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Thursday, October 11, 2012
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"Determined To Live By Your Laws"
"Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt'" (Exodus 32:7). "I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by Your laws" (Psalm 119:30).
Moral confusion continues to rise in unprecedented numbers during our lifetime. It's an ancient problem and whenever the compass is ignored the ship drifts aimlessly with the possibility of plunging deep into the raging waters. Is that a picture of our nation and world?
Consider today the current practice of determining morality by polling. Political polls are taken just about every day during this tight presidential election season, but polls are also taken to determine virtually everything these days. How do you feel about abortion, cloning, pornography, illegal drugs, the definition of marriage? And the list goes on and on. The majority response to the question becomes the guiding factor as to whether it is right or wrong in our moral climate. The laws are then written to reflect people's opinions.
Our daily verse records God's instructions to Moses when he was on the mountain and the people had corrupted themselves. "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt." In Moses' absence the people had corrupted themselves with the golden calf and were reveling in immorality and idolatry (Exodus 32).
I wonder what would have happened if a poll was taken among the Israelites regarding their behavior. What percent would have condoned the action? Probably most of them.
They surely had some pretty good excuses. Moses had disappeared so the people cried out they had no leadership. Morale was at an all-time low. They were bored with nothing else to do. They meant well, and after all Moses' brother, Aaron, did nothing to stop them. He actually instructed them in how to go about their act of defiance (vs.2). They enthusiastically responded to his leadership in his brother's absence. It turned his heart away from pleasing the living God and he sought to please the raucous people instead. His actions led to a people who "indulged themselves in pagan revelry" (Exodus 32:6b).
Well, God didn't instruct Moses to take a poll and God did not judge the people's attitudes or actions by Aaron's standards, but by His unchanging holy standards. We who are in leadership must not give Satan an inch or he will become our ruler. The people were severely condemned for their actions and punished accordingly (Exodus 32:19,20).
Today let's remember that we have a sure standard, not based on changing temporal polls but on the unchanging eternal Word of God. Most ignore it or tweak its original message to suit their own desires, but we who love God continue to declare with the Psalmist, "I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by Your laws" (Psalm 119:30).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I meditate on Your age-old laws; O Lord, they comfort me. Your principles have been the music of my life throughout the years of my pilgrimage. You have done many good things for me, Lord, just as You promised. I used to wander off until You disciplined me, but now I closely follow Your Word. You are good and do only good; teach me Your principles through Christ Jesus our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Assorted passages from Psalm 119
Several interesting comments from readers on yesterday's message on "Wholesome Words":
Bernie wrote, "When I was Youth Pastor we had a "Ephie bag" Anything said that violated Ephesian 4:29 cost the youth a quarter and adults $1.00. We put that money to missions. Even words like "Stupid", etc. counted. We encouraged families to also do this at home.
Carolyn commented, "Nearly every word regardless [of] its connotation and context seems to be acceptable and is pushed on us in nearly all entertainment and other public venues... By the way, during a recent year, I've even heard some from the pulpit."
Bob testified, "I was in sales when I got saved in 1975. One of my customers that I visited weekly, a month after I got saved, asked me, "What happened to you?" I told him that I had gotten saved. He said, 'I knew it!!! You had the filthiest mouth of anybody who called on me. You haven't said a swear word in weeks!' God did a good job of 'Washing my mouth out with soap' and it was effortless! The Holy Spirit simply convicted me, I stopped the filthy talk, and that was it!!!"
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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