When God established the nation of Israel, He said to Abraham:
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing…And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12: 2-3
Our Lord Jesus echoed these words in His Sermon on the Mount: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5: 14-16
God’s purpose for His people then–and God’s purpose for His people now– is that we would live different…that we would live counter to the culture….that we would live HOLY – that we would be that light shining in the darkness tof a world that desperately needs Him.
At the end of our study last week in I Samuel 7 – the people were worshipping God. They had experienced a spiritual high. They had repented, declared their commitment to return to God with ALL their hearts, they had gotten rid of their idols and God faithfully showed up and delivered them from the Philistines.
Samuel knew how prone they were to forget, so he led them to set up a stone – an Ebenezer stone, a “stone of help.”
Every time they looked at it they would be reminded that God is faithful. They would remember that God keeps His promises. And being reminded of what God had done in their past would give them hope and confidence that He would continue to be there in their future.
As we launch into I Samuel 8 this week, about 20-25 years have passed. A long time — enough time for the people to forget about God’s faithfulness and about their call and commitment to be holy and live for Him.
Rather than choosing to stay the course, remain faithful to their faithful God, to choose to be differen, they want to be like all the other nations. They want an earthly king. In demanding a human king to rule over them, they are rejecting God as their king. Clearly, their eyes have shifted from the Ebenezer stone. Their hearts have shifted from focusing on God. The people ask Samuel for a king. Actually, they demand a king. And even after Samuel warns them of all the consequences that will come from an earthly king, they refuse to listen.
I Samuel 8: 19-20 records their response to Samuel’s warning: “But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
Summed up: We want to be like everybody else. We want to adopt the ways of the culture we live in. We don’t want to be different. We don’t want to be holy.
As we sigh and shake our heads in amazement, as we criticize and condemn the people of Israel then, we must examine ourselves and even our churches today. Are we adopting the ways of the world? Do we water down the truth of scripture to blend in, be more relevant and be less controversial?
We must consider that both the end result and the way to get there must bear up under the testing and scrutiny of the truth of scripture.
One of my favorite Bible scholars, Warren Wiersbe, says this: Whenever leadership in a church decays spiritually,
that church becomes more like the world and uses the world’s methods and resources to try to do God’s work. –Warren Wiersbe
We can be smart and savvy–without compromising biblical truth.
Perhaps a re-working of Dr. Wiersbe’s quote might make it applicable to us:
Whenever a woman of God decays spiritually, she becomes more like the world and uses the world’s methods and resources to try to do God’s work.
Ladies, we must do God’s work and we must do it God’s way. We must remain true to Him and His Word. We must choose holiness over even happiness and godliness over expediency. We must choose the joy that comes with living and abiding in Him. We must choose to live different – to live holy…so that our light will shine in the darkness and God will be glorified.
The woman of God is holy.
The definition of holy is simply:
- set apart for a purpose
The church is a holy building because it is set apart for God’s work and for worship. It is different from every other building.
The word of God is holy because it is different from every other book.
And the woman of God is holy because she is set apart for the purpose of glorying God. She is dedicated…devoted…. She chooses to reject the ways of the culture and embrace the joy of living for Him and being a light for Him in the darkness of this world.
How is He calling you to holiness today?
To listen to Laura’s video lesson, click here