Do you think this message is just for those stubborn Israelites? When it was delivered it was, but how fitting it is for us even today. It’s a great example of one of those timeless messages the Bible is so full of. In addition to the richness of being a child of God like the Israelites, we, too, have the grace of God and the confidence our sins have been forgiven in Jesus’ name. We should have no excuse but to want to love God with our whole self and obey every word that comes from his mouth.
Just think of how we are positioned for greatness! How can we not want to show our appreciation? Yet, as the Israelites were stubborn, we tend to be selfish. We tend to want more and more, never truly satisfied. I suppose the Israelites had this weakness, too. What God wants from us is pretty simple, and it’s for our own good. Moses said, “He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.”
Today we read about how the Israelites wandered. If we wondered in our last reading how an 11-day trip could take 40 years, we see a bit of our answer in this passage. Have you ever gotten lost before when you were on a trip? How many miles did you drive out of your way before you realized your error? Sometimes we need to correct our direction in life, too.
I often heard the Bible referred to as our GPS. If you’re challenged with directions, you use a GPS to find your way. What I like about a GPS or mapping system is it often tells you the best route to take. You can decide between the fastest or shortest. The app I use even detects roadblocks and construction zones and gives me the option to reroute my course. And one of my favorite features is that when I do take a wrong turn, the app will tell me and figure out a way for me to get back on course.
If you’re an American, this phrase is even on your money. “In
God We Trust.” The verse of the day is verse 26 which reads: “Many seek
the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the Lord.” It’s not a bad
thing to seek favor from the ruler, whether it be the sheriff, the governor, or
even the president. It’s okay to want to be an upstanding citizen and not break
Yet, not many of us have an audience, much less a
friendship, but those folks. For me personally, I do know one of the
presidential candidates for the upcoming Presidential election in the United
States. But, even if he were in the White House, I’m not certain I would be
able to present my case before him. There would be a lot of hoops to jump
through and red tape to navigate. Those officials or “rulers” might be able to
help, but I am sure that God’s help will be perfect and timely. God knows
exactly what I need before I even ask.
We’ve been in a series of readings lately dealing with how we should live. Many people might think, “I don’t want to be told how to live, I want to live my life the way I want.” Other people are looking for the kind of living that will please God because they have a truly thankful heart. Thankful for all that God has done for them, and continues to do on a daily basis. God loves us all no matter what way we think. I don’t know about you, but I want to please my God, and that’s not just because I’m a “people pleaser.” With God, it goes so much deeper.
For those who follow Jesus and want to be more like him, a passage like this is refreshing. We should be all about pleasing God. We can’t be sinless like Jesus, but we can choose to behave in ways that honor God. For those people who are a little stubborn or don’t have a relationship with God, hearing how to please him may not matter at all. Continue reading “1 Peter 2:18-25 – Please God”