lip-service?…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 29:9-14

 Astonish yourselves and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink!  For the LORD has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes (the prophets), and covered your heads (the seers).   And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”  And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”   And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,  therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

Not all acts of God which cause humanity to gaze in wonder are necessarily desirable.  When the people of Egypt were subjected to the acts of God in the various plagues, while they caused wonder they were not desirable.  Perhaps this passage also speaks of things that are not to be viewed as a good thing we would want to befall us!  Masses of frogs everywhere, for one, would not be a thing to rejoice at while it would cause a sense of wonder!  What is found in this passage implies that the people are warned but they do not heed.  It is as if their eyes cannot see, ears cannot hear; even when give something in writing the understanding  is absent.

Are we among a people who only give God lip-service?

“… this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, ….”

Will it be necessary for God to  cause something to occur to get our attention and once again our hearts?  Would it not be more pleasant for us to simply give Him our hearts?  He has provided a way for us through Christ Jesus; a way to a relationship with Him, reliance upon Him only.  Where do we find ourselves?  In the crowd giving lip-service or in the group who has and is giving their hearts, that inner core of themselves to Him?  What does the difference look like?

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Give place…step back

Ezekiel 25:12-

Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,” 13 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword. 14 I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,” says the Lord GOD.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=25&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Vengeance is mine says the Lord.

“…Romans 12:19  Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but [rather] give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance [is] Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord….”

This passage certainly paints a picture for us of how emphatically he means that.  It also serves to point us to the continuing principle that our focus should at all times be fixed upon the Lord.  Placing all our trust and faith in him will eliminate our desire to do vengeance on our own.  Instead it brings us to a place of forgiveness and allows us to see the other in a more accurate manner.  We step back and let the Lord deal with whatever.

“…give place to wrath;…”

Let the Holy Spirit open our eyes, ears, hearts and minds to truer, clearer vision of those around us and in our lives.  May we learn to love and forgive as he has, and not seek vengeance and damages for we are not judge, he is.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.