The last king of Judah, Zedekiah, was discontent and disobedient to his God. It destroyed him and his whole nation with him. How does his tragic experience inform and challenge us today?
Few Christians look at Jeremiah or the Old Testament prophets for guidance in modern life. Fewer still look at the wicked kings of Israel and Judah. But their folly and failure contain powerful lessons for followers of Christ today. Zedekiah is a good place to start.
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Should Christians disobey their government? When? Why? What about the consequences?
The United States has no official church as is common in Europe, but individual states had official churches for centuries. People debate whether the United States was established as a Christian nation, but it was founded based on the Judeo-Christian worldview and governance. As a result, Christ-followers in America have faced little overt persecution for four hundred years.
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Our worries and fears are not uncontrollable emotions, they are decisions, they are unbelief, and they are sin. Our God deserves better. The answer is to praise Him.
“Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness.” (Psalm 95:8)
Exodus 17:1-7 records the Israelites, camped at Rephidim in the Sinai desert, complaining to Moses that they had no water to drink. This was no little grumbling, as they were accusing Moses of plotting their deaths and preparing to stone him. Moses appealed to God for a solution to the problem and for protection from the mob. The Lord provided water, and things simmered down for a while.
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Do we trust God to do our will for our lives, or His will? Do we know what is good or wise better than He does?
The teenaged son of a good friend seems to be wasting away; not of cancer, AIDS, or drug addiction, but of an inability to keep down what he eats. The boy has seen the best specialists in the US, has had every reasonable medical test, and has tried a panoply of medications, procedures, exercises, and behavioral health interventions. Hundreds of people have prayed earnestly for his healing. Still, the food comes up and his weight goes down.
The middle-aged wife of our music minister was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. She had surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and a variety of experimental therapies. Christians in churches across the country prayed for her healing, and hundreds of us joined hands in a prayer chain around her house. Nonetheless, in Jan 2017, this wonderful woman slipped the bounds of this earth and into glory.
Continue reading “Whose Will?”