Tag: sin (Page 1 of 2)

Early Detection, A Key To Prevention

As I write this, my family and I are in a season of visiting many doctors for many reasons, the most notable of which concerns my dad, who is currently [at the time of this writing] battling stage four stomach cancer. While dad’s faith has been strong throughout the ups and downs of this process, and while there is much to learn and be encouraged by as one watches his prerogative of worship, submission, hopefulness, and trust, he is not without practical advice to give. I can remember being with him in the hospital shortly after his diagnosis and listening to him tell another brother-in-Christ that one of the takeaways that he has to pass on to others is simply this – be diligent with getting your check-ups. Just about any sphere of medical practice will agree with the statement – early detection is key. If you catch something in its initial stages you’re in a much better position to avoid a bigger problem later on. It can be like that spiritually-speaking as well.

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Resisting Canaanization

Upon reading through the Book of Judges one of the themes that would unfold before your eyes is the “Canaanization of Israel.” You may not initially define what you read as that, but nonetheless, it’s there, definitive, and progressive. The phrase itself deals with the land the children of Israel were commanded to conquer and what happened because they didn’t conquer it the way the LORD had commanded them to. When the children of Israel went into the land of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua, they didn’t have to ‘wing it’, they were given specific instructions to possess the land and expel the inhabitants. Deuteronomy 7 lays this out very clearly:

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Learning from Eli (1 Samuel 2:29)

In the opening chapters of 1 Samuel we are introduced to Israel’s negligent High Priest, Eli. He is an interesting and enigmatic character – at least in some ways. He misidentified Hannah’s prayer for drunken speech (1 Sam 1:14), but then he prophetically blessed her (vs.17). He raised Samuel and appears to have treated him kindly; yet, he didn’t care enough about his sons to discipline them as he should have. He humbly acknowledged God’s sovereignty when God spoke to him through “a man of God” (2:27) and through Samuel (3:18); yet, He didn’t repent of the sin that caused the confrontation.

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A Painful But Appropriate Balance (Jeremiah 9:1-2)

Depending on who you ask, you might be told that crying isn’t considered manly. And sure, there are some situations where tears are not befitting the way that men ought to carry themselves, but those not withstanding, crying at certain times and for certain causes is not only manly, it is godly. The psalmist who loved God’s law (Ps. 119:97) wept streams of tears because men did not follow God’s Law (Ps. 119:36). The prophet Elisha wept because he knew what Hazael would do to the people of Israel once he assassinated Ben-Hadad and became king of Syria (2 Ki. 8:11-12). Even the one who was the perfect man, the one who represented what every man ought to be like, even He, Jesus Christ, wept at the funeral of a friend (Jn. 11:35), wept in prayer (Heb. 5:7), and wept over a city that was on a collision course with the judgment of God (Lk. 19:41-44). Jeremiah, then, stands in good company.

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An Astonishing and Horrible Thing (Jer. 5:30-31)

30 “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31)

 

When you read the words “an astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land” what do you think of? Being five chapters into the book of Jeremiah and having read of a number of horrible and astonishing things, there are quite a few examples that might come to mind.

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