Tag: God’s judgment
Scripture reading for March 25th: 1st Samuel 27-31
Saul, tormented by the evil spirit that came as a result of his rebellion, sought information about the future by disguising himself and going to visit a medium. He had tried to seek the Lord first, but God didn’t speak through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6) He was terrified and desperate for direction. He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land in accordance with the law. But obedience to God was not a priority in his life.
Amazingly, God allowed the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead through this medium. Samuel spoke prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day. (1st Samuel 28:16-19) Because of his rebellion, truth did not bring repentance. True repentance must be sought while the Lord may be found! (Psalm 32:6-7)
Saul and his sons died the next day. Saul was wounded and asked his armor bearer to put him out of his misery. The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life! Even in his death, he took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6)
Saul’s anointing by Samuel to become king was a wonderful opportunity to rule and lead under God’s guidance. Saul’s disobedience to God’s clear instructions brought consequences that eventually lead to further rebellion and death. Someone has said, “sin truly takes us further than we want to go, holds us longer that we want to stay, and exacts a price higher than we want to pay.”
If you are doing something in clear disobedience to the Word of God, take time right now to get down on your knees and ask the Lord for mercy! God gives grace to the humble. Repentance is more than just saying you are sorry, it is getting up to go a new direction of willing obedience! (2nd Corinthians 7:9-11) “But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)
Scripture reading for January 3rd–Genesis 6-9
God saw that the man that He had made in His own image had turned to wickedness instead walking in faith in God’s Word. God’s heart was grieved and filled with pain because of this refusal to connect with Him. Man has a free will to choose his own path instead of God’s, but must accept the consequences. Sin always brings God’s judgment, and ultimately death.
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8) God’s eyes are always looking for a way to show favor and mercy! His eyes are looking for any who would be humble and teachable that He might connect with them. God revealed to Noah his plans for judgment of the wicked and a polluted earth. “Noah did everything just as God commanded Him.” (Genesis 6:22)
God did exactly what He said He would do on a specific day in Noah’s life! “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the 17th day of the second month–on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of heaven were opened.” (Genesis 7:11) In the New Testament, Jesus taught that it would be just like the days of Noah when God would again judge the wicked of the earth. (Matthew 24:36-39) But this time it would be by fire! Jesus is waiting patiently for all who will respond to Him, but “a day” is coming!
“By these same waters the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. . . .The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:6-7, 9)
Scripture reading for September 10th: Joel 1-3
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; The earth and sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people; a stronghold for the people of Israel.” Joel 3:14-16
Joel was a prophet of God who spoke to God’s people during a terrible plague of locusts. (Joel 1:4) God used this locust plague to speak to his people of their coming judgment. (Joel 1:13-14) Joel called God’s people to fasting and prayer for God’s mercy. A trumpet was to be blown calling all to God’s temple for serious intercession. Joel spoke to them about the ‘day of the Lord’ and their need of repentance.
The preparation for this ‘day of the Lord’ was preparation of the heart. The custom for fasting was to put on sackcloth and sprinkle ashes on their heads. They would cry out in weeping before God, symbolically mourning for their sins. But God was after something else. He desired a broken and contrite heart! (Psalm 51:17) (Joel 2:13) God through Joel called all the people together to rend their hearts. They were to say, “Spare your people, O Lord.” (Joel 2:17) God’s grace and compassion was the motivation for the fast and His goodness always leads His people to repentance! (Romans 2:4)
The answer from God to this fast was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the whole land! (Joel 2:28-32) (Acts 2:14-21) As all came to fast, all would be anointed with God’s Spirit! There would be signs and wonders in the earth among God’s people, young and old, men and women! This would happen right before the ‘day of the Lord’! Everyone who would call on God would be saved! (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13)
Joel ends with a vision of the coming ‘day of the Lord’. Joel sees multitudes of people gathered in the valley of Jehoshaphat. There God enters into judgment against the nations that have reject Him and His people. There are multitudes who will be judged and eternally lost! (Joel 3:1-2) This will be a terrible day for the unsaved when the lights of heaven grow dim and eternal darkness covers their souls. But God will be a refuge for His people! Whose side will you be on?
Scripture reading for July 19th: Isaiah 13-16
Babylon was an ancient kingdom in the time of Isaiah. It rose to world-dominating status a few decades after the ministry of the prophet. The city of Babylon rose to legendary status with it’s massive walls and it’s hanging gardens. It was located in the present-day country of Iraq and was thought to be near to where the Garden of Eden was originally located. Babylon was characterized by pride, false religion, idolatry and man-centered achievement. God sent Isaiah a message for Babylon!
