Thursday, August 05, 2010

When we don’t listen to God

Zechariah 7:12-14 (New International Version):  12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.   13 " 'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty. 14 'I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.' "

In the last weeks, my heart has been drawn to the Old Testament prophets. As I have found out and most people I speak to have also found out, we don’t like to hear God’s harsh warnings.  

One time when I concluded my sermon someone said “Oh, that’s so Old Testament.” It was, but I have always brought people back to Christ and to grace. The road to Christ and the end of time will be filled with hard times and harsh warnings, yet if we ignore the lessons from the past, we are deceiving ourselves. They were recorded for our benefit whether we like them or not.

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 (New International Version) - "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 
The Lord speaks: “When I called, they did not listen, so when they called, I would not listen.” Zechariah 7:13. God is patient and kind but there is a limit to God’s patience. We don’t want to push Him that far. 

If we don’t listen to God, who or what do we listen to?
  1. Each other—sinner in the same boat. 
  2. The world—the world system is of the devil and his ways are cruel and heartless.
  3. Learned men and women—nothing wrong with education, but it does not necessarily make us wise, loving or caring. 
Why not listen to God? He is the Truth and the Light. He loves His creation; He loves us, His people. Why not listen? Because when we don’t get our way we act like spoiled brats, we grumble and complain and stop up our ears. We push God to the limit of His patience and then we have the gall to arrogantly ask why He doesn’t answer our prayers. Sometimes He does; we’re just not listening.  Other times, God would not listen. Meanwhile, as the world goes to hell, we dance in our sin. And this is how we made the pleasant land desolate--ignoring God’s Word.

 Forgive us, Almighty God. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, come. 


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