“But if you people ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, and decide to serve and worship other gods, then I will remove you from my land I have given you, I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, and I will make you an object of mockery and ridicule among all the nations…”
II Chron. 7v19-20
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Passages like this show up a lot in the hebrew scriptures, and for a long time I never really knew how to react to them.
God seemed a bit bipolar, if you do what he wants, you get crazy blessings,
But if you don’t?
Destruction, chaos, and death
I still don’t have the whole thing figured out, but I know this:
The Lord of all creation, who sustains life, has left it up to us, his people,
to carry his name in the world.
The call for the nation of Israel was to bring all people into worship of the one true God.
So I began to realize, that it wasn’t just that God likes getting his way, or some sort of control complex,
It’s that lives are hanging in the balance
The advancement of God’s kingdom and Shalom rest on his people’s shoulders
and he’s incredibly serious about the fulfillment of that Shalom in every tribe and nation.
So to reject him and worship idols?
Of course we need correction then.
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And for me that’s where this connected with Jesus’ washing his disciples’ feet in John’s Gospel:
He commands us to do the same thing he did.
And he’s serious!
To become the least, regardless of social status
The Kingdom of God is like the greatest Rabbi to ever walk the earth,
washing the feet of his disciples,
even the one who would betray him
The Kingdom of God is like a CEO washing his employees’ cars
The Kingdom of God is like a Pastor scrubbing toilets
So often I take serving other people lightly, without really thinking of what I’m doing
Just going through the motions
Serving is how we show the world what Jesus is like
It’s how we carry his name, and bring his Shalom
And He’s incredibly serious about including every tribe tongue and nation in his Kingdom.