Snapshots: Day 54
The Snapshot: “I will make a distinction between my people and your people.” (Ex 8:23) Living in a land under the judgment of God (seen by the increasing folly and the destructive consequences) means the people of God have to experience the culture, the environment of judgment, but that does not mean we have to walk in the same way as the world around us and suffer the same consequences. The blessing of God is always on His obedient children. It often appears on those who are not His, but that is His grace which, for them, is always temporary and thus misleading (see 2 Pet 3:9) We ARE distinguished by our sonship and the presence of His Holy Spirit; may that distinction extend to include the blessings He can bring to obedience.
Further Consideration: When the Lord called Israel at Mount Sinai he declared, “Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Ex 19:5,6) i.e. you will be a distinctive people, a people who will stand out from the rest of the world. The apostle Peter wrote to the church: “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Pet 2:9) i.e. we likewise are a distinctive people who are to stand out from the rest of the world.
Now tragically large parts of the Church don’t live like this and so it is often said, for example, that there are as many divorces in the Church as there outside it. This should not be. Not only do we have the resources that the world lacks to survive the rough and tumble of modern living but we are called to be a community of love who are there for one another who should know one another so well that we see the warning signs and are immediately there alongside to bring support, counsel and wisdom to enable tension resolution.
Back in Day 49 I cited, “A man reaps what he sows.” (Gal 6:7) and considered various ways we can get it wrong and the consequences are clearly seen. In Day 51 I stated (and it bears repeating), ‘Still the consequences of living contrary to God’s design are increasingly obvious and even the world itself is beginning to see these things, whether it is to do with lives of many sexual partners, cohabitation, infidelity, use of pornography, over-drinking, or excessive social media use.’ These things are clearly visible characteristics of life in the West today and we should be distinguished from the rest of world by NOT succumbing to them; we should be different.
How? By living according to the guidance of God in His word and conveyed by His Holy Spirit. We ignore Him and His design for us at our peril. We are no different: consequences will follow.