Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.

Monthly Archive: February 2018

Friday

16

February 2018

0

COMMENTS

Second Commandments- “No Idols”

Written by , Posted in Uncategorized

tenCommandmentsWallpaperIn our journey through the Ten Commandments, we come to the second command which is a prohibition against idols:  “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6

In reading this command, we can’t help but wonder why idolatry is so serious that God would forbid it? Why would the making of figures or objects of worship carry with it such severe consequences?

The Old Testament record reveals that when Israel drifted into idolatry it was met with great loss. Because of idolatry, Israel failed to reach the promise land under Moses’ leadership.

Even in the New Testament, the Apostle John warns those under his pastoral care, Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”  This very clearly shows that idolatry is not a throw back sin of primitive cultures, but rather a clear and present danger for all of humanity for all of time. (more…)

Friday

9

February 2018

0

COMMENTS

First Commandment- “No other gods before Me”

Written by , Posted in Church Life, Devotional

tenCommandmentsWallpaperIn our last post introducing the Ten Commandments, we established these words were not suggestions.  They were given as merciful words of life, and as authoritative words from the God who is.

The account of Israel’s exodus out of Egypt is amazing. Once this nation of slaves was freed by the hand of God, we find them gathered at the base of Mt. Sinai by God’s direction and appointment.  From this mountain, God speaks to His people and gives to them His Law.

The first commandment is one of priority as God establishes a foundation for His people by declaring, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3)

Before we learn other things about what God demands, we need to know who He is and who we are in relationship to Him.  God goes on record by saying that He refuses to share worship that is rightly to be given to Him. (more…)

Tuesday

6

February 2018

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COMMENTS

There is a Shark in the Tank, And For Good Reason

Written by , Posted in Church Life, Devotional

635576994451396582-great-white-1I once read of a British fisherman who would troll the North Sea for mackerel. His fishing expeditions would yield abundant catches, but because it was before refrigeration, many of the mackerel would die on his trip back to market.

On one particular trip, the fisherman caught a small shark in one of his nets and had to dump it into the tank along with the other fish. The shark chased the other fish and kept them moving throughout the remainder of his voyage to shore.  When he arrived back, the fisherman discovered to his surprise that there was not a single dead fish in the holding tank. The mackerel had been forced to move around to avoid the shark that they didn’t have time to die!

I will always be amazed at how God places sharks, as it were, into the tank of our lives.  To be a follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean that we will be carried to skies on flowery beds of ease. In fact, one of the most unpopular promises given to believers in the New Testament is that sometimes following Christ means trials, persecution, sufferings, and excruciating loss. (more…)

Friday

2

February 2018

0

COMMENTS

They Are Not The Ten Suggestions

Written by , Posted in Devotional, Faith & Culture

tenCommandmentsWallpaperThirty years ago Ted Koppel, the noted journalist, addressed the graduating class of Duke University.  In his commencement address, Koppel made this compelling statement:

“We have actually convinced ourselves that slogans will save us. ‘Shoot up if you must; but use a clean needle.’ ‘Enjoy sex whenever with whomever you wish; but wear a condom.’ No. The answer is no. Not no because it isn’t cool or smart or because you might end up in jail or dying in an AIDS ward — but no, because it’s wrong. What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions, they are Commandments. Are, not were… The sheer brilliance of the Ten Commandments is that they codify, in a handful of words, acceptable human behavior. Not just for then or now but for all time.”

Koppel’s words cut like knife in an age which treats the concept of objective truth, “right and wrong,” like a wax nose, where one can custom craft their morality according to what they think is right.

Koppel was correct to affirm that when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai written upon the tablets of stone were not suggestions. They were not helpful hints to tweak your life. No, these words written by the hand of God were loving commandments given to His people to guard them and bless them.  Israel was fully warned that to forsake the commandments of God would bring terrible consequences (Deuteronomy 28:47). (more…)