Day 15 - Are We Better Than They?
The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it." (Jeremiah 3:6-7)
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one;’ (Romans 3:9-10)
Like a loving husband, God’s lovingkindness is broad and inexhaustible. God’s love was often unreciprocated by the Israelites who were unfaithful and they frequently turn aside to false gods. But the love God shows keeps no account of wrong, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Thank the Lord Jesus for His great love for us!
You’ve seen it on television -- the dramatic moment when a returning husband catches his wife cheating on him. The bedroom door bursts open and the husband screams at his adulterous wife and her secret lover, “YOU UNFAITHFUL WOMAN!” Israel’s relationship with God can be illustrated in the same way. God continued to show steadfast love to Israel as a faithful husband. But Israel was unfaithful to God and repaid His faithfulness with whoring. These are disgusting pictures of Israel’s sin and idolatry.
We often marvel at the mistakes of Israel in the Old Testament accounts – how could they continue to reject God in light of all the miracles and provision? The Red Sea? The Ten Commandments? But if we are honest, we are no better than they. Paul reminds us in Romans 3:9-10 that we are all sinners, all idolaters deep down in our hearts. Man’s root problem of a sinful, idolatrous heart has not changed since our first parents disobeyed God. We are just as guilty as the Israelites of whoring and giving up our hearts to more money and power, shameful lust, obsessions with family, worldliness, prideful work achievements, boasting about our academic achievements instead of God.
- Do we desire anything more than God?
- Repent of your idols and turn to God. Ask Him to help you make Him your heart’s single greatest desire.
O God of mercy and grace, You have delivered me out from my sin and given me everything in Christ. But in my Christian walk, I often turn to lesser loves and empty idols. Grant me grace to cast away my idols and resist temptation. Turn my eyes upon Jesus. Let me look full in His wonderful face and and let the things of the world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace1. Keep me secure in Your steadfast love for me, Father God. In Christ’s most precious name I pray, Amen.
- Christians who might be still be living in unrepentant sin.
- The congregation of GBC to guard their hearts against thinking we are immune to idolatry and sin. Pray that we will never grow complacent as a church.
- The missions efforts of GBC in neighbouring countries to Thailand, Cambodia, China, etc.
1 Adapted from “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen Lemmel.