Tag Archives: religious people

May 18; Clinging To The Altar

I Kings 1:1-2:12; Psalm 25: 2 Samuel 23:1-7; I Chronicles 29:23-30

Warren Wiersbe said something about this passage that has me thinking today. (With the Word; Oliver-Nelson Books, 1991; page 197). David was old and dying. God had told him Solomon would succeed him as King of Israel.

However, another son, Adonijah, had other ideas.¬†Adonijah gathered support, including some of David’s top men, and made himself king before David died, and before Solomon was anointed in their father’s ¬†place.

As soon as David heard what was happening, he took matters in hand and made Solomon king in a very official, very public way. Then he had King Solomon sit down on his throne in front of the world.

When Adonijah and his cronies heard the news, they panicked and ran for the hills. I’m sure the words “treason” and “death” were ringing loudly in their ears. Adonijah ran, too. But he didn’t run for the hills, he ran to the altar of God, grabbed hold of the horns of the altar, and stayed right there. He wasn’t there to offer a sacrifice for his sin. He wasn’t there to meet God. He was there because he thought the altar was as safe a place as any. Surely Solomon wouldn’t kill him while he clung to the altar of God, would he?

Wiersbe likens this to people who cling to their religion. “Adonijah fled to the altar for safety, not for sanctity.”

Some people feel “safe” if they attend church, write a check, volunteer at the church’s food kitchen or clothing closet, if they take communion, or pray a row of beads, if they’re baptized, or sing in the choir. They cling to the horns of the altar without letting the altar do its work in them, to change them, to deal with the sin in their lives.

I want to ask you a question today. Are you religious? Or do you have a personal relationship with God through the blood of Jesus? I’m asking myself the same thing.

Jeremiah 7-10; Are You Religious?

The children of Israel were feeling pretty comfortable. I mean, they were God’s chosen people. The Ark of God was right there in a temple in their capital city. King Josiah had just led a revival, and the people were once again worshiping God like their forefathers had.

But Jeremiah burst their bubble.

“You might look like you’re obeying God to the rest of the world,” he says. “But God sees those idols hidden in your homes. God knows what’s in your hearts, and He sees as much evil in you as He does in the hearts of the pagan people around you. You might point to them and say, ‘well, at least we’re circumcised.’ I’m here to tell you God is more concerned about your uncircumcised hearts.”

I hope you went to church yesterday. I hope you opened your heart to God and worshiped Him among a fellowship of believers worshiping Him, too. To your neighbor and friends you might be the picture of a religious person. But how’s your heart?

The problem with being a religious person is that too many think going through the motions on Sunday somehow balances out the sin they commit on Monday.

It doesn’t.

God isn’t impressed with religiosity when the idols of jealousy, unforgiveness, self, dishonesty, or whatever a person thinks he’s hiding, are being hoarded. Those “hidden” sins indicate an uncircumcised heart. And Jeremiah will tell you God’s opinion of that.

Don’t think your religion is going to save you. Until you give God your heart and allow Him to cut out the sin you’re holding onto, you are as lost as the atheist or the Muslim.

When you stand before God on that day, He’s not going to ask you what church you belonged to. He’s going to look deep into your eyes, straight to your heart. And unless your heart is covered in Jesus’ blood, you will face eternity without Him.

Please. Don’t go there.