Daily Devotional: Psalms 81:8-12
8 "Hear, O my people, and I will warn you--if you would but listen to me, O Israel! 9 You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god. 10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. 11 "But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.
18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
A few years ago we took our grandson to a place called Snow Mountain. It is a man-made mountain with man-made snow where one slides on a big tube down the slope. Before one starts there is time to back out and some do this. But once you leave the “starting gate” there is no changing your mind or stopping the ride – it is downhill from that point on and it gets faster and faster!
In many ways life is like this in regard to sin. We choose to get involved. We have time to change our minds and back out. But once we get involved, we usually find that we are on a downhill ride and we get more and more involved and it seems to get faster and faster – with no end in sight. We just go from bad to worse!
Israel gave up on God and would not listen to him so he allowed them to do this and he removed his protection from them. Paul describes the Ephesian Gentiles saying they had given up on God. In Romans he describes these same people and says that because of this, God has given up on them. In both passages he says they go from bad to worse as they find themselves on a down-hill slope in life.
As long as we trust in God and seek to serve him (described as walking by faith or walking in the light) he will never leave us. Paul says of those who are serving God that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! He will not leave us or forsake us but rather continues to cleanse and forgive us in Christ.
Heavenly Father I am so thankful for your faithfulness towards me. Thank you for your patience and your lovingkindness shown to me in your grace. I want to be just like Jesus in all I do and say but I find myself falling short in so many ways. Be with me and give me wisdom to know what is right. Empower me to do what I should as you mold me into what you want me to become. I ask a special prayer for wisdom for the elders and others who are making decisions about your church in the midst of the Covid-19 virus. I pray in the name of Jesus our Lord.