BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 ESV)
You and I meet people all the time who will ask us "do you really believe all the stuff in that book you're always carrying around" or how about this one "what kind of God is that in your book? All that's in there is murder, mayhem and adultery". Then there is the piece de resistance "Judge not less ye be judged" etc etc...
It is no wonder that the unredeemed will quote misconceptions about the Old Testament more than any other! Many of us consider the first part of the Book "Christ Concealed" and the New side - "Christ Revealed". For unbelievers to keep harping on the Concealed part is revelatory of their unsaved state. For if they truly knew God, they will realize all those stories of greed; murder; deception; fraud; idol; lust; adultery; perversion and just plain evil are no different than what we read and see on the news; in movies and in modern culture!
I was just studying the account in Judges 13 last night, for a collection of 4 sermons (which I will be recording this Thursday for my weekly Bible Teaching TV show in Decatur called Plumbline). That chapter tells the amazing story of Jesus Himself having conversations with the parents of what the Lord Himself set apart for His Worship, Leadership and Work. I urge you to read it yourselves because when you read that account and what God designed for greatness and as an example of righteous living, gave us what we have now come to know as Samson and Delilah!
There was no greater start in life than Adam and Eve of course, but a close 2nd or 3rd is Samson. This man used his God anointed and appointed gifts to squander EVERYTHING because of his pride and lust for sex. He thought his God-given came from him and spent it in pursuit of a life that rivaled Hugh Hefner and his pagan women. It cost Samson his very life as the Lord "departed from him" and left him the blubbering mass he became.
Over in the New Testament, Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit about their tithes and offerings and God killed them as an example of His immediate expectation of Holiness for Christians and intolerance for sin. The stories go and on. Can't we see the parallel here between folks today and then? It does not matter if sin happens today or Zedekiah bowed down to an idol in the Palace in Jerusalem 2700 years ago - both will be held to account on the Same Day by the Same God.
That is why God gave us His precious, precious Word! He gave it to us, who are so hard-headed; full of ourselves; stubborn; stupid and more that we can't remember a lesson we learned last month when we promised God that we would not do such and such again "if He got us out of this one". The Bible truly is BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH!
It will serve us well to heed the Word of the Living God therein, as Verse 4 instructs, because life will become more bearable for each and every one of us! Amen.