We Need Change!
I have been working through the Old Testament for several months now. I am profoundly struck by the desire of God for everyone in the OT to have eternal life (Ezekiel 18:23). I really thought that this "Divine Attitude" for mercy rested primarily in the New Testament. Go figure! Although I have "read" Scripture many years, it has just been the last three years when I have truly studied it. A big difference! God didn't just become loving after Jesus was born! He has been loving from the very beginning. All through the OT I see how He WANTS His people to repent and turn from their sinful ways. He wanted to forgive them. He didn't want to rain down fire and brimstone to bring His people to their senses. It was unfortunately the only thing they understood. Today, all He wants is for us to stop our blatant disobedience. We've changed - not Him. I think we have painted a picture of Him as being a just God who punished severely in the OT, but only until Jesus came along. Then He got all warm and fuzzy about the human population. There are a lot of us who need to grasp the truth about who He is and do it quickly. I think our grace period in this country might be running out. His wrath is as powerful and real today as it was centuries ago. He is no more or less loving today than He was when the Israelites walked those 40 years in the desert complaining. He hasn't changed - WE HAVE!! There's nothing wrong with Him so there's no reason for Him to change. We certainly can't say that. Well, at least I can't. If it's too difficult to look inside to see if I'm viewing the world accurately, look outside and around you. We don't keep our commitments - even the small ones. Could we be a more selfish society? NOT! We are self-righteous in our wrongdoing and justify our sinful habits "because that guy over there is a whole lot worse than me!" We kill babies, starve the old and sick, neglect our seniors, cheat, lie and blame it all on the "other guy." How often have you heard that relationships only improve if we do the changing? It's become such a common anecdote that no one takes it to heart any longer. We say it and then wait for the other guy to do the changing. God expects us to change! When I look around our country, state, towns and even in families I see the OT mirrored. If we do not get to our knees often and beg God to transform our character, I believe we will see much devastation in this country during our lifetimes. We must all make an effort to resolve conflict. If I want something to change and God is convicting me of change, it only stands to reason that He is after ME to change! Quit looking across the table, to the person lying next to you in bed, across the street or in the White House. It's you He is after! Trying to humanize God doesn't work either. If my God is human - I can't trust Him! I need God to be God - sovereign and eternal. No matter how angry He gets with me, I still want God to be God and do what He needs to do to transform my character into the woman He made me to be in the first place. I am grateful He is God. When the bottom drops out of everything else in this world, He will still be God. I read a short commentary on Ezekiel that said: "God will not continually let people who claim to serve Him shame His name." I think we have some work to do!