Revelation 9; Nehemiah 12; Psalm 104:1-23
People are stubborn, aren’t they? Sometimes the most effective way to get me to do anything is to tell me that I can’t do it. That gets under my skin and I set my face and get my attitude and I buckle down and do it or die trying. I am just a stubborn old man.
Sometimes, though, our stubbornness has a dark side. We know that we are sinning; we know that we are doing wrong and God lets us know. Still, we persist in our sin with great stubbornness. In the book of the Revelation, John tells the story of people who go through great suffering and yet fail to see that this is God’s judgment on their lives and that this judgment is designed to bring them to repentance. “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood–idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21)
Today those of us who follow Christ are attacked for not believing in freedom of religion when we proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only way to have fellowship with God. In spite of many and varied changes in society – people persist in following their false religions and their no religious affiliation, not believing that God would demand exclusive worship.
We see “different lifestyles” that are contrary to God’s plan. In spite of warnings and problems as a result of those lifestyles, people persist in defying God – and even proclaiming that God is blessing their sin. We are stubborn in our sin and no one is more stubborn than me. God sends warning and judgment not because He hates us, but because He loves us enough to offer us a chance to change. I pray that I and others will heed his warnings.
Lord, I am so stubborn. I so easily point my fingers at the sins of others. I fail to recognize that You are working to take away my sin also. Heal our land, Lord, by healing Your people. Draw us all back to You.