The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook the Lord and did not serve him.
Throughout history, every tribe and nation had gods who they worshiped. Besides the Biblical God who revealed Himself to Abraham and his seed after him, the people, tribes, and nations of the Bible, recycled different deities depending on their needs at the moment. When the Book of Judges was being written, Baal (god of the weather who could bring good harvests which was wealth at the time) and Ashtaroth (god of love and sex) are mentioned as two predominant figures within the religious circuit. Even during Jeremiah’s time (Jeremiah 19:3-5), Baal is mentioned as the god people would sacrifice their children at the altar for his attention.
We in the 21st century may laugh at their superstition, but yet mainstream culture continues to worship the same (wealth, sex, abortion, etc.) gods but have replaced their names with intellectual snobbery.
When one studies history, one quickly recognizes there is nothing new under the sun except maybe fashion and technology. Human nature remains the same. Instead of acknowledging one God who continually reveals himself through the pages of the Bible and creation, we intellectually disregard historical records because of our prideful intellect and knowledge gained through the sciences.
We have forgotten the lessons of yesterday. And by forgetting them, we shall again repeat the same mistakes. But this time, the greater the climb will result in a greater fall.
Many nations have come and gone. Many large businesses have come and gone. Many marriages have come and gone. A common theme among many of these disappearing outcomes was the breakdown of morals. When people downplayed the importance of conduct between each other, division and destruction followed. Morality became unplugged from the Source.
When God revealed Himself to Moses, led the people out of bondage from Egypt to a land of freedom, and gave the Ten Commandments as a standard of behavior, the goal was to allow people to continue to flourish and live-in freedom. As long as the people kept these standards, the people lived free. But when they rebelled and chose other values to pursue, they only brought suffering and pain to themselves and their nation.
When objective morality is replaced by subjective individualization, division and conflict abound. Peace is found only at funerals instead of everyday living.
The drifting away from a with-God centered relationship generally happens slowly until we find ourselves knee deep in problems. Then we realize the need for a Savior. Yet will our pride keep us from admitting such a need or will we keep relying on our vain intellect and abilities? The Bible calls it repentance – changing how we think. Instead of us being the self-righteous center of the universe, we acknowledge our limitations and need to learn from the feet of a divine Being who knows better. HIS worldview is the one we all need.
Israel is a 3,500-year history of a nation who falls away, repents, and is restored under his grace. Ever nation could learn from them rather than repeat their errors.
Again, human nature hasn’t changed over the last 3,500 years. Fashion and technology may have improved our lot in life. Yet, without allowing God’s Spirit to influence one’s life, human nature keeps repeating its self-centered ways thinking their ways are the moral high road. But as history reveals, when mankind is plugged into the Triune God, society and nations reap the benefits of a godly life.
As a fellow believer, we are given the mission of being a living proof as a witness for others by exhibiting a Christ-like attitude and behavior in everything we do. So, when we speak from a position of love based on a foundation of truth and our actions follow suit, you and I are demonstrating the life and riches of living under the domain of God’s Kingdom. Morality plugged into the Triune God with Jesus Christ as our reference point is our reply to anyone who asks what makes us different. And the doors are open for everyone to share in this Way.
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