“He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers—-a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.” (Psalm78:5–8)
Following God’s moral expectations always carries the responsibilities of conveying those expectations to one’s family. Our moral development begins through family habits and expectations long before we can learn God’s expectations through reading His Word. His expectations are not unreasonable demands of a tyrant. Instead, they are the perfect guidelines of the heavenly Father leading to righteousness and justice.
God’s covenant demands grow out of His loving, saving deeds. These deeds show us we can trust Him and His goodness. Children are born into this world every day and they don’t come already programmed in God’s Word. This is responsibility of a father and mother. More importantly, it’s not enough just to read the Word to them, they must see our parents modeling, as Jesus did for the Jews, the behavior of our covenant relationship with Almighty God. I’ve seen good kids come from poor families, I’ve seen bad kids come from good families, and vice versa. The difference comes down to parents taking responsibility for their their children and holding them accountable for their actions.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Your decision to be in a covenant relationship with us came from Your pure love and compassion for Your children. You have given us the Bible to read and understand; to teach to our children and grandchildren and so on; You have given us Jesus to model the behavior that Your Word teaches, and yet we have failed miserably in teaching our own children about our covenant with You and our responsibilities to all children. Help us, Abba, for our land is in distress and only You can set us back on the pathway that leads to You. You, dear Abba, is what is missing the most in our society, and it is in Jesus’ name we pray this. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Thanksgiving is good, but thanks living is better.”
“King Hezekiah’s fourth year, which was he seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Haiah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes. This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant—-all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.” (2nd Kings 18:9-12)
Violation of the covenant Israel freely chose to enter led tot he covenant curses becoming reality. Rebellion against God keeps us from experiencing the highest possible good. The promise of the covenant does not overrule the consequences of sinning. By violating God’s good way, we choose the way which leads to ruin and must turn to Him for forgiveness. When we follow the covenant stipulations, we choose life and the joys which come from serving God. It is always about the choices we make, beloved, always!
“The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—-to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of he covenant written in this book. Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their fathers.” (2nd Chronicles34:31–33)
Josiah represents an example of one in a leadership rile who took seriously the matter of high persona and community standards. Because of the intensity and seriousness of his commitment to renewed application of God’s standards for his life, others followed his example. Our society, unlike Josiah’s, is not one in which “as the king does, so goes the community.” Yet, ours is like Josiah’s in that authenticity of word and life-style can be strong communicators of God’s truths.
Second Thought of the Day:
Daniel saw the death and martyrdom of so many pious leaders as bringing about the refining, purifying and making spotless of God’s people for the end times. That is a good way to describe the process of sanctification. Sanctification refines, purifies, and cleanses us. The holy example of others challenge us to stronger commitment to God’s way of life.
“With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.” (Daniel11:32–35)
Apocalyptic teachings call for God’s people to be faithful to His covenant, resist those who oppose I, and accept tribulation as an instrument of moral purification. Each believer bears the responsibility of keeping God’s covenant which He graciously established with His people. Refusal to obey God shows a person’s rejecting of God.