We are a Christian people in a nation that no longer prioritizes the teachings of God. In many ways this new reality feels unknown and scary; the likes of which we have never seen or experienced. In other ways, this reality we are experiencing falls firmly under God’s wisdom in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
The story of God and His people is repetitive and redundant; an unhealthy cycle if you will. Beginning with a perfect relationship with God at creation and followed by the sudden fall that brings destruction. Then God in His mercy extends grace, restores His people and heals the nation around them. Rinse and Repeat. A season of faithfulness and blessing is followed by sin and selfishness that leads to judgment and destruction. Eventually the people of faith repent and are healed by God’s grace.
This current season of judgment and destruction is unknown to us, but we can learn so much about how to handle it through the word of God and the people who have endured these seasons before us. Psalm 14 is a psalm of David who writes about the unfaithful “fools” in the nation around him. David is surrounded by a nation of unbelieving fools who say “there is no God”.
Does this sound familiar? Even if you think fool is too harsh a term, the Biblical definition of fool is one who “hears these Words of mine (Jesus) and does not put it into practice” Matthew 7:26. Remember the wise man who built his house upon a rock? The foolish man knew that it was better to build on a rock, he chose not too for self-serving reasons rather than putting into practice the knowledge he had been taught.
If we are going by that definition of fool then, if we honestly look in the mirror, we discover that at times we are all fools. Anytime we put our own knowledge and desires ahead of the Word of God we are building on sand. When we pursue the accolades of the world at the expense of our godliness we are putting the ideas of man ahead of the truth of God. It can be status, likes on social media, money, marriage, retirement, anything. Tops on the list of deceptions believers fall for today are fear and lack of control, which leads us to actions that make us feel better, even for a moment.
As Psalm 14 continues, David acknowledges that as God surveys the world looking for people who seek after Him, He finds none. At this point the psalm can seem like a downer and our instinct is to look for something a bit more upbeat… “Don’t!” When we embrace the reality of our sin we are no longer controlled by it and fear has no power over us. This is where David leads us! Freedom from fear and regaining control in our lives by shifting form the knowledge of man to the wisdom of God!
“Oh that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!” Zion is the mountain on which God meets His people. The tent is there for David, Solomon builds the temple. The point is that God gifts to His people who turn to Him the salvation for the Nation. It isn’t a political leader or activist; it isn’t a famous preacher or YouTube prophet. It is the people of God turning away from the knowledge of the world and returning to the wisdom of God.
2 Chronicles was written in another period of time when the people of God were more in line with the world than they were with God (see it IS a pattern!). This is the dedication of the Temple of God, just like David wrote in the psalm the solution to the Nation being far from God is in fact the people of God living FOR God. When we repent of our foolishness and call on God’s name to lead US in wisdom, He will also miraculously heal the nation along with us.
“I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Scripture Readings for Sunday, January 29, 2023
Psalm 15; Matt 5:1-12