Eleventh Day of Advent

MAKE A LEGAL U-TURN!

These are the words I hear when I don’t follow the directions from the GPS signal in our vehicle.

This is what God had been saying through the prophets for centuries. Repent! That doesn’t mean you simply regret what you’ve done. It means you recognize your sin, and you turn around and go in the other direction.

God spoke to His people. He spoke to Adam and Eve, to Cain and Abel, to Noah, to Abraham and Sarah, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Joseph, to Moses, to Joshua, and to all the prophets He sent to warn His people. Sometimes they listened, repented, and turned from their own way to follow God.  Other times they chose to continue in their sin and suffered the consequences for their rebellion.

The last book of the Old Testament in the Bible contains the word of the LORD spoken to the prophet Malachi. Only four chapters, it contains words of condemnation and of promise. The first two chapters condemn the worship practices and the actions of the priests who were supposed to be leading the people in their worship of God. The last two chapters challenge them to trust God, to test His promises and see that they are true. They speak of the day that is coming when all will be made right.

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;

and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble:

and the day that cometh shall burn them up,

saith the LORD of hosts,

that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings;

and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

And ye shall tread down the wicked;

for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this,

saith the LORD of hosts.

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant,

which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers,

lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Malachi 4:1-6

KJV

After Malachi there is silence for 400 years. That doesn’t mean God was not working because we know that He sent an angel to Zacharias to tell him that he would have a son and that he was to call him John. He sent an angel to Mary to tell he that she would be the mother of the Messiah. He sent an angel to Joseph to reassure him that what was happening was all a part of God’s plan. Scripture tells us that there were those who were faithful and righteous before God even in the silence.

With John the Baptist the silence is broken. He proclaims the coming of the Messiah. People heard his message and were moved to repent, to turn from their sin and to turn to God. But not all. There were those who were comfortable in their sin. They liked the power their positions gave them and they resented anything or anyone who threatened that power. When John challenged the religious leaders they sought ways to discredit or silence him. When John challenged Herod Antipas for his sinful lifestyle he lost his head, literally. The king had him beheaded. Standing up for your faith comes at a cost.

We are living in a time when speaking out against sin will come at a cost.

Are you willing to be “the voice of one crying in the wilderness:

Prepare ye the way of the LORD!”

Are your willing to be the GPS signal to your generation, saying

“MAKE A LEGAL UTURN!”

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