2 Chronicles 28:23 Offerings To False gods

On a cliff

He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus, who had defeated him; for he thought, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me.” But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel. 2 Chronicles 28:23 

Seeking help when in need is commonly done all around the world. When someone is seeking help, they will look to where other people are getting their help. It often does not matter where the help comes from, they will accept it.

Often in the process of searching for help, they accept help that is not real or is false help. It is the enemy seeking to find a way to infiltrate and get control.

Ahaz and all of Israel were living in rebellion against God following false gods. When the king of Aram had defeated him, he chose to offer sacrifice to their gods thinking that they may help him also. These became a snare to the nation and brought about their downfall.

Many believers have seen others who have nothing to do with God become very successful. When they see this they choose to follow their ways, rather than God’s ways.

They begin to compromise God’s standards in their lives. They begin to cheat and lie in small ways to get ahead, thinking this is the best way to succeed. They begin to promote ways that do not follow God and accept sin in their lives.

Physical sacrifice to false gods does not happen a lot in many nations, but sacrifice to worldly ways occurs all the time. Allowing sin to reign and using sin to get promoted occurs everywhere. Belief that just because someone is successful it must be good takes over the thinking, rather than looking at the bigger picture of what is really happening. Sinful lifestyles are being ignored and accepted inside the church.

You are called to be in this world, but not of it. You are to be separate from this world, yet a light in this world.

If you are living your life and trusting in the ways of this world as the world does, you are no different. The help that the world often receives is false help and false hope. You have a living God who has made a way for you. Trust in Him alone and sacrifice your life to Him alone.

Don’t allow a downfall come to your life.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust in God alone for your provision and help; that you will not follow the ways of this world; and that you will be a light in this world for Jesus. 

2 Kings 12:3 Not Removing Everything

Houston skyscraper

The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. 2 Kings 12:3

In cleaning out some things, extreme attention to detail must be used. Everything must be cleaned correctly, or it will end up failing. When a doctor is removing cancer cells from a person’s body, he must remove every cell or the cancer will return very quickly. The problem can re-arise when things are not fully done.

There are many things that need to be cleaned with extreme care or there will be problems later on. Cleaning of water, dishes, food, electronic equipment and more. Each one requires that all contaminants be removed. If some contaminants are left, it can cause sickness or damage to something or someone.

Joash had become king at a very young age and was under the guidance of Jehoiada, a priest. He had done very well in doing what was right in God’s eyes, but he did not remove any of the high places to the false gods in the land of Israel. This allowed the people to continue to offer sacrifices to the false gods on a regular basis.

Although at the time, it did not appear to be a problem, allowing these sacrifices would later keep the people from serving God. It would cause them to walk away from God and bring on His wrath against them.

Believers today will often leave sinful things in their lives, instead of cleaning them out. They will keep watching, or listening to things that do not honor God. These things will open the door to greater sins or a turning away from God completely.

Every believer is to strive to walk in the holiness and righteousness that Jesus provided when He died upon the cross. Sin is to be turned away from. The world will strive to bring small sins in to distract and turn the believer away from God, whether the believer accepts those things or not is the choice to be made.

Examine your life and see how clean is your life. What high places are still set up in your life that do not honor God or can turn your heart away from God?

God can reveal where you have altars set up. There should only be one altar in your life–one to God alone. Jesus paid for your life, now live for Him and remove all altars so you don’t get tripped up later on.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will reveal any false altars in your life; that you will have an altar to God in your heart; and that God will strengthen you to turn away from all sin. 

1 Samuel 13:8-9 Taking Things Into Your Own Hands

Impatient man

He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 1 Samuel 13:8-9 

Most people do not like to wait for other people. When they want to get something done, they do it themselves. Often it is because they have been let down by others in the past. Friends or co-workers did not show up, so the job had to be done alone.

Having patience to wait for someone else is not something most people have. They want the help and they want it right away on their own timetable.

Saul had done this very thing. He was getting ready to fight against the Philistines. He and Samuel had agreed to a set date for Samuel to come and offering the sacrifices to God for His favor in the battle.

When Samuel did not show up at the appointed time, Saul immediately took things into his own hands. He proceeded immediately to offer the sacrifices to God, something he was not allowed to do. As soon as he had finished offering the sacrifices, Samuel showed up. It was at this point Samuel stated that God was already beginning to pull the kingdom away from Saul, because he did not obey.

It is common for people to call out to God for help, but do not wait for His answer. Or when they hear Him say He will provide the answer, they do not wait for His timing to answer the prayer.

This is often done out of fear. They do not believe God can or will actually accomplish what He said He would do. Instead of following God’s instructions, they take things into their own hands. This shows a lack of faith in God.

God’s word has said that He will provide for you. When you hear that God will do this, you must trust His words. At those times when God says to wait, you must wait. Do not jump ahead of God and take things into your own hands. Leave the events in His hands.

God is faithful and will not break His word. He will do what He needs to do at the perfect time, not your time. Wait on Him and trust Him.

I pray today that you will trust God’s timing; that you will trust God’s word in your life; that you will obey God’s commands to you; and that you will leave things in God’s hands. 

