Today’s Bible Project video about the Book of Isaiah reminded of how badly the people of God wanted a king. After the time of the judges, they begged for a king. And God reluctantly gave them one...Saul. It’s occurring to me now that the very thing they begged for is the very thing that caused them to lose it all.
King after king led them further and further away from the God of their fathers, the God who saved them from enslavement,
the God who protected them from Pharaoh’s retaliation,
the God who parted the Red Sea so they could pass through safely,
the God who gave them nourishment in the barren desert,
the God who gave them victory over all their enemies,
the God who gave each tribe a portion of land to settle and thrive. Instead of giving their allegiance to God, they clamored for a king. They made these kings their idols. They made all kinds of things their idols. Then they performed atrocities in worship of these idols. They just couldn’t seem to shake the 430 years worth of influence the Egyptian customs had over them. They carried these ways with them through the wilderness and into the Promised Land. Although they were physically free from bondage, they were not spiritually or mentally free.
God's chosen people passed down a slave mentality throughout the generations. And this slave mentality led to their ultimate destruction. Having a slave mentality leads to self-destruction. Although there's an enemy opponent, the most formidable enemy lies within the confines of the mind.
I wrote about feeling hopeless yesterday in my previous post, after reading about the exile of Israel, then Judah. And, before I finished writing, it occurred to me that we still have much to be hopeful for. So, seeing that message of hope in today’s video confirms for me yet again that I’m being led through this journey by the Holy Spirit. There’s hope even after hundreds, or even thousands, of years suffering the effects of a slave mentality. We don’t need a king, or any other mere mortal towards whom our allegiance lies. We just need to open our hearts to the God of all creation, our eternal Father, the One who loves us. Dust off the Book that He breathed life into so that our spirits could receive nourishment.
Read it like Josiah read the Book of the Law out loud to the people. Knock down all the idols in our lives and clean house, like Josiah did. Trust God like Hezekiah did when he was confronted by the enemy. Cry out to God when we need physical and mental healing, and He will hear us, like He heard and responded to Hezekiah. We need only one King, and that’s the King that God gave to save the people from themselves. The book of Isaiah calls that King Immanuel, meaning “God with us.”
No matter how good Hezekiah and Josiah were, no matter how great their efforts to turn the people back to God, they couldn’t get to the root of the problem and dig it out. Their efforts only had temporary effects. They pulled up the weeds, but more grew back in their place. And once they had gone to rest with their fathers, those weeds grew back and took over the entire garden.
What they needed was a permanent solution, one that could get to the root of the problem. Only God could do that...God with us.
*Join my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
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