Deaf & Defiant

May 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Leadership

Stiff-Necked – Rebellious – Hard-Hearted – Arrogant – Presumptuous – Corrupt.   Quite a collection of adjectives. This is only a partial list of descriptive terms the OT Prophets used concerning Israel and Judah.

To Jeremiah the religious establishment said: So come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says; Jer. 18:18b (NIV).

Come, let us strike him with our tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words; Jer. 18:18b (ESV).

King Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom; Amos 7:12-13 (NIV). Turf wars have been part and parcel of the leadership challenge from the beginning of time.

I was recently attacked on Face Book for suggesting that the church in America needs Reformation & Renewal and that we desired to play a role in that effort. My attacker was not suggesting that the church was ok as is. He was appealing for the total abandonment of the institutional church. He was throwing the baby out with the bath.

As we read the record of the OT Prophets, God always had His remnant. They were interspersed with those who were arrogant rebels. There were from the very beginning, from the deliverance from Egypt, only two (2) leaders who trusted and obeyed God completely – - Joshua and Caleb. The other ten were impostors. They had the title of leader. They had the challenge and task of leadership. But, they were phonies. When the chips were down, they folded like a cheap accordion. Sad!

There are undeniable parallels between Israel of old and the church in America in terms of the adjectival descriptors used by the OT Prophets. They certainly fit the church to a “T”. OT Israel was Deaf & Defiant. The church in America is Deaf & Defiant. However, there are also those people, saints to the core, who love God and live to honor Him. We will continue to seek that remnant. They have a readiness to embrace Truth and lead others to do the same. When God leads us to them, we will pour ourselves and the resources He has graciously given us into equipping them and seek to bring genuine and lasting transformation to all those who walk in His light!

Do you need a good portrait  in the words of Peterson “A Long Obedience in The Same Direction?” Read Jeremiah 35. This is the record of the Recabites. They honored the covenant their forefathers made with Jehovah God for hundreds of years. They are a true portrait of a Faithful Remnant.

If you are in this category, stay by the stuff. Let the critics wail. Let them attack you with their tongues. Let them ignore every word you say. Being true to God and His Word in both conviction and conduct always brings His blessing.Let me share a quote from the life of Abraham Kuyper:

When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.

There is no greater joy than to know you are giving your all to honor and glorify the King of Kings. What a great way to live, and perhaps die!

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