Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Tear Down this Altar

Today's Reading:
Judges 6:1-40
Acts 24:1-27
Psalm 69:13-28
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses: Judges 6:25-26
25 That same night the LORD said to him, "Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering."

Gideon wondered, "If God is with Israel, then why has he let us be overpowered by the Midianites." The reason was Israel's unfaithfulness to God. Instead of worshiping God alone, they had worshiped the gods of the Amorites.

The first step toward deliverance for Israel was to destroy the pagan Baal altar and Ashtoreth pole that had been set up in his town. The road to restoration and deliverance begins with tearing down what is false and instead offering up worship and devotion to the One True God.

Response and Action:
When I face difficult situations in life, I find myself asking a question similar to Gideon's-- "If God is with me, why is this happening?" Before questioning God's faithfulness, I should examine my own faithfulness to God. I need to recognize the ways my family, my church, my town, my state, my country have failed to acknowledge God.

Honest reflection is needed if I am to recognize the idols we have erected and the ways we have let them distort and diminish our devotion for God. There is no God but the One True God. Any rivals for wholehearted commitment to and reverence for God must be torn down.

O God, free me from everything that oppresses and diminishes. Help me to turn away from what is wrong and to do what is right. Lead me away from temptation and deliver me from evil. Provide for my needs today. Protect me from discouragement, and encourage me, by your Spirit, through your Word, your people, your promises, and all that is beautiful and true. Give me the honesty to recognize the false ideas and idols in my heart, and give me the courage to tear them down and cast them aside in order that I might worship and follow you with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Proverbs 4:23-23
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips."

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
by Timothy Keller

No comments: