My bible reading today made me scratch my head–yet again–and wonder what people back then must have been thinking.
3 That same day the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.” 4 When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. 5 Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord.” (1 Kings 13:1-5)
What made me scratch my head was that even after seeing the alter split and the aches pour out…like they were told would happen…the king and his people continued to do the things God said NOT to. The fact that God gave the king a message, a warning, and carried it out didn’t keep them all from doing the same ol’ thing! Are we really that different?
When I say “we” I am including myself in this question. God have given a wonderful key to life–His Word. Everything we ever wanted to know about how to live our lives for Him is right there. Not just what TO do but also what NOT to do. The biggest theme I see of what NOT to do it to worship other Gods. Now today that looks a lot different. We don’t have alters all over the place that we go and make sacrifices to…or do we. Walmart? Dollarama? TIM HORTONS!? I feel like these are my modern day alters. Daily I go and sacrifice my earning for little pleasures that I know in the long run won’t benefit me. Now, buying groceries and gas–the necessary life things–is not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the coffee I buy when I can make it at home, the toys I buy my kids when they don’t need any more, the nail polish I buy because I want a change…it’s all sacrificing money that should be used else where. Giving to the church, paying bills, saving for emergencies, saving for the kids college fund, giving to a mission project or missionary.
I can think of so many times God has shown me what needs to happen, given me that nudge of “do you really need that”, and I don’t pay attention. Then I get stressed out at the end of the month and am mad at myself. I know better but still I keep doing the same ol’ thing…hmmm….I guess we really aren’t that different.