By Richard J. Bennett
Today's Scripture: 2 Chronicles 36:11-16
Central Thought: God's Word warns against continuing in our sinful ways.
Have you ever been in line waiting to check out at a grocery store and watched the interaction between the out-of-control child and his or her parent? This scene usually includes fit throwing, loud yelling, threat making, and parent capitulation. Often the parent tells the child multiple times that punishment is coming if the child does not quit his or her current behavior. Yet the child is never punished. Instead, the parent gives in just to try to get the child to be quiet and settle down.
God warns His people against continuing their willful, sinful ways. In the last days before the kingdom of Judah was sent into exile, God 'persistently” sent His prophets as messengers to the people, commanding them to stop their sinful ways and repent—or else He would punish them. But the people 'kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:16). Unlike the parent in the incident described above, God did punish His wayward children.
Lest we think Christians are different, Paul instructed Timothy that one of his duties as a pastor was to 'preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
Will we be like the people of Judah and refuse to heed the warnings in God's Word? Or will we humble ourselves and accept the sound teaching from God's Word? The choice is ours.
Devotional Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to humbly accept the warnings from Your Word that I might turn from any willful, sinful ways I may be following and live to please You.
Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23; 1 Corinthians 1:1-17; Psalm 27:1-6; Proverbs 20:20-21