Take a side.

My heart has been heavy lately. I find myself sad as I talk with friends and disappointed as I check my Face book homepage. I’m finding that as I open my Bible, the same message is being delivered to me over and over again. This Fall, I’ve been reading the major prophets and some minor prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel) and they have left a hard and painful impression on me. In fact, it’s nearly impossible at this point to look at my own life and the world around me, without looking through the lenses of their message.

Each of these men were given a word from the Lord for the nation of Israel. They warned relentlessly. And they were asked to do things that seem ridiculous to me, like Ezekiel laying on his left and right sides for over a year for Israel and Judah’s many years of sin. Jeremiah was imprisoned and asked God to just let him die. Daniel received visions that made him fall to his knees and become literally weak and sick. Hosea was told to marry a woman who would prostitute herself to many other men and he was to take her back over and over to represent how God would forgive Israel of even their most heinous sins. These men ached over the sins of their people to the point of illness. They cried and begged God for mercy. On several occasions, they asked God to forgo sending them to give the message that they were about to give to a people who didn’t even seem to care. Each time they were told the same thing by God. In so many words, “Go and tell them what I’m going to do if they don’t repent.”Β  And it was always something awful. Many Israelites would be killed. Women and children were no exception. The sins of generations of people would be payed for by their very lives and it would be gruesome if they didn’t repent and turn to God.

However, there was ALWAYS a message at the end. It was one of love and forgiveness and it cannot be looked over. It was their only hope in an otherwise hopeless and helpless situation. The message was simple: “If Israel repents, I will forgive them. If they repent, I will save their lives and their people and we will have a loving relationship again. I will bless them abundantly if they repent and turn to me.” It was clear. Repentance was the key.

And this my friends, is why my heart breaks for all of us. I am afraid that we are in big trouble. We aren’t Israel, but as Christians, we are God’s representatives to this world and yet, this is what I see: hopeless people, who would rather guzzle a bottle of wine each night instead of getting on their faces before the Lord for their troubles. I see friends who are so easily amused that they invite all sorts of evil into their homes and talk about it publicly as though their choices wouldn’t appall God. We have friends whose marriages are breaking up-the very picture of Christ’s love for the church-and yet we hear from them, “it’s just not worth fixing”.

They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves. 2 Kings 17:15b

I’m afraid that too many of us enjoy what we hear about God and we hold onto all that He can do for us, but we’ve broken our end of the covenant just like Israel did. How are you obedient to God’s Word if you’re not in it? How can you know what He wants from you and for you if your only time spent with him is grabbing a verse, twisting it to fit your life, and calling that a “relationship”? This kind of life is “worthless” before the Lord. I didn’t say it. He did.

When King Josiah, in 2 Kings 22 was given the books of the Law that were found in the Lord’s Temple, he read it and tore his clothes in despair! He called the leaders and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem together and read them what was found. He pledged to obey God and his commands with all of his heart and soul. And then the people followed suit. But, he didn’t stop there. He went on a purification rampage. He broke down idols, poles that were worshiped and tore down houses full of prostitutes. Then, he abolished the places that children were killed as sacrifices, brought by the hands of their very own parents.

These things sound so strange, but we’ve just “Americanized” the very same things. As a nation, we’ve uninvited God from our schools and many parents abdicate responsibility of teaching their own children about God, hoping that maybe they’ll catch it at church on Sunday (or just plain don’t care).Β  And we kill over 1 million children a year-that’s more than 3,000 babies a day! We sell young children and teens to use as sex slaves up and down the coasts and probably even in your own town. We laugh at homosexuality in movies and sitcoms and for the first time ever, a president, our leader, publicly declared support of this lifestyle. I don’t hate any group of people, so putting words in my mouth is unnecessary, but God’s Word speaks clearly about how this lifestyle was a result of exchanging the truth of God for a lie. We sing music that degrades women and talks constantly about sex and we even let our children sing along…are you kidding me?!?

