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I Am The Lord

by Steve Countryman  
5/28/2011 / Christian Living

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. As Christians we are to know who the Lord is. We are to know about God and fully understand that He alone is God. There are many examples in the Bible of people who thought they knew gods but missed knowing the God. Most of these people were not average people but were considered the elite and well educated for their time. They were well bread and most of them grew up in royalty. They were taught by top scholars and philosophers of their day. They were considered wise, knowledgeable and powerful leaders of their day. But not all of them could or would except the belief of or acknowledging and worshiping the only one true God.

1 Kings 13: 4-6, 33-34 4When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, "Seize him!" But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. 5 Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD. 6 Then the king said to the man of God, "Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored." So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king's hand was restored and became as it was before. 33 Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34 This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth. Jeroboam treated God as just another god not as the God appointing anyone to be priest even after his hand had shriveled up.

Daniel 2:46-47 46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery." Nebuchadnezzar placed God among ALL the other gods but not as the one and only God.

Exodus chapters 7 though 12 shows how God delivered His people from Egypt by performing miracle, signs and wonders of such magnitude that Pharaoh finally agreed to let God's people go. Pharaoh saw and witnessed these things first hand what God had done that none of his gods could begin to do and yet he wouldn't acknowledge Jehovah God as the one and only true God.

These Kings were all witnesses to God's might and power. They treated God as one of many gods not as the one and only God. They continued to worship their worthless gods. They made their gods, religions and their rituals to accommodate their sinful lives. They made their gods in their image, an image of wicked, destructive and sinful lifestyles. Their own manmade gods were powerless and lifeless images. But because they valued their own sinfulness and power above having to answer to a supreme being they chose to ignore God as the one and only true God to their own destruction. Their decisions not only affected their own lives but that of the people whom they represented causing their own people to sin and turn from God.

Hosea 11:1-11 1"When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. 2 As they called them, So they went from them; They sacrificed to the Baals, And burned incense to carved images. 3 " I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by their arms; But they did not know that I healed them. 4 I drew them with gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them. 5 " He shall not return to the land of Egypt; But the Assyrian shall be his king, Because they refused to repent. 6 And the sword shall slash in his cities, Devour his districts, And consume them, Because of their own counsels. 7 My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, None at all exalt Him. 8 " How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror. 10 " They shall walk after the LORD. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, Then His sons shall come trembling from the west; 11 They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, Like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses," Says the LORD. It is amazing that some people think of God as some mean, vindictive and hateful supreme being who enjoys torturing and killing people. What you find out once you ask them is that most of them haven't even read the Bible. The Old Testament gives example after example of God's love and mercy. Time and time again God would send the prophets to warn them about worshipping false gods, sinful lifestyles and to turn back to God but in most cases the people would ignore or kill the prophets. The prophets would tell them what would happen if they refused to turn back to God. And each time God passed judgment on His people, not once did God ever take delight in their punishment and suffering. His only delight was in His faithfulness to His Word. What normal parent enjoys punishing their child? Most of the time it hurts you more than it hurts them. That is how God felt each and every time He punished His people.

2 Kings 17:28-33 28 So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the LORD. 29 Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places. 30 The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. 33 They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.

This passage is a good representation of the modern church today. Today's church is so busy trying to increase membership that they have missed the message of embracing the sinner but not the sin. Today's church is embracing the sin along with the sinner to be more tolerant, politically correct and to be a "seeker friendly" church. They have tried to mix the world's beliefs in with the Bible and have removed Jesus in the process. Salvation is now based on how much you love others by condoning their sinful lifestyles and calling it tolerance and diversity. What is sad is that they call themselves Christians. They dishonor God and His Word with their actions. Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We serve a jealous God. Even though now days we don't see statues of false gods being worshiped; we do have our gods that get way too much of our attention, time and money. I heard once before that all someone has to do is to look over your debit/credit card statements and see exactly what your god is. Wherever you spend the most money and time is most likely going to be your god. It might be a bad habit, sinful addictions to drugs, alcohol, parties, sex or gambling. It might be that your entire life is wrapped up in your hobbies, sports teams, clubs or groups or even your children's lives and extra curricular activity. Some people have even made their religion their god and spend all their time serving their religion but not serving God. God wants your undivided attention during a part of your busy day. Just some quiet time spent with you and God the Father daily. Remember that God created you for His pleasure not yours so finding time for your creator isn't asking much.

This is important to God that is why it is the first commandment. Exodus 20:2-7 2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3"You shall have no other gods before me. 4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Jehovah God is God and He is NOT Allah, Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, Bhagwan, Ek Onkar, Baal or Baha! God is the God, the One and only God and there is no other! God should always be treated with all the respect, honor, glory, praise and worship that He richly deserves. If you haven't done so already it is time to reprioritize your life. Time to make God first in your life instead of trying to fit Him in whenever and wherever you can. God deserves to be in a place of honor in your life not stuck on a dusty old shelf where you bring Him down occasionally when you're in trouble. God deserves your best not your leftovers! The time is "ripe"!!!

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