idols can flourish is if we let our joy im the Lord burn down to embers and refuse to feed the fire with time in God’s presence enjoying him, time in His Word learning more from him and connectedness in prayer.

When we fail to cultivate a love for God we are more emotionally vulnerable to a spiritual affair with idols we create. Yet let us always seek to regularly be refreshed in his presence for

As Scripture says “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

That is where the power flows, a delight in God that overpowers cravings for sin and dominant fear. The Power to be bold in our witness also comes from closeness to Jesus! Otherwise we like Peter did deny we know him by keeping quiet for fear of being made fun of- Ever were in love with someone you were thrilled about and bragged to everyone over yet then they acted embarrased to be seem around their friends with you, at no fault of your own? Well does not feel good. And another case like that is those onry adolescents embarrassed to be seem with the parents who do not let them starve/ let us be faithful also to the Lord!

See Pt 3

https://austingeorge.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/babylonian-breakup-regeneration-reconciliation/

Why God Get’s Jealous! PT 1 [Flimsy Love Affairs With Other Gods]

10/26/2017

When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But whoever takes refuge in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.”

Isaiah 57:13 –

Here God seems a bit fed up, like a woman or man who’s lover always runs off to other men or women – he might as well be saying, “Oh you need me now? Go to your lovers you are cheating on me with and let them deliver you? You will see they cannot and will not. You want me now that your in a jam? Where are your love affairs now that you are calling on me?!”

Idolatry not only robs God his glory and love we owe him but also makes God feel used I am sure! When we run to him when we are in distress just to get out of a jam? Yet the real motive that honors God is not running to Him out of wanting a fix for our problems that we trusted our idols to save us from but turning to Him in sincere repentence, which He will forgive, but insincere “Get me out of this jam Lord Jesus, now I need you.” Is seemingly more insulting then anything.

What is an idol? Really anything we give more time, attention or trust to then God! We all have them and I will own I have some ideals I desire that can be Idols. Yet we can only truly trust, hope in and value God as a god in life because he can live up to the name there of- yes, and God is jealous of our hearts, unlike human jealousy, God’s jealousy is pure and sinless because his jealousy is rooted in His worth that can match it’s demands! It is also at the same time selfless jealousy because we were created to love and be in relationship with God! Nothing short of this satisfies our hungering souls! So God’s jealous wrath over us placing things that cannot save us truly is both for His honor and our greatest good! We though can trust things and people who fail us miserably! What frees us from craving human love to an unwholesome degree? God’s love! What frees us to not pile up wealth in fear of seasons of scarcity? Trusting God to be good and meet our every need, not every selfish wish [-Materialism also a form of idol worship]

Relational idol worship is one of my struggles as a fallen human, and for others it is money, and yet others how people see them or their reputation. Who knows, each person struggles with different inclinations to different gods of our day but none is like God who is truly worth all our trust, devotion, praise and love. Humans fail to meet our hopes and expectations and job security is not truly as secure as we might hope, money flies away or is devoured by bills with razor teeth and mighry appetites! Trust the Lord!

See Pt 2.

https://austingeorge.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/why-god-gets-jealous-pt-2/