Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘choice’

You Will Know that I Am the LORD (Civilization’s Way)

Babylon-Pergamon_Museum_Berlin

Image file: Pergamon Museum Berlin on Wikimedia Commons.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Last time, we looked at how God revealed Himself through the majesty of creation. In the book of Ezekiel, God revealed Himself in a far less idyllic manner – through the withering siege and brutal conquest by King Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army. Despite generations of warnings by God through the prophets, a vast majority of the people of Israel and Judah “exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator…” not unusual behavior for fallen mankind, but unacceptable to God as illustrated in Romans 1:25 (NIV).

The accounts of the Babylonian captivity in 2 Chronicles 36 and as prophesied by Jeremiah and Ezekiel are heart wrenching, even knowing that these people should have seen it coming and had every opportunity to stop the judgment. Some leaders like Hezekiah and Josiah tried to turn the hearts of the people back to God. What few revivals that occurred were short-lived and in retrospect, not very successful. The next king who came along led his people right back to the pig trough of disobedience and often added more depravity to the mix.

By the time that Ezekiel came along, the captivity had already begun. God proclaimed repeatedly that the purpose of the judgment upon Israel and Judah by Babylon was “that they may know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 20:7, 12, 19, 20, 24, 38, 42, 44, et al, NKJV) Just as God’s fingerprint in all creation serves as overwhelming evidence of God’s love in the nicest of ways, his judgment of people and nations who choose to turn their backs on Him can result in the bitterness of a devastating conquest by hostile armies whom God has chosen to deliver his discipline. Both methods are intended to draw us to Him in humility and repentance – that we may know that He is LORD.

Any loving parents would prefer to shower blessings upon obedient children, but are all too often forced to deliver correction when the children choose to rebel. God would also much rather bless His faithful followers than to smack down a wayward nation. The choice is up to us.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to three boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside. Lisa is a member of the Central Oregon Writers Guild.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon. 

Wasted Wisdom

Sheba & Solomon

Photo of woodcut illustration by kladcat on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

King Solomon’s marriages to 700 wives and his 300 concubines are used by those who would redefine marriage as one example of what they believe to be an inconsistent illustration of Biblical marriage, as opposed to the “Adam and Eve” marriage that God performed in the Garden of Eden. What these groups fail to understand is that God never condoned polygamy, even though it was a common practice in the ancient times and some of the other big names in the Bible like Abraham and King David had more than one wife. None of them were better for their harems.

What is more, despite the great wisdom that God bestowed upon Solomon, He also warned Solomon against the multiple marriages; that the women who did not share his Jewish faith would lead his heart away from God. Sure enough, that is exactly what happened; Solomon defied at least the first, second and seventh Commandments and over time, built altars in Israel to the gods of his wives. The consequences were devastating to the entire nation of Israel. I Kings 11:9-13 records God’s anger with Solomon’s foolish decisions and lays out the resulting judgment that would forever divide Israel. The only reason that even Judah was left under the rule of King David’s descendants was because of God’s promise to King David.

The Book of Ecclesiastes is the old man’s memoir of sorts, a record of his jaded perspective of the folly of his own life’s accomplishments. Sadly, there does not seem to be any indication that Solomon repented of his sins other than his acknowledgement of the best life to be lived and why:

“Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13b-14 NIV)

Whether you are raising children or leading a nation, your decisions and actions will have a ripple effect on all those within your realm of influence and beyond. We all have a choice to either learn from the wisdom of God and errors of others, or we can waste the lessons of history and repeat the same mistakes, only to witness the devastation that will surely come as a result of our poor decisions. The choice and the responsibility is yours today.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

God is Love

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

One of the most profound things I learned in my Lutheran High School Bible class was the direct correlation between God’s love and our freedom. In love, there has to be the freedom not to love; otherwise the love is not real, but is forced like rape or slavery. There is no love in either of those things. God had to give us the choice to love and obey Him in order for this loving relationship to work. Anything else would have been divine puppetry. I am so very glad that we do have the capacity for love, even if it means that we often make poor choices that lead to sorrow and chaos.

The Bible mentions love between 300-600 times, depending on the translation. In contrast, the word “hate” is used fewer than 100 times. There are some great passages that talk about love. The most well-known are I Corinthians 13, which shows how empty our efforts are without love and I John 4:7-21, which clarifies that God is Love; He loved us first and therefore, we need to love Him and love each other. As a matter of fact, verse 8 says that “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Without God, it is not possible to really know love. Wow, that is harsh! Obviously, there is a placebo for love that is widely proliferated in our world, and that is extramarital sex. The farther people fall from God’s love, the more men and women will strive to fill their empty souls with extramarital sex, pornography and other addictions.

The good news is that if you are still alive, you still have the choice to love God and know what real love is all about. He loves you already and is just waiting for you to turn to Him and start learning all about perfect love!

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