Random tidbit: I like grapefruit. It reminds me of my grandma. She used to eat a grapefruit every morning for breakfast.
Last night my husband and I were talking about a Bible study. It was the story of the two Hebrew kingdoms, Israel and Judah, falling to other nations. There had been a history of the Hebrew nation being saved from their enemies, getting comfortable in their new homes, forgetting God and His commandments and then being punished by God for their disobedience. A cycle of blessing and bondage for the Hebrew nation.
It’s easy to look at the Hebrews and think, “Don’t you get it? As long as you follow the commandments, blessings will come upon you?” I mean it’s all over the Old Testament, why is it so hard to understand? Then I think, wait they didn’t have an Old Testament. They had scrolls. That were read to them by priests at certain times of the year. And they had feasts days that they had to travel for to hear the scrolls being read. They had all the sacrifices for the different types of sin. I can see as a young family how it might be to much work to pack all your stuff and kids up and head to Jerusalem a few times every year. And I can see as a young mom how it would be easy to forget a feast or feel overwhelmed by all the preparations and maybe this year you skipped one of the feasts. Then you look at your nation neighbors who don’t have to follow all these rules or feasts or sacrifices for sin. A bit of a disgruntled spirit could come in and start the mind whirling with thoughts of “Why do we have to do all these things?” or ” Why is worshiping God so hard?” Then your family isn’t just skipping the lesser feasts or sacrifices, you are abandoning most of the celebrations of your faith because it’s easier to just be like everyone else in the surrounding nations.
You know what? We are the same way today. It’s so easy to just be like everyone else. To strive for money and power rather than humility and love. It’s easier to just do whatever you want instead of taking time to think about your choices and giving Jesus and God a say in the decision making. It’s nice to sleep in on a Sunday morning instead of pulling yourself and your family out of bed so you can get to church and worship with other believers. So why do it? Why think of others before myself? Why surrender my life to a God who
might will lead me somewhere I am uncomfortable? Why did the Hebrew nation continue to repent and come back to their God and return to the practices that would allow them to be in His presence?
Because I, and the Hebrews, have seen the great and miraculous things my God can do. I have felt the love of Jesus come over me at a time in my life that I was so broken I thought I couldn’t be put back together. He has swooped down and protected me from situations that were dangerous. God has lifted me and my family out of dark places. He continues to offer me grace and mercy even when I am unfaithful to Him. I have seen God do mighty things with just a handful of Christians and a little bit of faith. It is because of God’s great works and great love that I can go forward in faith and trust and obedience. That’s why I get up on Sunday mornings and pray about decisions. That’s why I give my time and energy to the work God has laid on my heart Because I know my God and His love of me draws me closer to Him.