The LORD said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.1 Samuel 8:7(NASB)
There are many lessons that we can learn from the Biblical history of Israel. God blessed this nation above all others, not because they were special but because of His grace. He chose them to be His own witness to all the nations, for through them the promised Messiah of Israel, the King of the Jews.. and Saviour of the world was to be born.
They were to tell forth the wonders of His glorious name, so that the world would know that God is both Lord and King and that there is no other but Him. God had given them a conditional covenant through Moses, that if they obeyed Him they would be blessed above all nations but if they rebelled against Him, they would be punished - either way, the Lord would be glorified.
For centuries they lived in a downward, cyclical spiral where they would rebel against God; receive His punishment; repent of their sins; be restored by God's grace - only to rebel once more against their God and King. Every time they repented of their sin... God in His grace restored them by raising up a leader to judge and govern them. But they hankered to be like the other nations who were ruled by despotic kings. They were not content to have God as their own, eternal King and wait for His promised Messiah, Who would govern His people Israel in righteousness- and so God gave them over to their lustful desires.
“They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them,' were the desperately sad words that Samuel was to hear. “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me..' The warning that was given to Israel at the start of their wilderness journey went unheeded through their long and sad history, until Israel was scattered throughout the world. Praise God that despite their continued rejection of their God and King, it is by His by grace that a faithful remnant will one day be restored and God's unconditional covenants to Abraham, David and His people Israel, will eventually be fulfilled.
Israel did not heed God's warning and they fell into gross apostasy.. living in a downward, cyclical spiral of rebellion against their God and King - but how like the Church of today who were given so many warnings in her early days through the apostles and prophets.. that in the last days there would be an abundance of false teachers; false christ's; doctrines of demons and false prophets. We were warned of an explosion of cults, undisciplined confusion and gross ungodliness - such that many would fall away and most would not endure sound doctrine - turning away from the truth.. and preferring to heap to themselves false teachers having itching ears - seeking a watered-down gospel, wanting to have their ears tickled.. and accumulating teachers that compromise the truth of the gospel, in accordance to their own desires,
We were warned of immoral men and homosexual behaviours; kidnappers; liars and perjurers that would divert out attention away from the Person of Jesus Christ. We were warned not to pay attention to worldly fables, foolish myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the doctrine of God and the glorious gospel of Christ, which is received by grace through faith in His finished work at Calvary. We were told that many would hold to a form of godliness, while denying its power.. turning away their ears from the truth and believing the satanic lie.
Let us not follow in the steps of Israel, who turned away from their God and Saviour and let us hold fast to the Word of Truth. Let us set the eyes of our heart on Jesus as we run the race that is set before us. Let us fight the good fight of faith and hold fast to that which is good, so that we may finish the course that is set before us and stand firm on the faith which was once given to the saints -
Let us take warning from the nation of Israel, who did not heed God's instructions and fell into gross apostasy - rather let us be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Let us put on the full armour of God, so that we may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil - for unlike Israel.. our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers.. the powers - against the forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word and for the many lessons I can learn from it. Help me to be diligent to hold fast to the truth of the Word of God and keep me from being swept along by every wind of doctrine that is flooding Christendom, in these end times. Keep me looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of my faith, and may I finish the race that is set before me and not be tempted into the ways of the world. This I pray, to Your praise and glory -in Jesus name, AMEN.
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