It is easy to criticise a world that does not know Jesus, but we, who do know him, need to examine ourselves.
Last week as we were talking about praying for the nation the following scripture came to mind:
Judges 21:25: In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
The final chapters of the book of Judges portray a society in which there was a disintegration of family values and morals. There were betrayals, idolatry, hostility, lack of protection and compassion and lots more. They had an eye problem. They looked to other gods and did not focus their eyes on the one true God. It is a lesson in what happens to a nation that stops being committed to the Lord and no longer puts Him at the centre of their lives. It teaches us what happens when people think they know better than God. There is a downward spiral. It becomes disastrous. Tim Keller in his commentary writes that ‘Judges can be described as “despicable people doing deplorable things” and as “trashy tales about dysfunctional characters.”
It struck me that society today is going the same way. People feel they have the right to do whatever they want. Many are a law unto themselves, an attitude which inevitably leads to evil. We live in a time when it is becoming more and more the case, that everyone does what is right in their own eyes. They are living as if they have no king. But we know that they do have a King. We, who know Him, must help them to turn their eyes from themselves and fix them on the one who can save them.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of God.
After lamenting about society and how it is all going terribly wrong, my husband played the song whose words are 2 Chronicles 7:14 ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ We have been given this verse many times recently and we have been using it to pray for our nation but as we were listening to the song it struck my husband like a lightening bolt that it is the people who are called by His name that need to turn from their wicked ways. That’s us!!
We too can live as if we have no king sometimes. It is easy to criticise a world that does not know Jesus, but we, who do know him, need to examine ourselves. We can easily become complacent as a Christian, to be lukewarm, not giving God our whole lives and not rooting out the idols in our lives. The Israelites were like that. They had not fully rejected God, they were half in and half out. They never said He did not exist, indeed they ran to Him every time there was trouble, but when things were going fine He just became one of many gods.
We can easily take our eyes off of Jesus and develop the same eye problem the nation of Israel had in the time of the Judges! We sometimes need to take the plank out of our own eyes so we can see to take the speck out of someone else’s eye.
Luke 6:41-42 says: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
We need to be able to see clearly before we can lead others to the Lord. In Jesus’s letter to the Laodicean Church in Revelation 3:18 it says: I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Getting salve from Jesus so we can see, is the only way to cure our own eye problem! We have to make Him King in our lives, giving Him total control of our lives. Then and only then can we point people to the King, whom they have failed to recognise.
Numbers 16:47-48 says: So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.
Only when we can see clearly to put our own failings right, can we run into the world to stand between the living and the dead.
Author: Thelma Cameron
May God bless and enrich your life
Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others