Walking Through The Land 

1 Kings 16:32
“Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.”

If a traveler from a distant land were to arrive in Israel during the reign of Ahab, there would be little to convince him that these were a people chosen by God. If he entered from the north, the first thing to catch his eye would have been a massive altar built on a high hill in the area of Dan. This altar was erected to give worship to a massive golden cow the people revered as their god. If he came from the south, he would see a similar site erected in Bethel. If he made his way into the heart of the nation, to the newly built city of Samaria, he would find the focal point of the city was an altar built to Baal, the god of fertility. If our traveler were to continue through the towns and villages of Israel, he would see a wide variety of altars and high places built to almost every imaginable god under the son. Essentially, Israel had deteriorated from a nation whose purpose was to glorify YHWH, and be a beacon of light to the world, to a nation just like their neighbors. They had all the same problems, and addressed them with all the same solutions, as those who had never met the Lord.

I wonder what our fictitious friend would find if he were to enter our homes? If he opened the video cabinet, the refrigerator, or scanned through the search history on our computers or mobile devices, would he find different results than our neighbors who have never met Christ? If he observed the way we treat our spouse, or the time we give to personal devotions, would he conclude we were a people who desire to please God and obey His Word? If he were to measure the amount of time we spend instructing our children in the Word, and encouraging the behaviors that please the Lord, would he have hope that the next generation will follow Christ more closely than the current one?

Israel failed because they never got off the path on which Jeroboam put them. The longer they walked that road, the farther they got from the Lord. Perhaps it is time to stop going down the road you are traveling and make some changes in the way you apply Christ to your daily living. While this may seem like an insurmountable challenge, it is really as simple as turning to the Lord for help.

Pastor Jim

 

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