Monday, May 26th, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 2)
This is a people robbed and plundered;
All of them are snared in holes,
And they are hidden in prison houses;
They are for prey, and no one delivers;
For plunder, and no one says, 'Restore!'
Who among you will give ear to this?
Who will listen and hear for the time to come?
Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers?
Was it not the Lord,
He against Whom we have sinned?
For they would not walk in His ways,
Nor were they obedient to His Law.
Isaiah 42:22-24 (NKJV)*
They served their idols, which became a snare to them.
Psalm 106:36 (NKJV)
Consider the meaning of pitfall: 'an unsuspected difficulty or danger; a trap in the form of a concealed pit' (World English Dictionary). In the Bible, pitfalls serve three purposes: testing, refinement and punishment. They're called by various names--including pit, snare, thorn, net, trap or cord.
Both heroes and villains fall, but only heroes rise again. Even so, pitfalls were not created just for individuals, but also for nations. In the history of our world, no nation has risen, fallen and risen again like Israel. God's Book tells their story: past, present and future.
Physically, God's favored nation fell by wars. Israel was conquered--again and again. But their wars were only a symptom--not their disease. Their disease was idol worship. When they turned away from God, He turned away from them--and their protection left with Him.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Is America similarly diseased? Do we worship the idols of wealth, beauty and celebrity? Carried on the wings of media, have we exported our idols to the rest of the world? Has our nation's pitfall grown into a great black hole? Consider it.
God's Word is filled with Israel's fame and shame. When a nation rejects its Builder, sooner or later, it falls. At the end of times, the Bible foretells the restoration of Israel. It has occurred. At the end of times, America is not mentioned. Why? Do we cease to be a player on the world's stage? Time will tell.
Actors, models and talent for Christ, your time is now. As individual stars shining through media, you are players. Your destiny is sure, and your mission is urgent.
Consider the Bible commentary below.* Re-read Isaiah Chapter 59, and ponder Its message in relationship to America today. Then turn the page and rejoice through Chapter 60. Remember the role God has called you to play at such a time as this. Remember your talents are His talents, and your job is to multiply them for His glory.**
To Be Continued...
* Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on Isaiah 42:18-25:
* 'Multitudes are ruined for want of observing that which they cannot but see; they perish, not through ignorance, but carelessness. The Lord is well-pleased in the making known His Own righteousness. For their sins they were spoiled of all their possessions. This fully came to pass in the destruction of the Jewish nation. There is no resisting, nor escaping, God's anger. See the mischief sin makes; it provokes God to anger. And those not humbled by lesser judgments, must expect greater. Alas! how many professed Christians are blind as the benighted heathen! While the Lord is well-pleased in saving sinners through the righteousness of Christ, He will also glorify His justice, by punishing all proud despisers. Seeing God has poured out His wrath on His once-favoured people, because of their sins, let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of us should be found to come short of it.'
** Isaiah Chapters 59-60 (NASB): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2059-60&version=NASB
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Pitfalls series.