Belief, Danger, Judgment, Repentance, Scripture, Sin

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!

ZEPHANIAH 2:2

“Before the decree takes effect—the day passes like chaff—before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you.”

When I was a kid, there was a TV series called, “Lost in Space.” In this series there was a robot and a young boy named Will Robinson. Every time there was danger around, the robot would cry out this warning to Will – “Danger, Will Robinson!” Don’t you wish you had a robot to do that for you every time you got near danger spiritually?

Zephaniah continues his urging of the people to repent and gather themselves before “the decree takes effect” or “the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you” or “the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you.” Wow! That was much better than the warning to Will Robinson by the robot. Zephaniah is giving clear warning that God’s judgment is coming.

APPLICATION

All through Scripture we are given warnings about the impending judgment of God. The prophets all warned us. The New Testament writers did as well. And of course, Jesus gave us warning after warning that those who did not come to Him would surely perish (John 3:16). Warning after warning after warning.

So, why don’t people heed the warning. Unbelief! People have stopped believing in sin. They have stopped believing there are consequences for their actions. Live like you want. There are no repercussions. The devil has them all blinded to the truth. He is so good at that.

Aren’t you glad your blinders are off? Aren’t you glad you know the truth? We must now shout out like that robot did to Will Robinson. We must announce, “Danger! Sin has consequences. Turn to Jesus Who can forgive you of your sins.” That isn’t a hard message to give. Tell someone today.

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore…but the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me now safe am I.

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Accountability, Alone, Bible, Blessing, Boasting, Commands, Sin

SINNING AGAINST YOURSELF

HABAKKUK 2:10

“‘You have planned a shameful thing for your house by bringing many peoples to an end; so you are sinning against yourself.’”

I have to admit that I do not like pain. So, given a choice, I will choose every time to avoid pain. Some of the things people voluntarily do to their bodies amaze me. I do not understand why anyone would willingly let someone hurt them or cause them pain. Not me!

God is still talking in today’s verse. He is addressing the Chaldeans, whom we have described fully in previous blogs. But here God says they are sinning against themselves. They are inflicting themselves with the pain. They are only harming themselves with their actions. However, they were not listening.

APPLICATION

Today’s verse reminded me of 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. “18 Flee sexual immorality. Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

Did you catch that? “sins against his own body.” Who wants to do that? We need to pursue God with all of our heart. Do not let some people try to influence you to do      evil. It’s not going to affect them a bit, but it could cost you dearly. Do not sin against yourself.

Think of the ways we could possibly do that. Now run the other way. We are told to accept the inevitable. Don’t believe that. Satan will do all he can to put us out of on our own. Who you have as allies determines the outcome. Allow them to point you in the right direction when you seem lost.

I am thankful for the way You direct me and for the fellow brothers You have placed in my life to confront me of sin.

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Accountability, Bible, Confession, Forgiveness, Repentance, Salvation, Scripture, Sin

YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT

HABAKKUK 2:8

“‘Since you have looted many nations, all the rest of the peoples will loot you—because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, to the town and all its inhabitants.’”

When I read today’s verse, I was reminded of Numbers 32:23. This was the story of Moses telling the tribes (Reuben, Gad and Manasseh) who wanted to live on the other side of the Jordan that they needed to keep their word to fight for the other tribes. He told them, “But if you do not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure that your sin will find you out.”

The Chaldeans were ruthless and unforgiving in their conquests of other nations. Their cruelty knew no bounds. So, God tells them here that they would suffer the same fate as all the nations they had conquered. They would face bloodshed and looting. Their chickens were about to come home to roost, as the old saying goes.

APPLICATION

I have committed many sins in my past. To the best of my knowledge, I have confessed those sins and made things right with my Lord and with others. If anyone reading this blog has been hurt by me in the past, please forgive me. I do not want any unconfessed sin to come between me and my heavenly Father.

How about you? Do you have a sin or sins you need to confess right now? They say confession is good for the soul. Indeed, it is. God’s Word will direct you in this confession. If you are a child of the King, all those sins are already forgiven, but He still wants you to clean the slate with Him. He wants to hear you confess those, to say the same thing about that sin that He does. That is what confession is.

I am so thankful the Lord forgives us. I am thankful He doesn’t hold any grudges. I wish more of His children were that way. I know of far too many Christians who struggle with confession and forgiveness. May you make things right with others and with the Lord today.

Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever I am.

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Advice, Bible, Debt, Payment, Rescue, Scripture, Sin

DECEIT OF DEBTS

HABAKKUK 2:6

“‘Will all of these not take up a song of ridicule against him, even a saying and insinuations against him and say, “Woe to him who increases what is not his—for how long—and makes himself rich with debts!”’”

I really hate debt of any kind. I know it is hard to avoid it, especially when you are buying a home. Most people don’t have that much cash. I am trying to pay off my home as quickly as I can. Debt deceives you into thinking you have more than you really do.

God speaks the first of five “Woes” here. The Hebrew word recorded by Habakkuk for “debts” is only used right here in all the Bible. Some translations translate it as “thick-clay.” It is weighty. It slows you down. Debts are one thing God warns about here.

