From the Preacher’s Pen… Last week we looked at how God defines really knowing Him. He says that knowing Him is obeying Him and faithfully following Him. So that leads us to a simple question: If we claim to know and love God but are not actually obeying Him, then who are we serving?
The answer is found, naturally, in a lesson from God:
Where are Your Gods?
Jeremiah, the faithful but unheeded preacher, had a difficult job. He lived in a time when his nation had not just forgotten God but had replaced Him with the most absurd nonsense that they could imagine… you know, much like today!
Listen to the message God gave Him: As the thief is shamed when he is discovered, so the house of Israel is shamed; they, their kings, their princes and their priests and their prophets, who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble, they will say, ‘Arise and save us.’ But where are your gods which you made for yourself? Let them arise if they can save you in the time of your trouble; for according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah. (Jeremiah 2:26-28)
Now, consider the two huge accusations God presents. First, they are shamed by their foolishness, unfortunately without any sign that they recognize that shame. The whole nation, from commoners to the highest government and religious officials, have turned their back on God.
But NOT their faces! Oh, no, when things get bad enough, then they will want to face God and demand salvation. But God does not accept those who will not obey Him.
Second, God is not fooled by persistent disobedience. Indeed, He scoffs at it and derides those who imagine that their false faith will help them in any way!
If we do not love and obey the Lord then we are honoring, worshipping, loving and obeying a false god. And the Lord will mockingly watch for our false gods to actually do something. Elijah (1 Kings 18), the prophet in Israel many years before Jeremiah, had likewise mocked the false gods that do nothing. And centuries later Jesus (cf. Matthew 6:24) would warn that all people serve either the Lord who actually offers salvation or some false, do nothing god.
Today, people of our world give credit to the most amazingly absurd things rather than to God. Jeremiah’s example of a tree or a rock being imagined as giving birth is no more absurd than the modern god of accidental life. Only by turning our backs on God, only by demanding that God be left completely out of the equation can we invent such a ludicrous idea.
Others of our world today invent all manner of gods, false prophets and other hoax stories to justify disobedience to the Lord God. Some are actually so bold (or, to borrow God’s term, so foolish) as to claim that all ways and gods are equal and lead to the same place. Jesus commented on the wide road and gate that the multitude is enamored with and follow… and He says that it leads to destruction (cf. Matthew 7:13-14).
All this brings us right back to the same lesson: We must faithfully obey and follow the Lord and Him alone. No other way is right. No so-called god has anything of worth, nor any power. Nothing short of obedience will save us!
Our nation and our world have blatantly chosen to follow false gods. The Lord has decreed eternal destruction for that choice. What choice will we make?
— Lester P. Bagley