Don’t be a Proverb

I have nothing against proverbs but this use of the phrase caught me by surprise:

6 But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.’”

And we know the story, we know this happened. Even in the days of Solomon his many wives lead him to "lay hold" of other gods. Being a proverb that teaches wisdom in reverse is not a good thing. Namely, don’t do this, look at the consequences (reminds me of the wizard Tim directing the eyes of King Arthur and his knights to "look at the bones!"). This is that delicate place between the forever promises of God and our relationship with him. I believe this is often forgotten in the concept of covenant. God is giving 100% but is waiting for the response from us. A response that is essential. I picture God’s covenant like the sun, it’s there, it’s shining and you can enjoy the benefits but you can choose to put up an umbrella and block it out. God’s promise is true and remains true but there was no one to receive it, even this place would be abandoned as His people were exiled to Babylon.

Don’t be a proverb, every day we use (or should use) our negative lessons to guide our actions. We may even use them to teach others what not to do (I’ve heard quite a few testimonies like that). Then our lives become a proverb. I’m sure no one who has gone through the horrific and dark valleys in the sometimes voluntary absence of God would wish that again or on anyone else. I suppose if some good comes of it maybe we shouldn’t rule out the possibility that this kind of proverb can help but I would rather in this time, right now!, recognize that God’s love continues, that He is present for you and for me and respond to that; rather than someone walking by the wreck of my life and the ruins left behind to learn a lesson there. God preserve me.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 8:44 am  Comments (1)  

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