APPLICATION

Don’t go and say Carl said all debt is bad. I am just saying we need to be careful. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.” That’s pretty plain, isn’t it? Sometimes we cannot avoid debt. Medical bills pile up after a lengthy illness. As I mentioned earlier, buying a home usually requires debt. Just be careful.

But aren’t you thankful that the one debt that we could never repay was paid for by Jesus. You may have heard the saying, “I owed a debt I could not pay, and He paid a debt He did not owe.” Jesus rescued us from a certain damnation. We could never pay the debt of sin which was on our life.

I am debt free spiritually. I owe nothing to the wrath of God. He is satisfied with the shed blood of His precious Son. There are so many around us who are drowning in debt spiritually. They have no hope. No banker on earth can satisfy that debt – only Jesus. Let’s share with them God’s plan for debt relief.

Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

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Bible, Judgment, Running, Scripture, Secrets, Sin, Submission, Surrender, Trust

STOP RUNNING!

HABAKKUK 2:2

“Then the LORD answered me and said, ‘Write down the vision and inscribe it clearly on tablets, so that one who reads it may run.’”

You may have heard the joke about the two men in the forest who come up on a bear. One of the men kneels down and reties his shoes. His friend said, “That’s not going to help you outrun this bear.” To that the man said, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.” I know – dad joke, right?

God’s message to Habakkuk would cause the people to run. They would hear about God’s coming judgment and try to outrun it. As they discovered, you cannot outrun God. There is no escaping Him. His reach is too long. His feet are too swift. He knows where you are going and will find you. That hasn’t changed today.

APPLICATION

Are you trying to run from God? You may run, but you cannot hide. Hebrews 4:13 says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.” Psalm 90:8 reads, “You have placed our guilty deeds before You, our hidden sins in the light of Your presence.”

Stop running! Turn toward Him and confess those “hidden sins.” Allow Him to cleanse you and purify your heart. You won’t believe the relief you will feel. When you finally unburden yourself of those secret sins, you will be able to breathe and walk uprightly.

I know I can’t outrun a bear. I probably can’t outrun anyone. So, I am certainly not going to try to outrun God. Instead, I will run towards Him. I want to feel His warm embrace. I want Him to catch me mid-stride and stop me right in my tracks. He will whisper softly, “Come to me, my precious child.” Aren’t those words you want to hear?

I will cease striving and running after my own desires. I will turn to You, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

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Affliction, Bible, Death, Flesh, Rapture, Scripture, Sin

INCURABLE

NAHUM 3:19

“There is no relief for your collapse, your wound is incurable. All who hear about you will clap their hands over you, for upon whom has your evil not come continually?”

I have an incurable disease. I have shared that on this blog in the past. It’s called Amyloidosis, technically it’s called Primary AL Systemic Amyloidosis, not that that matters. I have gone through two stem cell transplants and will face another unless one of three things happen. 1) Jesus comes back before I die, 2) I die before a cure is found or 3) a cure is found. Guess which one I am hoping for. That’s right – number 1.

Nahum closes out his letter addressing the king of Nineveh. He wants him to know for certain that there is no returning to his kingdom. It’s gone. It’s finished. All his enemies will rejoice at his fall because of the horror he had inflicted on them in the past. Judgment has come, and he has been found wanting.

APPLICATION

We all have an incurable disease. It’s called the flesh. We are born sinners and to our flesh we will succumb. We have no hope of redeeming ourselves. Look up Romans 6:23 if you want proof. Read the first part of that verse. We are destined for a fiery judgment unless… That’s right; there is hope in One.

The cure for our fleshly disease of sin is Jesus. He came to give us life. He came to perform a life-giving act by dying for us on the cross. The second half of Romans 6:23 gives us the good news. He is a free gift. All we have to do is accept it. Sadly, millions die every year refusing that gift.

I pray you have accepted that gift. I pray you know Jesus as your Savior. If you haven’t, you can today. Simply admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Believe Jesus died and rose again. Confess him as Lord and you shall be saved. Glory be to God! He is the cure!

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Adultery, Bible, Cleansing, Devil, Flesh, Guilt, Judgment, Scripture, Sin

THE LUST OF THE FLESH

NAHUM 3:4

All because of the many sexual acts of the prostitute, the charming one, the mistress of sorceries, who sells nations by her sexual acts, and families by her sorceries.”

When I traveled the roads of Florida, I was very aware of a string of billboards that littered the landscape. They were advertisements for truck stops that featured nude dancing girls. The pictures of the young ladies were plastered all over those billboards. I always had this thought – they are someone’s little girls. What happened?

It was the same thing that happened in Nineveh. The lust of the flesh is as strong now as it was then. Nineveh was knee deep in sorcery and temple prostitutes. The flesh reigned as king (and queen). Hedonistic behavior was what ruled the day. But now their judgment was upon them. Nahum says it was “because of the many sexual acts of the prostitute.” Moses’ words to Reuben and Gad in Numbers 32:23 ring in my ears – you may be sure your sins will find you out.

