Whenever we think of God we seem to ONLY think about the good things he does. He blesses us, he keeps us, he delivers us, he guides us, he opens up doors for us. All of this stuff is great, however we can't stop our thinking there. Just as God gives us all of these things he can surely take it away. Just as Jael mentioned yesterday on Merciful Mondays, there has to be a reciprocal type of relationship. We can't just expect all of this stuff from God without putting work in. Just as we take his protection, guidance, love, and peace we have to give something in return. Now we can never repay God but we can give him our hearts, mind, soul, obedience, respect, and faithfulness.
Today's reading in 1 Samuel talked about the backlash or punishment for a lack of a better word, that Eli got because of the actions of his household. Prior to the distasteful actions made by Eli and his sons, the Lord promised them longevity in life and God eventually took that away from them. He also promised that Eli's sons will die on the same day and it will be a sign to Eli. When reading this passage I immediately was shocked at how harsh God was being. This eventually changed once I was able to sit back and reflect on the situation. How many times does God bless us when we don't deserve it? I always feel like I'm unworthy of his blessings. I say this because I'm human, born into sin, and I fall short all of the time. However, God always finds it in his heart to treat me not as my sins deserve. We are constantly subject to HIS mercy.
God promised Eli all of these blessings. He made them priests. He led his ancestors out of Egypt. He protected Eli and his family. He blessed them with status. He guided and directed their paths. The issue came when Eli and his sons did not do their part and they strayed from the promises of God. Most of the traumatic situations that happen to us are experiences that we place on ourselves. Do you think that God wants half of the things that happen to us to really happen to us? In my heart I know that answer is no. He loves us when we don't love ourselves.
I think it is always important to understand that God doesn't necessarily need us...we need him! When it is all said and done, HE IS GOD ALONE. We cannot out-give him or even out-love him. We are constantly subject to his mercy and not the other way around. I know a lot of us have to get out of this mindset that whenever we do something for God that we are doing him a favor. We're not! In Psalms 50 we understand just how powerful God really is. If he is hungry he doesn't need us to feed him because he made the animals. In the same breath, if he needed anything in this world he could have just that because the world is his.
How can you ever repay a man who gave his only son so that we might have life? God didn't only do it for all of the Christians, he did it for the atheists, the Jews, the muslins, he did it for ALL of us. We can start by being faithful in offerings, obedient, kind to others, and respectful to him. Just as he has given us all of these wonderful things in life, he can surely take them away just as he did to Eli and his sons. Yes God is good and great, however he is still God and we are HIS people who are at his mercy.
Challenge: I challenge everyone to be conscious of the things that you do. Try to sacrifice something this week as a way of honoring God. Often times we take simple things for granted unaware of the consequences of our actions. It's a sad thing to know that something that you did will negatively affect generations after you. Hold onto God's promises and in the meantime when God gives you something, think of a way to give God something back in return.
It's Never Too Late To Transform Your Tuesdays :)
TRANSFORMING TUESDAY: JAMERA