Hebrews 10:6-7 What Pleases God

 

Man on a river

with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll–I have come to do your will, my God.’ Hebrews 10:6-7

Determining what pleases a god is what a lot of people are trying to do all over the world. People in every religious belief are striving to please their god in whatever way possible.

The majority of people and religions focus on sacrifices to please their god. Several religions will offer animal or food sacrifices, while many will focus on physical sacrifice of self. People will beat themselves or deny themselves of pleasures of food or things in order to attempt to please their god.

While in false religions, where people are worshipping false gods, this is often expected, it also occurs within Christianity. There are many people who are offering sacrifices to attempt to please God. They give up certain things, they get rid of certain things in their attempt. At times this is needed because God has called them to do that sacrifice, but often it is just trying to please God without doing what pleases God.

In the verse today, it is quoting from Psalm 40:6-8 and what Jesus, Himself had also quoted about Himself. God did not really want all of the sacrifices that were prescribed in the Old Testament Law. What He wanted was an obedient heart, a person who would do His will–the very thing Jesus did.

Believers today need to focus on doing God’s will in every area of their lives. There will be times that they must offer a sacrifice, but in order for that sacrifice to mean anything, they must be doing God’s will and desire.

God’s will is for every person to love Him with all of their life and love others also. This means one will do whatever God wants, when He wants and how He wants it done. This means people will strive to be a living example of Jesus to the world.

You are a disciple of Jesus, so you are to live your life just as Jesus did.

Sacrificing your time and money does some good, but to please God focus on doing His will. Find out what God wants you to do and do it with a cheerful heart to the best of your ability. In this way you will please God.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will do what God wants you to do; that your life and heart will please God; that your life will be just like that of Jesus; and that God will be pleased with your thoughts and actions.

Deuteronomy 17:1 Don’t Sacrifice Your Least

Do not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him. Deuteronomy 17:1

After laying down the regulations on the many different types of sacrifices that were to be done, Moses points out to not give an animal with any defect in it. Animals with a defect in them were detestable to God and He did not want them. It would render the sacrifice worthless.

People know that they should give offerings to God and many try to give some type of offering. The way many give, however, is not in a good way. They give out of obligation or guilt rather than love for God. This can be seen in what they give and how they give it.

Today, believers do not have to give sacrifices to God of animals. The sacrifices today are of time, money and other things. Money is only given after all the bills and fun expenses are paid for. It is the bottom of the barrel or left over money that is given as a sacrifice.

Others will give things to those in need, but the objects given are the leftovers or the things no longer wanted and are worn out.

In other words, the things given are defective. These are the things not wanted or given out of guilt, rather than love.

God wants you to give from a loving, caring heart. This giving of a sacrifice to either Himself or to someone else must be done with the best, not the least. Remember that a sacrifice is something that is given up that will cost you something. It is something given that is not easy to give.

Once given, you must trust God to meet your needs, because you have given up something that is needed for yourself also. Just as the Israelites could have used the animal given, you can use what is given.

How are you giving to God today?

Are you sacrificing your best?

Or are you getting rid of what you no longer want?

I pray today that you will give only your best to God; that you will trust God to meet your needs; that you will sacrifice out of love for God and others; that your sacrifices will be acceptable to God; and that God will touch many through your giving.

Leviticus 4:1-2 Unitentional Sins

“The LORD said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands–” Leviticus 4:1-2

As God is giving Moses the directions for the different sacrifices required, one of them is for sinning unintentionally. This is a sin where a person accidently slips up and sins, rather than a premeditated sin. God goes into some great detail as to what can be sacrificed and how to go about it in the verses following.

People will sin. It is a part of the human life since the fall of Adam. Every person has inherited the desire to sin against God. Each person wants to do his/her own thing and not allow God into the picture.

Most people think of sin as only doing things that God commanded not to do in the Bible or just those “bad” things, like murder and stealing. However, doing anything that God does not want you to do is a sin. This can include doing good things that God has told you not to do.

A lot of people will have a problem with that last statement. How can something good be a sin? It is because God has not told you to do it.

In this way, these can be sins that are unintentional. You did not mean to do those as a sin, but it still was a sin.

God offers forgiveness for it. In the Old Testament it was a process of offering the correct animal for sacrifice, and having it sacrificed in the proper way. If the process was not followed correctly, the sacrifice was not accepted and the person was not forgiven.

Today, forgiveness is found in Jesus. Before you can be forgiven though, there is a process that must be followed. You must go before Jesus and ask for that forgiveness. You must also believe that He will forgive you. You must believe in His death and resurrection.

Take out any of the parts of the process, and you may not be forgiven.

Whenever you find yourself having done some sin, immediately seek God and His forgiveness. Turn from your sins and start to follow God again.

God is not seeking to destroy you, but to forgive you and help you live for Him. Don’t stay in your sin. Accept Jesus.

I pray today that you will know Jesus personally; that you will know the forgiveness He offers you; that you will seek the forgiveness of Jesus; and that God will help you turn from all sin.