Be As  EZRA

The Commandments–1

The Israelites after their departure from Egypt still faced many conflicts within themselves. They had been submerged into the Egyptian culture and had learned customs and acquired the knowledge of their gods. That even after having been delivered from bondage, they were stubborn in the manner with which they related to God. They struggled with their new relationship with God, they didn’t have the connection with him, they had grown estranged. Only through purification were they able to prepare themselves for accepting him. Their bondage, like any form of slavery had robbed them of their freedom. They were not aware of their own needs , they had no understanding of what the freedom we gain in God is truly about. It had transformed them into an obscurity. They would also turn away from the God who delivered them because they grew impatient and took up their old gods.

Much like today, we cannot expect to grow in spiritual strength or in faith if we do not purge our lives from sin and allow for the renewal of spirit and mind as we are guided by the word of God and his direction towards a new identity, our true identity in him.

The sinfulness of this world has lead many to believe that it is our human nature or the primal instincts and urges that we feel that compel us to act out our fleshly desires. That they are the components of our true selves, when in actuality it is the pressures placed on the human race by the adversary of God. The world’s only explanation to any hardship or complication in our lives lacks any true understanding or wisdom. You cannot acquire absolute answers from the secular as it pertains to the spiritual matters of life. There seems to have no definite or sound advice as to why things happen or how we are to survive them and it’s simply because it doesn’t have it to give.

Now more than ever in the history of man-kind are there significant decisions to be made that will forever change the face of society or the manner in which we relate to each other and shape the future. Decisions are being forged on something as frivolous and fickle as “feelings” and ideologies that will not stand the test of time. The moral compass that was once instilled in us by prior generations is a faded and an antiquated concept. While those in the secular world would outright deny, neglecting to accept or to confront the fact that our societies are falling apart for lack of knowledge of the things of God are evident with each passing day. The structure that his word and understanding brings has long been a part of the very fiber of what this country has represented. Yet, today, we have many among our very own countrymen who will stop at nothing to put themselves first and put down the things of God and fellow countrymen. They do so because if they were to acknowledge the importance of such authority would prove them to be incorrect and subject-able to accountability for their lasciviousness.

In fact the number one reason more and more of today’s modern culture rejects the Bible and The One God is because they are in rebellion and do not wish to adhere to anyone’s rule over their lives.

In truth we are beginning to see the embodiment of the rebellion spoken about in 2 Timothy chapter 3.

Every despicable and unsavory characteristic to be found in human kind is depicted here and manifested in our world today. The unraveling of society is right before us, and still we continue on our own paths we create for the sole purpose of our own demise. Why? Because WE want to be the ones in control, WE want to be the last authority, WE don’t want to answer to anyone and because we refuse to allow anyone dictate down to us who we should be and how we should act. The hardest part is perhaps that the subtlety is lost on generations that are so focused, so dead set on self.

(See also John 8:44-45)

The preoccupation with self and the disparity of searching for answers was the exact thing that drove the Israelites back to their false god; is the same force that drives mankind to embrace the love and god of this world. Not knowing that just hours away would Moses return. Their idolatry and transgression , just as ours is today was being witnessed by God as he spoke to Moses. Their punishment would be that they would die, never reaching the promised land. The severity of sin and death is real in the natural as it is surely true in the spiritual. We should strive to correct our waywardness, living each day in testimony and remembrance of what the greatness of God has accomplished in our lives, but we do not. We are willing to sacrifice our eternal peace for the comforts of this world. The commandments given to Moses by God upon Mount Sinai are not open to selectiveness or to interpretation. They are as their name accurately describes them, commandments. We are commanded in large part because of our sinful nature and our propensity to commit err, held responsible to fulfill them.

We are set aside, a class of people all our own and called to his purpose, to live in faith and to live according to the will of God. This is the covenant established with God. The Saviour of our life who delivered us from bondage. We are to become transformed by our salvation, by our personal encounter with God and our faith in him. That through our dedication and faithfulness he may utilize us to accomplish great things for his glory, just as Moses did.

We have the opportunity through our own transformation to bring others to the understanding of God’s word and as we walk with him, to inspire them through the manifestation of God’s work in our lives. It should be the inspiration that we need to change not only ourselves, but our families. Families who form our communities that in turn create our society. The importance of keeping God’s commandments is noted throughout the bible, but certainly expand beyond the the ten. A lot of what God has to say in regards as to how we live our lives and what we do is essential to how the world we create around ourselves. There is not one thing that God commands us to do that isn’t relevant.

