Snapshots: Day 147
The Snapshot: “At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.” (Jud 21:25 Msg) Prov 29:18 says, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint.” Put the two verses together and you have the truth, “where a person has no supreme ruler over them they cast off restraint and do whatever they feel like doing.” The world all around us, in this first part of the twenty-first century in the West, does just this thing, a highly dangerous state where self-destruction so often follows. Jesus has come to save us, yes from Satan and from Sin, but mostly from ourselves! Sin not only blinds, it is also stupid (foolish and irresponsible) and cannot see the path of destruction ahead when we ‘do our own thing’. How practical is the Gospel!
Further Consideration: If it wasn’t for the fact of Sin, doing your own thing might be all right. Some might ask, hasn’t God given us common sense, wisdom, intellect and so on, shouldn’t they be able to help us make good decisions in life, why does it always have to be related to God? Well, stop and think about the definition I so often use for sin – ‘self-centred godlessness that leads to self-destructive unrighteousness.’ It’s that self-centred thing that inhibits wisdom, as does the godless part of it. Let’s consider these.
When we are ‘self-centred’ that concern for ‘me’ distorts my thinking and leads me to do unwise things, things that are actually harmful to me in the long-term. Yes, so often I will make decisions based on the pleasure I can get at the moment but in the longer term that isn’t always good. Eating wrong food will eventually harm me. Being lazy and never taking exercise will definitely harm me.
Godlessness means I don’t bother to turn to the One who knows everything, specifically how I work best and what is good for me and what is not. His knowledge and wisdom are beyond anything I can dream of, so why do I so easily forget to turn to Him for help. But instead we so often do ‘what we feel like doing’, we don’t go on what is sensible or wise, but what our emotions tell us – and what a roller-coaster they can be! Don’t let your emotions rule you.
Self-destructive unrighteousness. Haven’t we ever realized that all unrighteousness is self-destructive? Righteousness is living according to God’s design, while unrighteousness is not. God’s way builds and blesses, helps and encourages, restores and starts us off again. To go in the opposite direction is guaranteed to end in pain and anguish, worry and anxiety, suffering and stress. Life is all about learning these truths, learning that when we do what we feel like doing, it probably ends in a mess, maybe not tomorrow or the next day, but it will come, the fruit of our folly may take time coming, but come it will. Let’s learn.
(As we have come to the end of the Snapshots in Judges we will leave them for a while before returning to Ruth. In the meantime we will consider the Ascension that we recently celebrated)