Is anyone actually still wondering if we need to repent as a nation?

I’m pretty sure that I may have just lost a few friends, but I’m honestly not too worried about it. The truth is clearly put before us. The question is, what will your response be to the truth? Will you be like so many others who ignored it and continued about their lives with not so much as a flinch or will you let the truth sink in and stop you in your tracks? Josiah tore his clothes in despair and then he moved to action. God saw his response and put on hold (until after Josiah’s lifetime) what was being planned for the nation of Israel. Pray for our nation and for yourself and your friends, like a faithful few who cried out in brokenness did and then make a choice. We are in a battle here. It’s time you took a side.

About shannalehr

My name is Shanna Lehr. I'm blessed to be the wife of Scott Lehr and mother to Ella, Ava, Janie and Gracie Belle. I love to cook, travel, run, and spend time with my family. My life has been changed by Jesus and I love to share him with others. Stop back often and join the conversation by leaving a comment. I love to hear from you! You can connect with me on Twitter: @ShannaLehr
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18 Responses to Take a side.

  1. Heidi Yocum says:

    totally agree…and am often one of those offenders…i love what mark Driscoll has to say about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENGtXsRS2fs&feature=share. Just a thought…but if our time with God doesn’t convict us of sin, then are we really listening? So many people are enamored with God’s love…and He is just that. However, his love also convicts us to protect us from particpating in something that would harm us.

  2. barbara foulkrod says:

    All that is left to say after that post is a hearty AMEN!!!!!

    The Law was meant to 1)restrain us and our sinful nature and 2) point us to the First Covenant relationship that the Lord God established in Genesis…the promise of the seed….the promise of a better covenant. We as Americans and Yes….as church goers…are so confused! Legalism will not cut it….following the Law will not do. We will always fall short and then we will end up worshipping all kinds of idols just like Israel in the OT. The ONLY way for us both then and now is to repent and turn to the gracious-ness of God through HIs Son Jesus!

    I will join you, sweet friend, as we beg for our nation and our city to stop, repent (agree with God) and believe on Him !

    Thanks for your bravery and for the way you have rightly handled the Word of God!

    So very thankful for you πŸ˜‰

  3. Ted Brown says:

    WOW SHANNA!!!!!! THIS WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!! PRAISE JESUS!!!!!!!!!!

  4. tedbear77 says:

    SHANNA!!!! THIS WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Hallie says:

    I believe you are so on track there gal…I am proud of you and your stand. I never would have believed that a tiny gal I babysit or so manyyears ago would ever have such a strong voice. God bless you as you continue to speak [write] for Him. I am on your side.

  6. Yes, yes, yes…read God’s Word and it causes you to look at your life and say, am I doing this idolatry thing too???? And then you look around and see it ALL OVER the church! And so many people dead asleep to it all…just where I found myself years ago too, so I don’t say that as if I’m above anyone…But thank God for wake up calls and not leaving us half dead! I think what Barbara said was right on, we the church are confused!!! And shoot, it sure is easier in this busy life to throw your questions to the wind and keep on going. 😦

    Great thoughts, Shan!

  7. Courtney says:

    Wow. Well said! I agree that our nation is in trouble and believers need to be on their knees. I just started getting emails from Intercessors for America. Thus far, it appears to be very Christ based.

  8. Vanessa says:

    Very strong message and I do respect you for writing this one. Its convicting for me. Its truth.

  9. pat says:

    yep… another great truth Shan…. I’m particularly thankful for your blogs, where we can take time to “slow up, chew and swallow” and then read some more or reply to your blogs, etc, with more than the routine “Hey, how are you”.. we in general have time to do Sunday mornings… Perhaps that is it.. How can God’s people encourage one another to get more serious, go deeper with our time and walk with Him the upcoming week, when we “greet” each other in church, Sundays. There is a war for our love, attention, and commitment.. We must be ready to fight, on our knees and with our feet and hands doing as He leads… Lord, continue to convict me. Thanks again, Shan..!!

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