The Know-It-Alls and What They Missed
The people saw it all and knew it all
As we read the Old Testament we see that the Israelites got signs and wonders numerous times. They saw signs and wonders right from the start. Sometimes it was through what they heard of God doing wonders in the lives of their forefathers or sometimes it was a miracle in front of their eyes.
What did God do in the lives of their forefathers? A few are listed below:
1) A son when Abraham was very old( Genesis 18:11, Genesis 21:5)
2) The dreams Jacob and Joseph had.
3) The burning bush.
4) Plagues on Egypt and the Passover.
5) Birth of Samuel to a barren woman and young David being anointed to be the future king.
What did God do in their lives?
1) Parting of the Red Sea into two for them to cross it.
2) Provision of water and manna for them in the desert.
3) In 2 Chronicles 7:1 fire consumed the burnt offering in front of the whole assembly of Israel.
4) Miraculous victory in many battles under many later kings after Solomon ( 2 Chronicles 16:8, 1 Kings 20:13, 22, 28).
Yet, despite all these, they turned back to idol worship and detestable practices.
'There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.' 1 Kings 18:24
Here the term 'detestable practices' may include many other sins other than idol worship.
They had it all
It is imperative to note that the Israelites about whom this aforesaid verse speaks of are not poor, illiterate or scattered people. This text refers to the time when Solomon had just died and his son Rehoboam had taken over as the king of Israel.
It is written that the Israelites were given positions of officers and officials. None of them were slaves anymore.
'But none of the sons of Israel hath Solomon made servants for his work, but they are men of war, and heads of his captains, and heads of his charioteers, and of his horsemen;
They were also King Solomon's chief officials--two hundred and fifty officials supervising the men.' ( 2 Chronicles 8:9,10)
Further, we read about the prosperity of Israel in those days in 2 Chronicles 1:15 'The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.'
So we conclude that these people were not fools to slip into sin so easily. They had everything that our human mind could think of to keep one away from doing wrong. That everything can be summarised as given below-
(i) They had the two stone tablets in the ark of God ( 1 Kings 8:9) on which the ten commandments were written. They were literate and could read it.
(ii) They were not beggars or financially unstable so as to be lured into doing anything for pleasure. They were well to do because that is what we expect of officers and officials to be.
(iii) They had seen God's signs and wonders both first hand and second hand.
(iv) They knew very well about the consequences of doing wrong through various experiences recorded in the Bible.
Then what was missing in their lives that drew them into detestable practices and idol worship?
The missing part in the puzzle of the know-it-alls
The Holy Spirit was missing. He was missing as an everyday companion who can keep us away from sin, lead us into fellowship with God and be our continual prayer partner. He was the One who descended after Jesus ascended into heaven to fulfill the Law. The gap in the Law that made it difficult for the people to attain righteousness through works was filled through Jesus when He became our righteousness and through the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgment.
'God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)'
'But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because they do not believe in Me.' ( John 16: 7,8,9)
Jesus became the righteousness of God for everyone who believes. So if we have repented and believed in our hearts that Jesus is Lord, that He died and rose again as the one and only sacrifice and punishment for our sins and have confessed the same with our mouths then He is our righteousness. If we are filled with His Holy Spirit then He guides us and cautions us before we step into a wrong path. Not only this, but the multi-dimensional personality of the Holy Spirit also teaches us to pray and helps us in our weaknesses. Jesus finished the work of our salvation on the cross. Now the history that we read about in the Old Testament will not repeat itself. Now if the fire has been kindled then its flames are forever. The old temporary fire on the altar and the old man has gone. The new permanent fire from heaven has descended and established His temple in the hearts of the children of God. This is the new fire that spreads and flames forever. This is the new fire that has brought heaven on earth with God forever in His people. This is the Holy Fire and our most precious treasure.
© 2019 Lincy Francis