For my people’s wound is too deep to heal.  It has reached into Judah, even to the gates of Jerusalem. – Micah 1:9

The wickedness of both Israel and Judah has aroused the anger of God to the point of wrath.  They are worshiping other gods, partaking in violent religious practices, and they’ve morally abandoned God’s way.  God concludes that defeat and exile is the only thing that will wake them from their stupor of idolatry.

God’s long term plan was never to destroy his people, but to redeem them.  Part of redemption is helping them to see the death in their sins, and part is to provide a way for them to come back to him.  He provided the wake up call through the invasion, defeat, exile and temporary suffering of his people; He provided the way back through Jesus the Messiah.

Was God angry?  I believe he was, but I don’t believe that his punishment stemmed from His anger.  No, it was rooted in love, correction, and redemptive hope.  God is not an enabler.  He is not afraid to let us suffer the short term consequences of our actions in order to redirect the long term affections of our hearts.  Once our hearts are given over to sin, it usually takes personal crisis to wake us from the stupor of our sinful intoxication.  Like the prodigal son, we come to our senses only when we have lost everything.  Then we come home surrendered to our Fathers will and goodness.  As Paul said in in 1 Corinthians 5:5, “Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.”

Sometimes God lets us go our own way and find the death in our sinfulness.  Sometimes he sends crises to wake us up.  In either case, what’s clear is that God is more interested in our long-term relationship with Him then he is in our short-term comfort.  This can be hard to get our heads around in our “instant gratification” culture, but it’s true.  The lessons of Alinon are really the lessons of God.  At the end of the day, it is vital to keep our hearts away from the addiction of sin, and to continually keep our lives in God’s grace, God’s will, and God’s Love.  We get to choose, and the path to a life of peace and blessing is the choice of God over sin.  You get to choose.  Choose Jesus!!!

Idolatry and sin are things that we all wrestle with every day.  Money, power, sex, and ambition all stand ready to take first place in our lives, and to trap us in an addictive cycle that can be hard to break out of.  In other words, our wounds can be “too deep to heal” without much personal destruction to walk through.

So this day and every day, I must choose God over these things, or I risk being taken over by them and thus eventually raining down personal destruction on myself and those I love.   This is a battle I must choose to engage in, or I’ll drift toward them – for they are what my flesh craves.  Like Israel and Judah, if I simply choose to delight in God and worship Him alone, I can avoid the destruction that disloyalty and sin bring.  If I don’t, then a painful path lies ahead.

And like Israel and Judah, no one is beyond redemption, but we get to choose whether it is the hard or easy path…

PRAYER:

God, I choose you today above the other competing “gods” of this age.  Help me to walk out my devotion to you and to help others find your redemption…  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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