FOLLOWING A GOD THAT FAILED HIS PEOPLE: AN IRONY
Bible Text: Exo. 32:1-6; 2Chron. 25:11-15, 20 | INTRODUCTION: The days in which we live and the trend of events are such that draw attention to the above irony and its consequence. The children of Israel and their kings turned around to follow the gods that could not stand before them, who could not deliver their people from their (Israel=s) hands. And that was an irony indeed. If those charged with such responsibilities as have been given us in this ministry will fulfill it, they must take note of this irony that the children and kings of Israel fell into as well as its consequence, and resolve to avoid it.
The Irony And Consequence Of Following A God That Failed His People . An irony in our context is simply ‘incongruity (disagreement) between what might be expected and what actually occurs’ Our use of the word >irony= is in the context of the second meaning. It was quite an irony for the children of Israel to turn around in the wilderness to begin to make and worship the gods of Egypt that fell before them, who could not deliver their people in the day of God=s judgment (cp. Exo. 8:16-19; 12:12-13, 29-30; 32:1-6). This drew the anger of God upon the people (Exo. 32:9-10). In spite of the fact that Amaziah king of Judah was strengthened of the Lord to defeat the Edomites and carry their gods captive, he later turned around to set them up to be his gods and worshipped them (2Chron. 25:11-15). The wrath of God was kindled by this action and He allowed him to fall in battle before Joash the king of Israel (2Chron. 25:20-22). The children of Israel failed to heed the warnings that God gave them and began to follow the way of the heathen, for which God cast them (the heathen) out and planted the Israelites. And when they did, God also visited them with His wrath (cp. 2Kgs. 17:7-18).
The Implications For Us Today: Let it be reiterated that God chose this Movement to be an instrument in His hand at this close of age to bring Jacob again to Him, to raise up the tribes of Israel, to restore the preserved of Israel, to be a light to the Gentiles and a means of salvation unto the ends of the earth (cons. Isa. 49:5-6).In pursuance of this, God elected the Movement to champion the 3-fold end-time project and the attendant IGMC of the hour. God=s choice of this Movement for this service is not unconnected to proven qualities and lifestyle found in the founding father. Now, the work having begun, it is evident that some ministers and their churches are getting influenced into dropping some of the things they had hitherto followed which are contrary to the truth of God=s word. But it is an irony that the people whose lives and ways have caused such positive influence are now turning around to go back to those contrary things. Hence you find some in the Watchman today who are tired and bored with the old rugged way, who remove the ancient landmarks (Jer. 6:16; Pro. 22:28). Today, you see people making unhealthy comparisons (cp. 2Cor. 10:12). While some want to take up the worldly/seductive dressing styles of these others, some want to follow their covetousness, materialism, self-centeredness, greed/avarice, pride/arrogance, serving for filthy lucres sake, etc (Phil. 3:18,19).
It will be a grave irony if we should go after the substandardness plaguing the church, forgetting that it is for the purpose of correcting these ills that the Movement was raised and exists (cp Deut. 9:5). It is an irony to be conquered and carried away by the very trend we are meant to correct. We should take care not to be like Nigerian officials that specialize in committing the crimes they are meant to combat and the shepherds of old that preyed upon the flock they were meant to preserve (cp. Ezk. 34:2-3, 8). For that will be a great disappointment to the Lord, and the consequence is terrible (cp. Exo. 32:9-10; 2Chron. 25:20-22).
While we stand our ground and correct others= shortfalls and departures from the standard, we must also be open to correction in any of the areas we don=t get it right. It is clear that in the area of cheerful bountiful giving to support the work of the Lord, the servants of the Lord and the needy, we are mediocres, and have waxed very poor (cp. 2Cor. 9:6-11. We should look around to see what others are doing in this regard and be challenged.
Let us pray. HSCF (29 & 185)