I think we all have at one time or another sat down and pondered some of the choices we have made. Some were good and turned out well; others were not so good and brought us close to a disaster.
When opportunities arise, we have to use wisdom in our decision-making process; especially in regard to those opportunities where we can supposedly make a lot of money quickly. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. If we are being pressured to purchase something—for instance a vehicle which has been only driven allegedly by a little old lady from Pasadena— then we ought to be on guard. This is also true when buying shares in a company when we are told that it is guaranteed that we will double our investment in a short period of time. The higher the financial commitment, the more we should take time to decide on what to do, including perhaps walking away from a supposed deal. We would not buy a house, no matter how good the deal sounds, without seeing it, having it checked out by a professional inspector and ascertaining whether there were any liens against the title. God assures us that there is wisdom in seeking proper counsel.
God gave the nation of Israel a choice—receiving blessings through obedience or curses from not obeying. His laws were given to express their love for God, as summarized in the first four of the Ten Commandments, and their love for man, as explained in the last six commandments. They had to follow these rules, which are further expounded in many statutes and judgments, in order to obtain physical blessings and protection from God.
The motivation for keeping the commandments should be the demonstration of our love for God and man; knowing of course that our disobedience would bring about punishment and retribution for sinning. But fear of punishment should not be our primary motivation for obeying God; rather, it should be our love for God and man and for the Truth that convicts us to obey.The nation of Israel frustrated God by their disobedience, and how quickly they turned away from God! One of their problems was that they did not totally cleanse the territory they occupied of the existing inhabitants who in time corrupted their worship of God, and they turned to Baal worship and even went as far as sacrificing their children on the altar of pagan gods which surprised God who stated that such evil conduct had not even entered His mind.
In Jeremiah 32:35, He says: “And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”
That’s a pretty astonishing statement that it did not even enter God’s mind that His people would engage in such abominable and detestable conduct.
God’s relationship with the nation of Israel was, figuratively speaking, one of husband and wife, but they broke their “marriage” covenant on a continual basis, and thus, God had to divorce them.
Jeremiah 31:32 explains that God made a covenant “‘with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,’ says the LORD.”
Consequently, we read in Jeremiah 3:8: “Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.”
Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament, will marry converted Israelites at the time of His return. He betrothed the New Testament church to Him which was established in 31 AD. It is described as the bride of Christ, consisting of all converted Church members who are obligated to follow the same rules of obedience, but they have been promised a much greater reward than physical Israel and Judah in Old Testament times had been offered.
Revelation 21:9 says: “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’”
Ephesians 5:24-27, 32 adds: “Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish… This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
The great mystery is that Christ is betrothed to His Church, figuratively speaking, whom He will marry as His bride at His return.
So, we are faced with a choice. Will we be obedient to God by keeping His laws and statutes, which are still in force today, and receive a much greater reward than what the nation of Israel was offered? Theirs was a physical reward while ours is eternal rulership in the Kingdom of God. While eternal life as God beings is a gift, our reward is based on our works and includes ruling with and under Christ in the Millennium and down through eternity. Or, will we fall short by rebelling and refusing to repent of our sins and thus disqualify ourselves from the great gift of eternal life as God beings and from the reward of eternal rulership Christ is anxious to give us?
Life is full of choices, but the most important one we face is either one of glory or one of shame.
Let’s bring joy to our Husband (Jesus Christ) by making the right choice. Either way, it’s for eternity.