Tag Archives: religious

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.

Playing the Part

In Judges 17 we read about Micah’s mother who dedicated money to the Lord. She called on the Lord to bless her son. Then she turned around and had an idol made.

Micah knew about the Lord and he wanted the Lord to bless him. So he hired some random Levite as his personal priest and set up a shrine for his household idols.

The men of Dan wanted the Lord to help them win a battle so they stole Micah’s shrine and hired his priest to be their priest.

All of these people were religious. But they didn’t really know the Lord. They may have sounded like believers, they might even have considered themselves believers, but they were not.

People who are religious, who follow rules and say the right things aren’t necessarily Christians. Saying it, or living a good life doesn’t automatically make one a believer in Jesus. You can look like a Christian, act like a Christian, quote Scripture and sing hymns. But if you haven’t confessed your sins before a holy God and asked him to forgive you, if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are not a Christian.

It’s a heart thing. Not a part in a play.

Even Satan can quote Scripture. A Buddhist can walk around all day with a smile on his face and talk about peace. A person can meditate, and evoke an aura of spirituality. But they will go to hell without Jesus.

Christianity is more than a religion. It’s more than rules and church attendance. It’s a relationship with the living Lord, the Creator God, his precious Son Jesus Christ. 

Do you know him? Have you experienced his grace provided by Jesus’ work on the cross? Have you repented of your sins and accepted the Savior? Remember, it doesn’t matter how religious you are. It matters how forgiven you are and whether or not you’ve chosen to let Jesus into your heart.

Dear Jesus, I thank you for salvation. I thank you for dying on the cross so that I can enjoy a relationship with you right here on planet earth. Forgive us if we go through the motions, play the part of “Christian”, without first bowing before you, humbling ourselves and repenting of the sin in our lives. May we forget about looking religious and nurture that sweet relationship with you. May we walk with you today.