Thursday, July 10, 2008

It Can Get Nasty People

On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon...came to Jerusalem. He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down. He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord's temple...and they set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall of Judah went into captivity, away from her land.

2 Kings 25 and 2 Chronicles 36

The Temple is mentioned over and over in the Old Testament. Her plight and her plunder are the main point of each story as the people of God when into captivity. The sin of the people left them broken, lost, and punished by the hands of their enemy. Their sin led them into the hands of captors.

They had been ushered into captivity and their temple had been raped and ransacked. I'm certain the heart of God broke that day.

He had warned her, Israel, His people. He had given them enough warning that would dictate their lives. They could either believe Him and obey Him and be blessed beyond measure. Or, they could keep unbelief tied around their hearts, disobey Him and be led into a place of captivity. It was their choice.

Let us not be too quick to read these passages and say, "But, it says that God brought this on them." Yes, but not without fair warning. At first glance, it doesn't seem fair. Well, God isn't fair, He's just.

Remember, God is about His glory and His Name within and out of His Love. These things only go hand in hand with the firm grip of Justice. Sometimes, justice is the heavy hand of Love.

This is true in our lives as well. We too can be spiritually raped and ransacked by an even greater Captor than Nebuchadnezzar. This one is ruthless. The Bible calls him The Father of Lies, the Lion that prowls around looking for someone to devour, the Snake, the Enemy.

Has he ever made it inside your temple? Have you ever found yourself wrapped up in sin and realized your temple had plundered?

How did I get here?
What happened to my faith?
How could I do that again?

Captive. Or, another word...stronghold.

Let's take some Old Testament imagery and apply it to us.

I like doing this!

...he set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem

Our enemy will not only ransack you personally, but our sin and what we do with it affects our entire circumstances. Sin is never isolated. It always affects something or someone.

He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord's temple

Satan doesn't stop at just temptation. He'll come right in and try and strip you of what you hold dear: your faith, your hope, your belief, your truth. This is why it's so important, so imperative that we stay incredibly connected with Jesus at all times. Our enemy knows our weaknesses and will prey on them. But, do not be afraid, the One in us is greater than the devil and when we are tempted God will provide a way out!! (2 Corinthians 10:13)

and broke down the wall of Jerusalem

Picture the outer wall of the tabernacle like your heart, soul, and mind. What you do with your mind, how you ingest the Word, who you are accountable to, these are the things that make up the fortifying wall around you. Not only that, but the Holy Spirit will take up position around you and guard your heart and mind in Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) You must be yielded to the power of the Spirit to ensure that the devil can tear down your wall of Faith, Hope and Love!

so Judah went into captivity, away from her land

This is NOT where we want to be. Our God will give us the power through Jesus to tear down every stronghold, every thing that sets itself up against God and puts us in captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5), away from the spacious land of free , can be brought down by the Word of the Lord and the Blood of Jesus. (Psalm 32:7 and 18:19, Revelation 12:10, 11)

Just like the Temple of Old, we were not made to be left in the hands of our enemy. We were made to house the Spirit of God and make Him glorious! Our sin will keep that from happening. Only through the power of that Spirit can we be all God destined for us to be.

Jesus has become for us the repairer of our Temples. He will return to you your faith, hope, love and truth and make you strong in Him by the same power that raised Him from the dead. (Ephesians 1:15-23)

This is why we surrender everything to Him. Everything. He will make us strong against our enemy and we can have the victory!!

Can I get a Whoop! Whoop! I needed to do that because the post was waaay serious. Well, what do you expect when we talk about stuff like this!

Now, go relax in Christ and give the devil a swift kick in the booty!


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