Bible Ballistics: BBs #402 Precious Or Vile???
“Therefore thus saith the LORD,
If thou return,
then will I bring thee again,
and thou shalt stand before me:
and if thou take forth the precious
from the vile,
thou shalt be as my mouth:
let them return unto thee;
but return not thou unto them.” Jeremiah 15:19
We are living in a time when God and His Word are being minimalized every day. As a culture, we have rejected God’s ways and replaced them with our own. We place no value on life or truth, and children are simply an inconvenience and an interruption to ‘self gratification’—both in the avoidance of conceiving children as well as a commitment to love, enjoy, grow and instruct them in biblical truth—passing the torch, if you would!
God has warned us that we must be aware of the draw and call of the world; that we must be diligent to ‘stand fast in the evil day’! God also warns us that we need to practice separation—not separation from being salt and light to a culture of corruption and darkness—but to be aware of the dangers of compromise with sin and becoming a part of the problem rather that offering the solution of The Cross! We need to be calling others out of danger, not walking into it ourselves:
“And of some have compassion,
making a difference:
23 And others save with fear,
pulling them out of the fire;
hating even the garment spotted
by the flesh.” Jude 1:22-23
Much like Jeremiah and Jude, Paul knew that we needed to be aware of our surroundings as well as those whom we choose to surround ourselves with! Often taken only as a caution of not marrying outside of the faith, Paul’s message to the Corinthians is also a general caution to “guard our hearts” by guarding our lives and our choices of our intimate companions. Here are two of his warnings, which we need to consider in all our ways!
“Be not deceived:
corrupt good manners.
34 Awake to righteousness,
and sin not;
for some have not the knowledge of God:
I speak this to your shame.” 1 Corinthians 15:33-34
“Be ye not unequally yoked together
for what fellowship hath righteousness
and what communion hath light
15 And what concord hath Christ
or what part hath he that believeth
with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God
for ye are the temple of the living God;
as God hath said,
I will dwell in them,
and walk in them;
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them,
and be ye separate,
saith the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing;
and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you,
and ye shall be my sons and daughters,
saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Many accuse followers of Jesus of being “exclusivists” and in a way, that is what God calls us to be—not untouchable, arrogant or ‘holier than thou’ toward others; but a compassionate people of The Word who will call sinners out of the darkness into the light, (and we’re all sinners, we who follow Jesus are saved and redeemed sinners—being transformed by the blood of Jesus which “cleanseth us from all sin”!) leading them to the cross through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus, as well as a life lived in communion and obedience to Him and His Word! We can only do that when we know what God’s Word says!
“These six things doth the LORD hate:
yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look,
a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked
feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies,
and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19
Kind of sounds like the front page of the news doesn’t it? So how are we walking? Are we walking humbly before God and men, speaking truth, caring for the innocent, pursuing good activities and goals, avoiding fruitless mischief, not acting in jealousy and causing harm by false accusations, and also spreading peace rather than discord? Wow, what a list!!! We must continually determine to “think on these things” rather than that which “God hates”! Simple but not easy!
whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,
think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned,
and seen in me,
and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
Amen and Amen. And may “the God of peace…..be with you” as we each pursue holiness and God’s ways rather than the haughtiness of the world’s pride! May we ever “take forth the precious from the vile”!