APPLICATION

Another passage is appropriate here – this time from the New Testament. 1 John 2:15-17 says “15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.”

The world is still enticing us with its lusts. The pornography industry is making billions of dollars a year off of the depraved minds of its customers. Satan is having a heyday. He loves keeping us in the sewer.

But let me tell you something. There is hope. God’s Word can transform your mind. It can cleanse all those evil, wicked thoughts from your mind and give you a fresh start. If you are struggling with pornography and/or a lifestyle of the flesh, come to Jesus. Let Him wash you completely.

O Father, thank You for setting me free from the lust of the flesh. Thank You for cleansing my mind with Your Word.

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Accountability, Accused, Bible, Confession, Forgiveness, Repentance, Salvation, Scripture, Sin, Surrender

HOPELESS

NAHUM 2:1

“The one who scatters has come up against you. Keep watch over the fortress, watch the road; bind up your waist, summon all your strength.

When you come up against a force that is greater than you, all your defenses are worthless. I played high school football many years ago. I remember vividly playing against a high school from Alabama that was far superior to our small, rural high school. We were overmatched from the start and despite our great efforts, we were trounced.

Nahum turns his attention fully now to Nineveh and its pending destruction. He almost jokingly tells how they can watch the road and bind up their waist. They can summon all their strength, but nothing will prevent God’s judgment falling upon them. They will not be able to resist His power.

APPLICATION

We read this prophecy against Nineveh and point our fingers at them. We think how could they even hope to defend themselves against God. But we do the same. We fight against God daily defending our own actions that we know are not what God desires. But because we think we have the right; we just do it.

There is nothing that gives us the right to do as we want. We are free in Christ to do as we should. That is a big difference. We are just like Nineveh in so many ways. We put up our defenses. These are useless against a holy God. The best thing we can do is surrender and agree with God about our sins.

Confession is just that – saying the same thing about our sin as God is saying. We agree with Him. The problem today in our society is nothing is sin. Sin is an outdated word. To say someone is sinful is being intolerant. God’s standards have not changed. Neither has the way He deals with sin. Confess your sins today and feel His mercy and grace.

Forgive me, Lord. I have sinned against You and Your principles.

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Battles, Bible, Freedom, Praise, Scripture, Sin, Surrender, Testimony

SHACKLES

NAHUM 1:13

“‘So now, I will break his yoke from upon you, and I will tear your shackles to pieces.’”

The first thing that I thought of when I read this verse was the song by Mary Mary called “Shackles.” The chorus says,

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just want to praise you
I just want to praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you.”

Nahum is telling the Israelites that God is breaking their shackles of captivity put on them by the Assyrians (Nineveh). He is setting them free. I bet they felt just like Mary Mary. They just wanted to praise Him. Their shackles were real, though. They felt the weight of the chains. They knew how it felt when they fell off.

APPLICATION

What has you shackled right now? It could be a sin that you have not been able to shake off. You pray and pray but return to the cesspool of sin. That stronghold has you shackled with seemingly no escape. You may not have real chains, but it sure feels like it at times.

I have good news for you. God is still in the shackle breaking business. Lift your hands to Him in prayer, shackles and all, and ask Him to break them. Lay out your feet, shackles and all, and watch them fall off as you yield to Him and give Him everything. Until you do that, those shackles will continue to bind you.

Walking without shackles is a lot better than walking with them. You lose that “shackle shuffle” that is so obvious. When people see you walking free, they will ask what happened. That is when you can tell them you story. You can join with Mary Mary in singing,

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just want to praise you
I just want to praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you.”

I love You, Lord, and I lift my hands to worship You. O my soul rejoice!

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Abiding, Accountability, Accused, Bible, Brokenness, Sin, Submission, Surrender

CRUSHED BY THEMSELVES

NAHUM 1:10

“Like tangled thorns, and like those who are drunken with their drink, they are consumed like stubble completely dried up.”

Some people are self-destructive. They continue to do things that put themselves in bad situations. No one needs to crush them. They do it to themselves – over and over again. No amount of advice helps. They are determined to “fix themselves,” even though they have no idea how to do that.

Nahum is talking to individuals just like that in Nineveh. In fact, history tells us that Nineveh had become so proud and arrogant, they thought no one could defeat them. In the midst of their drunkenness and debauchery, their enemies pounced. They never saw it coming. Pride was their downfall.

APPLICATION

What is your downfall? What is blinding you to your sins against a holy God? We put blinders on sometimes and do not see what is around us. We think we are doing just fine, and we are in the minefield. One wrong step and boom! Then we turn to God and ask what happened.

All along, God is trying to get our attention. He is trying to lead us in the right direction, but we will have no part of it. We know what is best. Take a minute and read John 15. You will be reminded that nothing is possible unless you are abiding in that life-giving vine.

I choose to allow Him to take my hand and lead me. I have stepped on enough mines in my lifetime. I want to walk safely and peacefully from now on. How about you? Are you tired of being crushed down and defeated by your own poor choices? Turn to Him. He will take you by the hand too.

Take my hand, dear Lord, and lead me. I want to go only where You lead.

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