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Hardened By the Deceitfulness

August 17, 2014

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Post 2014 08 17 HPIM1259

Hardened  By the Deceitfulness

Most all people are  what could be called  “head strong”.     We just have  a stubborn streak  that won’t give up  —  even when  we know  we are wrong.     It is good  to hold tightly onto  what we know  is a proven truth.     But,  when we hold tightly  onto what is wrong  —  just because  of our pride  and rebellious nature  —  that is when  we make trouble  for ourselves.     The Israelites did that  shortly after being freed  from slavery  in Egypt.

Those Israelites  were eye-witnesses  to the ten plagues  that God afflicted Egypt with  in the process  of freeing Israel  from slavery.     They also experienced God’s deliverance  from the Egyptian army  as they crossed the Red Sea  on dry ground,  but the Egyptians all drowned.     How much more proof  do we people need  of God’s loving care?

Apparently,  we stubbornly want all  of life  to be trouble free  and easy.     But,  that would not be good  for us  —  because we would tend  to forget God  and imagine  that our goodness  has  “earned”  a trouble-free life.     We are sinners,  who are incapable  of earning  blessings.     Without troubles,  our sinful natures  would not be able  to grow  in faith.     So, God wisely needs  to allow troubles  in our lives.     Our job is  to believe  and trust  in God’s saving love.

The Israelites chose  to not believe  God’s promises.     When they needed water  in the wilderness,  their knee-jerk reaction was  to accuse Moses  and God   of trying  to kill them.     They didn’t even try  to put their faith  and hope  in God.     They complained bitterly,  making threatening accusations.     For that reason,  Hebrews 3:12-13  tells us,

Take care,  brethren,  that there not be  in any one  of you  an evil,  unbelieving heart  that falls away  from the living God.     But encourage  one another day after day,  as long as it is still called  “Today”,  so that none  of you  will be hardened  by the deceitfulness  of sin.

In their unbelief,  the Israelites  had instigated  rebellion  in everyone.     No one said anything like,  “Let’s get together  to pray  for water  and praise the LORD  for delivering us  from slavery  in Egypt.”     Therefore  today,  knowing all  that took place  —  and how God  had those rebellious people die  in the desert  over the 40 years  of their travels —  we are being told  to learn  from their experience.

If we choose  to have  rebellious,  “unbelieving hearts”,  we too  will fall  “away  from the living God”  and perish  in our stubborn unbelief.     Hearts  that refuse  to believe  God’s witness  are hardened  by the deceitfulness  of their sins.     Imagining  that our sinful rebellions  against God  will somehow be winners  in the end  is foolhardy  and evil.     We condemn ourselves  when we claim  God is weak  and unloving.     We know  He is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer  of all things.     So, why lie?

Encouraged  by God’s saving love  in Christ Jesus,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for caring  for our souls  and leading us  by Your truths.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

A 2.67 year old says  I Pledge Allegiance

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus by the Yupiq Eskimo village of Quinhagak, Alaska

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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