Wednesday, February 2, 2011

{in the eyes of God}

So I’m not always one to be really good with picking up on neat indirect things I learn while reading scripture, if it doesn’t flat out tell me something I might not pick up on it. But something struck me today while reading 2 kings. {Which, by the way, makes so much more sense to me than chronicles which basically tells the same stories, I think cause kings gives more story like details.}

So there are all these kings of Israel and Judah and it just goes through the history of them and what kind of king they were, how long they ruled, who’s son they were, who took over for them and so forth. The most important aspect {to me right now} that is listed in all of them is if they were a good or evil king in the eyes of God. And a lot of times they were a good king in the eyes of God, they worshipped him and were devoted but they could have done more. If they were a realllllly good king they wouldn’t just follow God with their life but would make a path for others to be holy. They would also tear down other sex and religious shrines that we flooding into their country--they were removing sin and temptation from not only their own lives, but for others!! And that was what struck me soooo much today. Not only were things kings devoted to God, they also lived a life that make a path for others.

Now those kings that were still good in the eyes of God but didn’t tear all this temptation down were still devoted and good, but because they didn’t wipe the country of these sinful things the country suffers and falls into sin. Specifically I’m thinking of 2 kings 14-16, which is part of what I read today. These kings of Judah...Amaziah, followed by Azariah, followed Pekah, and then followed by Jotham. These kings, right in a row, did good in the eyes of God but did not wipe out this sin within their people. Even about Azariah in the message translation it says “But he also failed to get ride of the local sex-and-religion shrines...”. But. He. Also. Failed. Daaaaaang. Who want’s that said about themselves?? So then Ahaz becomes king and he gets caught up in all these sins that were left in the country. He does evil int he eyes of God. It immediately made me wonder...what if his dad, and his ancestor had not just lived a live devoted to God BUT made sure others had a clear path to that. What if his ancestors had wiped out the sex and religious shrines in the country. Would he have fallen into them?

It just made me think about making as clear as a path as we can AWAY from sin. Why do we hang temptation right in front of our noses? Or our friends noses? Or our brothers and sisters in Christ’s noses?? We do it all the time. Like Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” {matt 5:29-30 NIV} Take what causes you to stumble in your life OUT of your life. And you know what, it might not cause you to stumble now but it just might later. Why keep something that you know can be a temptation in your life?

In the New Testament Paul has this to say about putting temptation in front of others in your life...” Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.” {romans 14:13-18 NIV}

So it’s not just about us and our sin, it’s ours and others. If we are not helping others to be sin free but only ourselves are we even helping The Kingdom at all? We should be kingdom builders, not a one man army. This is why real christian community is sooo utterly important. We can’t do this alone. We can’t defeat sin alone, we need Christ and we need our brothers and sisters in Christ. We gotta make straight paths, fixed on our Lord for ourselves and for others.

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"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." // 1 Corinthians 10:31