Deuteronomy 1-3, Psalm 53
We live at a time when Biblical illiteracy is at a very high level. We hear family, friends, the media, etc often misrepresent God. We hear phrases like, “If God truly loved us, then how could he allow…”, or “My God would never be for or against such a thing”. Not fully understanding portions of the Bible is common but gets less frequent the longer we are in His Word. These are honest mistakes. But misrepresenting the character of God is an entirely different issue. This misrepresentation not only keeps those making the comments distance themselves from God, but also distorts His true image to others keeping them in the dark. May we correct these statements, made by those around us, by truly representing our God as one of infinite love,and mercy, and grace.
Before Jesus began His ministry, John the Baptist came onto the scene to prepare the hearts of the people so that through repentance they would be in a position to follow Jesus. His message was simple and given to us in Matthew 3:2, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Moses is now doing the same thing for Joshua. This is a new generation from the ones that heard the message at Mt Sinai almost 40 years ago. Though they had Moses as their leader, they also had fathers who died along the way who probably misrepresented God. These are the fathers who in Deuteronomy 1:26-27, said, “Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God; and you complained in your tents, and said, ‘Because the Lord hated us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.'” Yet, Moses says in Dt 1:31, “and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.” The purpose of this book of the Bible and its theme is to teach the people to love and obey God and His law.
By going through the entirety of the Bible we are in a position to prepare the hearts of those God has put around us so that they can accept Jesus and be saved by the work of the Holy Spirit. By being in His Word we will avoid misrepresenting God and be able to politely correct others who do so. What we say around our families, friends, co-workers matters. Paul said in Colossians 4:5-6, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” As John the Baptist did, and Moses did, may we all take this Great Commission given by Jesus to us, His disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) seriously.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: