“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.’” (Genesis17:1, 10)
Two general ethical expectations (verse 1) on Abraham provided a basis for the specific expectation (verse 10). The pattern is the same for contemporary people of God. General principles for ethical decision making built on a covenant relationship give direction for specific circumstances.
God places imperatives upon us which it is our duty to perform. As Christians, we will walk through life with God. We will also walk with other people, taking society’s expectations into account. We must be righteous, living so that the consequences of our actions bear just results for other people both in the short-term and over the long haul of life. Our ethical decisions thus include theological, societal, relational, and consequential aspects. A one-sided basis for ethics is not sufficient to meet biblical standards.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You have taught us that every decision we make, but be that which is in agreement with general principles for ethical reasoning and also our covenant relationship with You. We respect the Old Testament scripture directing us to consider our relationship with You and also the reasoning from Christ in the New Testament to consider consequences of our decisions that bear just results, based upon ethical decisions that include theological, societal, relational, and consequential aspects, in order to always consider ethical and just results both in short-term and long-term affects on people. It is in Jesus’ precious name that we affirm and pray for this. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Love multiplies when divided and shared with those around us.”
“Praise the Lord. Blessed the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.” (Psalm112:1)
Beloved, God continually reminded His people He was faithful to His covenant with them. They made mistakes, tripped over things they were supposed to do, yet He was bringing along a people that began small in numbers, yet grew way beyond anyone’s expectations. He would bring them back in line from time to time, as was necessary. Often the people provoked God and failed to trust Him. Nevertheless, He continued to bless them, despite what they might have deserved. I would say He still does this today. How many times have we not done what we knew we should do, and yet we would huddle in anticipation of His judgment, and He would simply love us anyone, gently moving us back to where we needed to be? You see, God sees us as we can be, not as we are. He wants us to achieve more than we think possible, because we can, if we will just simply place our faith and in Him and be obedient to what He wants us to do. He also want us to have His joy, so that our obedience to His will is not a burden at all; rather, it becomes an honor to serve Him. Our joy comes from the Lord, now and in everything we do. We need to understand that to fear God is not to be afraid. It means that our loving relationship with Him develops into the kind of relationship that we smile, when we are called upon to serve Him. I pray this is understood.
“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we, have sinned and done wring. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.’ ‘Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shamed—-the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. O Lord, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have we have rebelled against him; we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.’ ‘Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has eve been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him. ‘Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.’ ‘Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because all your your great mercy.’” (Daniel9:4-18)
Biblical ethics centers in the righteousness of God. Humans acknowledge our imperfect response to God’s known will and confess that our imperfect response to God’s known will and confess that God is perfect. God becomes the ethical standard rather than a list of rules and regulations. The Bible’s laws and prophetic teaching reflect God’s holy righteousness and provide guidelines for us to follow in seeking to be holy and righteous as His is.
Second Thought of the Day:
There are so many people violently upset right now. I’m not sure we know all of the reasons, but certainly there are sufficient reasoning for the outcry of equal treatment. There is no reasoning for robbing and looting businesses, and those who engage in that must be held accountable for their actions. For most of everyone else, we need to come together to discuss issues calmly and begin to work toward solving those problems. None of our current problems are insurmountable, especially if we bring God into the discussions and with a willingness to solve problems. One day, though Jesus will return. Are you ready for Him?
“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12)
The reality of the world’s end and God’s judgment call us to obedience and repentance. I am not saying the end has begun, nor have I seen “signs” that it might have begun, but what I am saying is that when it does begin, it’s going to be a little late to start learning. We all know what God’s approves of or does not approve of. It’s not up to me to point anything out. It is, however, the responsibility of us all, to continually look at what we are doing and in those things that we need to confess, we do so promptly and obediently.