Following The Crowd 

Exodus 23:2
“You shall not follow a crowd to do evil…”

The Law of God was given as a standard to show the people their need for a Savior, and as a pattern to ensure that the people lived righteous lives. Here we find a principle that would protect Israel from becoming like the surrounding pagan nations. God is declaring that popular opinion is not what determines right from wrong. Almost every child has heard his parents say, “Would you jump off a cliff if your friends were doing it?” We attempt to instill within our children the principle that just because the crowd is behaving a certain way, it does not make it right. Sociologist refer to “mob mentality.” They say it is possible for individuals to lose the ability to think for themselves, and begin to follow whatever the crowd is doing. Living in a democratic state can make this even more complicated. God declares to Israel that popular vote is not the standard of righteousness. If all the people vote to erect a golden calf to represent God, that does not make God a gold cow. His righteous standard will never be changed simply by getting a crowd to reject it.

We live in a time, perhaps like no other, where the Word of God is challenged. The very foundational principles of righteousness are being questioned, ridiculed, and legislated away. We need to keep in mind, righteousness is not a floating standard that can be voted upon. No matter what society tells us, God has a standard of right and wrong, and we must not follow a crowd to do evil.

Pastor Jim

Survival 

2 Kings 24:3
“Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done.”

The final chapters of 2 Kings tell the story of the death of a nation. After having a glorious beginning, and being miraculously sustained for a thousand years, the nation of Judah is defeated, the Temple destroyed, and the people taken as prisoners of war. These chapters record their collapse from heaven’s perspective. It was not caused by economic failure, a weak foreign policy, or because Babylon was a superior foe. Judah’s demise was simply a consequence of national sin, “…because of the sins of Manasseh…”

Certainly our nation is facing some very trying times. While the economists, sociologists and politicians dispense reasons for the social calamities we are facing, heaven sees the same symptoms, with an entirely different diagnosis. The problem is not the economy, our foreign policy, or the weakness of our borders. Our problem is sin. We, as a people, have left the ways of God and are reaping the consequences. The solution for any person, family, or nation is to turn back to the Lord.

This does not mean we go back in time. To become a godly people in no way implies technology or advances in science are wrong. It means we stop redefining sin and righteousness, and live according to the of the Word of God.

The place to start is in our personal lives, and in our homes. If we want to see a nation transformed, it will begin with you examining your own life, and being sure you are living to please the Lord. Instead of bickering about all that is wrong in the world, take some time to examine yourself, in light of the Word of God, and make any changes that are necessary. As your life is transformed, you will find God uses you to impact others for the kingdom of heaven.

What we need in America today is a revival, and it starts with the believers turning their lives over to the Lord.

Pastor Jim

 

Pay Attention 

2 Kings 21:1-2
“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.”

Manasseh, king of Judah, will go down in history as the king who caused the fall of the nation. It was not his foreign policy, his economic plan, or his tax code, that killed the nation. Instead, it was his view of God and his stance regarding sin that would weaken the nation, and lead to its collapse. Later we read,

2 Kings 23:26 “Nevertheless the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him.”

The sins of Manasseh include rebuilding high places, building altars to false gods, practicing soothsaying, and even sacrificing his children on altars to false gods. But the real driving force behind his sin was that he “paid no attention” to the word of God.

Our sins and their consequences may look entirely different than those of this ancient king, but the ultimate cause is always the same. When we ignore the Word and ways of God, and do life our own way, we will find ourselves living for things that will destroy us, and negatively impact the generations that follow us. For our sake, and the sake of those who will follow, we should carefully examine the Word of a God, and live according to the ways of God.

Pastor Jim