The Israelites were a stiff-necked people. In Deuteronomy 9 and 10, Moses reminds those about to cross the Jordan of the many times their fathers rebelled against God. They had even asked Aaron to make another god to worship. All of those who were 20 years or older when that happened died in their sins.
It is easy for us on this side of history to be critical of the Israelites, but are we any different? The Israelites were warned, when they occupied Canaan, not to think they achieved this out of their own righteousness. Is that any different than us saying our own abilities got us where we are? Somebody smarter than me said, “Our abilities are God’s gift to us; what we do with those abilities can be our gift to God.” The rich farmer in Luke certainly got that wrong and paid with his life for that error.
Our lifestyles must go further than just acknowledging God in our accomplishments. We must acknowledge him every day in every part of our lives. While we may think it’s risky to confess our belief in God in public, if we do, Jesus will confess us before the angels of God. The opposite situation is very risky; if we deny Jesus in public, Jesus will deny us before the angels of God. That could bring us face to face with the one who also after he has killed, can cast into hell.
These statements may seem harsh and not what you want to hear, but God put them in his Bible as a warning to those who will not accept him as Lord. Ignore them at your peril.
The Bible is also full of encouraging statements for believers. Our passages today include the promise that we shouldn’t worry about being confronted by others. Commit in advance that you will stand for Christ always, and when you are confronted, the Holy Spirit will teach you what to say. We can then all join with the Psalmist and hope in God and praise him.
Writer, teacher and gentleman (most of the time!)