I was reading about God’s prophecy concerning Damascus. That great city was set for destruction.
For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the rock of your refuge. (17:10a)
But it’s what follows that verse that got my attention this morning:
Therefore you plant delightful plants and set them with vine slips of a strange god. In the day you plant it you carefully fence it in, and in the morning you bring your seed to blossom; but the harvest will be a heap in a day of sickliness and incurable pain. (17:10b-11)
I think about what is being preached from far too many pulpits. God is love. Love wins. God wants you to be healthy and rich. Don’t judge. Come to God on your terms. Everyone goes to heaven. Sin is relative.
Delightful plants! Feel good sermons. Love! Love! Love!
Delightful – and deadly. May God help us examine that which we plant by our words, our choices, our very lives. I can’t imagine anyone purposefully planting a garden of weeds. Let’s not do that in our lives, either.
The New King James version of the Bible says that after he had talked to Samuel, Saul left there another man. God gave him a changed heart. (I Samuel 10)
That’s as it should be. Reading God’s Word should change us, too. Hearing God’s Word proclaimed from a pulpit should change us. Did you leave church yesterday a different person? Did I?
It’s Monday morning. Can you even remember what the pastor spoke about yesterday morning? If not, why not? Was it because our hearts weren’t prepared to hear from God? Were we too busy to pray before we walked through those doors? Was it because our minds were on other things? Did our thoughts wander? Did we allow our children to distract us? Are we harboring sin?
Sometimes I read the Bible and write in my journal, then half way through the day can’t remember what I thought I’d learned. What a waste of God’s resources. Here I have God’s Word in my hands. I’m free to worship him and hear teaching from his Word every Sunday. I have this treasure at my fingertips, but too often squander it away.
Father, forgive me. I want to allow you to change me every time I read or hear your Word. I don’t want to miss anything that would encourage me, strengthen me, convict me, change me into a woman who radiates You. Help me to change into a person more like you every time I open your Word or have the privilege of hearing a sermon from your Word. I don’t want to miss any opportunity to draw closer to you.