56Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:
57But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
59When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:
60So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
61And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.
62He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.
63The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.
64Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.
Abhorred by God
What had they done? What sin had the nation of Israel committed that caused the Psalmist to write the following?
When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel.
Abhorred by God! Israel provoked God to anger by their religious practices of worshiping in the high places and bowing to graven images. It hardly seems possible that a nation which had experienced such marvelous miracles by the hand of God could so quickly turn away from Him.
Is it possible that Christians can so anger God by diluting their worship of Him by mixing the practices of the world in their worship that He would actually give strength to their enemies? Is it possible that a nation such as the United States, whose laws were originally founded upon the Word of God, could face defeat at the hands of God's enemies?
Yes and yes! It is dangerous to presume upon God. We have a tendency to think that God owes us because, even though we sin, we are so much more righteous than those who worship other gods. So, while we divert our Christian walk by setting our hearts upon the things of this world rather than our service to God, we are confident that God will honor whatever crumbs of service we throw at Him!
That may seem a little harsh, but that is exactly what Israel did. They did not stop following Him, but, rather, they mixed their worship of other gods with their worship of God. They did not believe that God would ever allow Jerusalem, the city of God, to be conquered by other nations. After all, Jerusalem housed the Temple which contained the Holy of Holies.
What does God require of His people? What did Jesus say was the first and greatest commandment?
29And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (Mark 12:29-30, King James Version)
What is required so that one is not abhorred by God? We must love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength.
Let us take some time today to go before God and confess our lack of commitment to Him, and pray for His strength, help, and guidance that we may live our lives in a manner which is pleasing to Him. No matter what our calling in life may be, our number one calling is our commitment to Christ.
Oh what a wonder that Jesus saved me.
Out of the darkness no light could I see.
Oh what a wonder; He put His great arms under,
And wonder of wonders, He saved even me!
God Bless You,