Monday, April 1, 2013

Being a Fool

“Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, ‘We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm.  But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.’" (Jeremiah 44:15-18 NIV)

Every time I read this passage, the statement, “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD!” leaps off the page and I shudder.  The audaciousness of the statement is something to behold.  And it reminds me of once in my own life when I did the same thing.  

I was in love with a woman.  She had broken off the relationship, but then she seemed to be open to getting back together.  We had struggled in our physical relationship when we were dating and I knew it was displeasing to the Lord; yet, when I was about to travel to see her, knowing I would be staying at her house, I told the Lord I was going to let happen whatever happened.  Just as the men and women of Judah were afraid of displeasing the “Queen of Heaven,” I was afraid to disappoint this woman. I loved her more than the Lord.  I was a fool.  

Just as it ended badly for the Jews in Jeremiah’s day, any hope of reuniting with this woman ended that weekend.  I had dared to tell God that I would intentionally disobey Him and I paid the price.  

On this April Fool’s Day, know there is absolutely nothing more foolish than to deliberately and calculatingly disobey the Lord.  Everyone sins, and we often are aware of it, but it is different to be calculating in our sin, to plan it out.  On occasion I have spoken the message of repentance to college students and I have seen or heard of the derision of some to the message.  It makes me shudder because of the words of the Hebrew writer, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

Only a fool would deliberately disobey the God of the Universe and think there will be no consequence.  Today I am so thankful that God’s grace overcame the folly of this one-time fool.

© Jim Musser 2013

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