Isaiah warned Babylon of God’s army of “holy ones” who carry out His judgment. (Isaiah 13:3) God’s army would bring “the day of the Lord”, a day of wrath against all sinners. (Isaiah 13:6-9) This judgment would put an end to pride and arrogance and the evil of the wicked. It will be a day of trembling heavens and shaking on the earth! (Isaiah 13:11-13) This army of “holy ones” will be none other than the Medes! (Isaiah 13:17) Isaiah prophetically predicted what God would do over 150 years before it happened! Daniel the prophet got to read the handwriting of God on the wall of Babylon the night it fell to the Medes! (Daniel 5:25-28) The city would be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah, never to be inhabited again! (Isaiah 13:19-20)
Isaiah saw the day when God would again have compassion on Israel and settle them in their own land. (Isaiah 14:1-2) Israel would possess the nations that have taken them captive! What an amazing picture of hope to a people who would be judged and scattered throughout the world!
The rest of Isaiah 14 was a taunt against the “king of Babylon”. God, Himself, would break the power of this wicked king. He would be brought down to the grave and maggots and worms would cover him. All those leaders of the world now in the grave would respond to this ‘king’ in ridicule. (Isaiah 14:9-11) The ridicule then turns into what some believe is a description of Satan and his pride and fall. (Isaiah 14:12-16) God judged this “king” and brought him down to the grave!
Behind all earthly political power and humanistic pride lurks the evil influence of Satan! But God is in control and will bring down the proud and send them to eternal judgment! Those who trust in the Lord can take comfort in these ancient words that also speak to our time! God will triumph!
Scripture reading for April 16: 2nd Kings 22-25
Josiah became king of Judah when he was just eight years old! By the time he was 26, he was ready to begin what was to be the last revival in the land of Judah before the captivity! Josiah was a king who did right in God’s eyes and tried to follow the Lord in obedience. He was concerned for the temple, which had fallen into disrepair. While helping with the restoration of the temple, Hilkiah, the high priest found the Book of the Law which had been lost and ignored. The king’s secretary, Shapan read the Book, and then took it in to the king to read it to him. As the king heard the Word of the Book, he was humbled and tore his robes. He realized that God’s anger was against them because of their disobedience!
Josiah sent the leaders Huldah the prophetess to seek counsel from the Lord. She told them of God’s coming judgment and how the Lord was merciful towards King Josiah because he humbled himself. King Josiah called the elders together and they went up to the temple where he had the lost Book read in their presence. They renewed the covenant of the Lord that day by pledging themselves to the Lord. (2nd Kings 23:1-3)
Where do we end up when we lose track of the Book? First, the temple of God will be in disrepair! Without God’s life-giving Word, things decay fast! Death and sin do their destructive work among God’s people without continual contact with the Book! Second, idolatry will fill the void. The idols had crept into the temple of the Lord! Josiah’s revival of reading the lost Book brought recognition and destruction of the idols in the land. (2nd Kings 23:4-7) A key element was the response to the Word of the lost Book. Conviction brings repentance that leads to true change of direction. Humbling and response from the heart is what God is looking for.
Have you lost track of God’s Book? Why not get back on track with your life today by responding to this reading as the Word suggests? Now is the right time to make the change! Humility and repentance is the right posture to receive grace from the Lord! He is watching and waiting to restore and heal you! You’ll never be ashamed of responding as Josiah did!
Scripture reading for November 28th: 2nd Peter 1-22
Peter warned his flock about the false teachers who would come into their midst. These teachers secretly introduced destructive heresies, some that even denied the sovereign Lord who bought them. These teachers were greedy for money and used ear-tickling methods to divide off the weaker sheep and destroy them. These same issues are in the church today!
Peter made a case from church history emphasizing God’s dealing with false teaching and rebellion. The first example he used was that of Noah and his family. Noah preached righteousness by faith and built an ark to protect his family. God used a world-wide flood to judge the world of that day that had been corrupted by the false teaching of some wicked beings who were indwelt by fallen angels. These angels were also locked up in hell awaiting the judgment. (2nd Peter 2:4-5)
Next Peter cited the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. God rescued the righteous Lot and his family, but judged the wicked that had rebelled against Him. Peter plainly stated that God would judge the false teachers who promoted immorality and heresy and would rescue those who stood firm in His word! (2nd Peter 2:7-9)
Peter went on to expose these false teachers for who they were. They were bold and arrogant who blasphemed God and His truth. They were like ‘brute beasts’ who operated out of their instincts and fleshly desires. They were immoral and open about it. They were adulterous and greedy for money and sin. They seduced the weak and unstable among the believers. They enticed people who were just escaping from living in sin and took them back into bondage! Peter stated that they were “slaves of depravity”. (2nd Peter 2:13-19)
I think today about ministers and churches who openly embrace the sin of homosexuality as something ordained by God. I think of others who willingly promote “pro-choice’ politics and the murder of the innocent and do that while naming the name of Christ! Often this is done to attract those who so believe and gain monetary support from them. They tell them that God loves them and that they can go on living “as slaves of their depravity’. God’s word plainly states that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven! (1st Corinthians 6:9-11) God wants to save them, but without repentance He can not!