Monday, March 14, 2011

Get Your Thoughts In Order--Half Hearted Service

Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
Zephaniah 3:1-4

The people of Judah, God's witness for that generation, were having some serious problems in their relationship with Adonai.  Zephaniah reveals three areas where their service was out of sync with a proper witness for those trusting in the Lord.  Years of godless leaders in the political, religious, and business sectors had left them with an improper view of God and a half hearted faith.  God's concern in these areas is very evident in both chapters 1 and 3.  He would have no lukewarm service.  As many know, God will have all of your heart or none of it.  

Their compromised devotion is most noted in this verse where God denounces, "them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham" (1:5).  Malcham--also translated Moloch--was a Caanite idol to whom followers sacrificed their children.  In essence, chapter 1:4-6 shows the split allegiance found throughout the land.  The roof of God's holy temple had an observatory for worship of the celestial bodies.  Others were worshipping Ba'al, a fertility god, right in the house of God.  

Many looked for reform not in a repentant heart and full fledged return to the LORD, but they pinned their hopes on the leaders of the nation.  The two prior kings had both made alliances with the wicked Assyrians rather than turn to God for divine leadership.  While the current king, Josiah, would lead a great revival, repentance may not have pierced them clear to the soul.  God wanted a people to repent and turn to Him completely and he would bring godly leadership. The LORD was so tired of this attraction to the world's leadership that he said, "I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel" (1:8b)

Others were so caught up in their worldly wealth that they thought of little else.  Much of their worship, then, was to mollify God for blessings of field, home, and market.  "Give us more, God and we will shout a few more Hallelujahs", seemed to be the message they were sending.  Since money was their god, the living God promised judgment, "for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off"  (1:11b)    

It is always easy to point an accusatory finger at someone else, isn't it?  However, it appears that we need to see the beam in our own eyes.  The church is in need of sincere repentance. We are equally as mixed up in and there are scores of godless pastors and members of congregations across this land that are trying to mix up a simple gospel.  Jesus did not stutter when he claimed to be the one and only acceptable means to the Father.  I am sure that He is not too pleased with the amount of paganism and false religion brought into organizations bearing His name.  Look at the following photo as proof.  Rather than seek to repent of sin and leave it at the cross, many are excusing it in the name of a false view of God's love.  

Not only are many attempting to amalgamate other "religious" concepts, but many in the church are living in outright sin.  Divorce is rampant in "Christian" circles.  Homosexuality is seen by some a a viable option to a heterosexual scripturally ordained marriage.  Some even sacrifice their unwanted children at the altar of abortion as if God doesn't mind.  If someone is confronted about error even in a loving manner as is prescribed in the New Testament, they pull out the same card the Sodomites used on Lot, "Don't judge me."  Rather than deal with the sin at the cross, they run to another church carrying the same wrong from fellowship to fellowship.  These are always the signs of worship of another god.  It is the idol of self at the altar of pleasure.  Repent!  

Well, at least we are not caught up in trusting in politicians and public personalities to reform our nation.  I mean no God fearing man or woman would align themselves with unbelievers to bring about revival in the land.  We would not let "Assyria" dictate how we ought to live for God.  Right!  Maybe you should think again. Ouch!  Strike two.

Hopefully, we are not too trusting in the uncertain riches of this world!  There is no reason to even try to expose this heresy--it is rampant everywhere in pulpits across this nation.  God's church is being fleeced by charlatans. Strike three.

It may be time for some searching to go on.  You can ask God to search your heart for anything wayward.  Or God will do the searching Himself!  Either way, there is a time of searching that will soon take place.  You need to ask what will be found in that search.  Will you be found in Christ wholeheartedly or found to be a half hearted worldling? 

 "And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil."   
 Zephaniah 1:12

Earthquakes in Diverse Places  
The sin of Aachan affected all of the nation of Israel.  The sin of a government can also affect a whole land.  When nations choose to aid the enemies of God, they bring reproach upon  their land.   God has been sending stronger and stronger judgments on the land for its treatment of Israel and their treatment of His church.  He has redemptive purpose for Israel and He will keep his word to Abraham as far as his covenant with them.   Notice that in the days prior to the earthquake that the nation of japan was aiding the PA with huge sums of cash for water treatment facilities and food.  

  Japan Donates 32.5 mln USD for PNA Projects

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA朝日新聞社):POINT OF VIEW/ Lukman Faily: Arab world in transition looks to Japan - English

Israel and the Middle East

Lieberman: Hamas can take over West Bank - Israel News, Ynetnews

DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security

Hamas ordered five Israelis murdered following secret Islamist Khartoum parley 

US 'deeply concerned' by new settlement construction

Itamar Massacre Fails to Change Obama’s Anti-Settlement Policy - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

1 comment:

  1. Good Post John,

    People have created a Jesus of their own choosing,in their own deceived hearts. This Jesus is very tolerant, and would never want you to fear Him. He is so kind and understanding, that He would never even dream of sending anyone to Hell. They say He was even the one responsible for creating the homosexual with the desire already in their heart at birth.They have created their own God. But one day soon, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Living True God, will return with Power and Great Glory and will utterly destroy all those who misrepresented Him to others and also deceived their own heart.