The responsibility doesn’t end with us, we are instructed to teach them to the younger generations so that they are not forgotten, so that the will of God is carried out, but also to ensure that we do not fall away from God’s grace. All commandments are equally important, but there should be one with great distinction. The Commandment that we should worship only him, our redeemer. There is no other that would deliver us from sin or bring us to everlasting life. Something that we see drifting away with the younger generations amidst the world’s confusion.

We are instructed time and time again throughout the bible to never forget what the lord has done, to keep his commandments and follow in his ways and to teach them to the next generations. We must do so , because they will be an anthem for them in the time of Jacob’s trouble and the Lord will use them to speak to his people to give them both direction and hope.

God’s commandments have preserved his people, they are fundamental to the order of life and the existance of a functioning society. They bring discipline and paternal authority to his children. They convey a communication of trust, honor to his name and love from God to his children. Like any father, he disciplines his children so that they do not stray too far from him into the clutches of darkness and the trappings of sin.

As we know, our desires originate in our sinful and worldly nature. When temptation leads us away from God, then comes the certainty of affliction and spiritual death. The world from which the Israelites had been delivered was saturated in sin. The worship of idols and false gods created in the Egyptians a false sense of security of the mind. Their sinfulness accompanied the Israelites out of Egypt, it was ingrained within them. There wasn’t a complete transformation within the body of Israel, there was no fear for the Lord.

It angered the Lord to see that after having delivered his people out of the land of bondage that they would again turn their backs to him. They abandoned everything that would identify them as his, they picked up the idols of Egypt and placed upon themselves the star symbol of a false god. They displayed their nakedness and committed sins of the flesh and idolatry.

Even in their sin, God loved them and saw to their redemption. He would give them indispensable guidance.

The covenant that would be established with them was a continuum of the covenant with Abraham, Issac and Jacob; through the commandments. Due to their disobedience however, they were not allowed to reach the promised land.

Our sin also separates us from God, we break covenant with the lord and we risk that we ourselves should be met with death, perhaps not just a physical one , but an eternal one.

The commandments given to the children of Israel were in light of their failure to remain faithful to the Lord. The sinfulness of the world has not changed since their time in the wilderness.

And we too must continue our commitment to fortifying our covenant with God and understand that they are not subjective, but objective.

The easiest way to understand what is required from us in keeping the commandments of the Lord , is to understand what they represent.

Commandment #1

I Am the Lord your God, thou shalt not have any other gods before me.

This is self explanatory. The sin that the children of Israel committed in the wilderness was that of idolatry.  It must be understood that there is only one true and living God. He is the great I AM, the only one that can deliver us from the consequence of sin and death through the power of forgiveness and repentance and in the acceptance of Yeshua.

Our God must be the number one priority in our lives, above all things and all persons.

Often times people disregard the things of God simply because their loved ones or friends do not understand or believe as they do. We must remember however, that there is but one opinion that matters and that is the opinion of our God. We must ask ourselves; have we served him fully and honestly? Can we say without a doubt that we have fulfilled our responsibility to him? We must be careful never to elevate anyone or any one thing into the place of importance that should be given to God. Those things that preoccupy our lives  and that we cannot seem to separate with.

If you find that you are not spending time with the Lord, in prayer and in his word, then the things in your life  must be examined. Do they interfere with your personal relationship with God? Do they compromise our biblical ethics and contradict your  faith? Are they in step with what the bible describes in regards to our moral, ethical and personal characteristics of what is required of a Christian? Our faithfulness of mind and spirit. Do our thoughts that are used to generate our choices and affect our behaviors focused on him. The tree is known by its fruit. We must be careful not to be too attached to the ideas and things of this world, this world is fleeting and will not endure; but our faith if the lord will ensure us everlasting life. We must honor him through the gifts that he has blessed us with. We were created for his purpose and given the ability and gifts to bring honor to his name. Is everything that we say and do in honor of him who has created us and has given us life and freedom?

We must search within ourselves and commit ourselves to what is just and place him in the position of supreme authority in our lives. The Lord does not require someone to worship him because he is eternal and withstanding. All loving and holy.

The amazing power of his glory ,and father of all creation are the truths that command obedience and delivers us from our bondage.

 

 

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