Micah 5-7, Psalm 131
In 1988-1989, when I was finishing medical school and in my first year of residency I first went through the Bible cover to cover. I was just coming to faith, was studying on my own, not part of a church, and had just "found" the radio station AM 570 and heard Pastor Chuck Swindoll. I never heard a pastor speak passionately and lovingly before concerning the things of God. As I was growing and getting excited about my new faith, another resident from Family Practice and I became friends. He was also growing in his faith, Islam. I forget what was happening on the international scene which prompted me to ask him, but as he appeared to be getting a little more radicalized and militant with his views, I asked him, "If your Imam asked you to slit my throat and kill me, would you take his advice and do it?" To which, he responded without hesitation, "Absolutely". Shocked, I asked him if he would feel bad about this, to which he responded by saying, "a little, but I would do it". We live in a world with bumper stickers saying, "coexist" and "tolerance", using the various symbols of different religions. The truth is all roads do not lead to the same God. The truth is even if you passionately believe in something, it doesn't make that thing true. My friend from residency passionately believed and would have killed from the words of one who spoke falsely. Our God is unlike any other God, and without the absolute truths spoken forth from His Word, the Bible, it is difficult if not impossible to decipher right from wrong.
Back then others put their faith in false god's and false leaders. We read in Micah 6:16, "For the statutes of Omri are kept; All the works of Ahab's house are done; And you walk in their counsels, That I may make you a desolation, And your inhabitants a hissing. Therefore you shall bear the reproach of My people." These two kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel led the people into abominable practices and sins. People often make the mistake when disgruntled by their nation or leaders to put their trust in friends and family. We read in Micah 7:2-5, "The faithful man has perished from the earth, And there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood;...The prince asks for gifts, The judge seeks a bribe, And the great man utters his evil desire; Do they scheme together...Do not trust in a friend; Do not put your confidence in a companion...". He concludes with the folly of trusting anyone but God in 7:6-7, "...A man's enemies are the men of his own household. Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me." He goes further in exalting God over any other in 7:18, "Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy."
We live at a time when moral absolutes are deemed intolerant and close-minded. For those in the majority who make every excuse in the world why they won't pick up the Bible and just read it, a good case can be made by others as to the merits of opposing views, opposing lifestyles, opposing religions, etc. When we put our trust in anything other than the solid rock of our God and on the unwavering truth of His Word we will be shaken. Teachers, friends, family members, if not grounded in His Word can lead you astray, often being done lovingly and with seemingly good motives. As we continue through the prophets, we see what happens when the people of God take their eyes off Him and put them on anything else. May we fix our eyes daily on Him and His Word and in so doing withstand the daily onslaught which seeks to shake our faith. We read in James 1:5-6,8, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind...he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: