From the very beginning, Israel felt the pull of the world tugging at them from all sides. God promised them that they were His people, His children, He would be with them, and that He had an ultimate plan for their redemption. If they obeyed His commands, they would receive blessings.
Psalm 82:6: I say, ‘You are gods; you are all children of the Most High.
Deuteronomy 12:28: Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.
Even with these promises and assurances, we see consistently throughout the Old Testament that the people found it very difficult to remain separate as God’s people. They were a people set apart, but living in and among people of the world. The Hebrew people allowed rituals and idols of the surrounding nations to infiltrate their lives, and repeatedly experienced punishment because of it.
Isaiah 40:1-3: “Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God.“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins. Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!
God knows our hearts, and our tendency to be tugged in the directions the world pulls us. It is no surprise to Him when we stumble and make wrong decisions, but He loves us and desires for us to have a right relationship with Him despite this. To overcome the barrier sin created, He designed a new covenant with us and sent His Son, the promised Messiah to be our Saviour and Ultimate Sacrifice.
John 14:6: Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
God redeemed His people, just as He had promised, and created a way for us to connect and be in right relationship with Him.
Do you recognize when you are being pulled into the world?
Why are the things the world offers so alluring even when we have received the gift of salvation?
God knows your heart, even more deeply than you. Do you understand that He loves you and desires a relationship with you in spite of the reality of your humanity?
Do those around you know that you are not of this world?
How can you make it evident that you are in Christ and not in the world?