Thursday, May 9, 2013

Return To Me...

I have just finished reading through the Old Testament for the first time this year. As I came to the final two books (Zechariah and Malachi), I noticed for the first time an exact quote/theme from both the prophets. It refers to the time they lived in. Judah had returned from exile and were in the process of resettling and rebuilding Jerusalem. People were living as best they knew how but evidently ignoring God's ways and God's laws. It might have been out of ignorance. It could have been from choice. Nevertheless, both prophets issued warnings and encouragements to return to God individually and as a nation. The quote is more specifically,...

"Return to Me and I will return to you" says the Lord of Hosts (Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:7)

God's statues and laws were being ignored. This turning away from God's laws had the consequence of placing a barrier between God and His people. His exhortation was for the nation of Israel to "return to Him" in order that He would return to them. Interesting...

Does God move away when we don't follow His leading or His laws? Or is it us that moves from God through our choices whether conscious or sub-conscious?

Can this be applied to people today? Are communities, here in the US and all around the world, choosing to move away from God by choosing their own rules for living?

I look at the majority of huge issues in the world today such as hunger, poverty, war, human trafficking, etc. I see a correlation between high indices of these things with areas of the world that are still non-Christian. While I am sane enough to recognize that the "christianized" places of the world have their own problems, it seems more than coincidental that the "non-christian" places bear the bulk of the world's chronic problems.

Some might call this the luck of the draw. Others might see it as proof of the oppression of the "have nots" by the "haves". I tend to see it as simply the blessing (or lack of blessing) of living life by God's design.

My personal theology is wired to the believe that God doesn't move. He never changes. He always seeks the best for His children. When we are "far" from God, it is not because He has taken up a new residence; it is because we have.

I tend to be a simple person and believe that the laws of the Lord are perfect and good. They revive and refresh the soul. As Creator and Sustainer of all, He is the only One who has the words of life for us to live by. A fool says in his heart, "there is no God" and consequently chooses to live his/her life as if they believed so. A wise man and a wise community/culture/people is the one who finds the One true God of the Bible and places their trust in Him and His plan for their lives.

So, when I see the quote, "Return to Me and I will return to you...", I am led to believe that our returning to God is more of us moving back to Him who has been there all the time. It wasn't He who was us.

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