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My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner’s rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant.


Israel was a fascinating culture. They were known for their devoutness. Stories of their God had reached the ears of many pagan nations. In the land of Cannan Rahab tells some Israelite spies.

"We have heard how the 
Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed" - Joshua 2:10

If you question the devoutness of the Israelites take a look at the laws set in place for them in Numbers or Leviticus. Many of us have read those laws and wondered, how in the world did they keep these laws. The truth is they often didn't, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. The Israelites were God's chosen people. The laws were put in place to remind them they were not like other nations. They were "set apart" aka Holy. 

Israel proved that they were really good at being devout.....It just turns out they were devout to everything but God. They made idols and temples all over the place, on mountain tops, hills, under trees and even in their own homes. They were really good at doing things the way that wanted to do them and time and time again forgot about their God, who delivered them through the Red Sea and saved them from enemy nations.

God never abandoned them, he worked through them in the midst of their sin to bring about salvation for the whole world. The Israelites were God's people He chose to use to bring Jesus into the world and die for our sins. The "chosenness" of Israel has nothing to do with them, but everything to do with what God had decided.

And so it is with us, we will often have weeks where we are really good at going our own way and yet God through Jesus calls us His children. Not because of how good or amazing we are compared to other people, but simply because God desires to bring all people to himself.

Pastor Ryan

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