When it comes to things being normal or natural God is on board. It is natural for a believer to live for Jesus. It is natural for a grandparent to carry photos of their grandchildren AND show them to people whether they want to see them or not. It is natural for parents to love their spouse and children and do whatever it takes to show them love and security. In Ukraine, it is natural for a stork to leave its nest and migrate south in the winter. Some will go as far as Egypt for the winter. It is natural for many animals like a dog or a horse to be attached to its' owner and be loyal to them. It is natural for someone who knows God to follow Him with their lives because they know He will love them and protect them.
But...in the writing of Jeremiah, he tells God's story about how the Israelites have done something very strange. They are living lives that are UNNATURAL!
"You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says:
Do people fall and not get up again?
If they turn away, do they not return?
5 Why have these people turned away?
Why is Jerusalem always turning away?
They take hold of deceit; they refuse to return.
6 I have paid careful attention.
THEY DO NOT SPEAK WHAT IS RIGHT.
No one regrets his evil, asking, 'WHAT HAVE I DONE'
Everyone has stayed his course
like a horse rushing into battle.
7 Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons.
The turtledove, swallow, and crane are aware of their migration,
BUT, MY PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LORD!"
This has broken the heart of God. An obedient dog knows how to return to its' owner but NOT the people of God. they have committed what is unnatural. This kind of relationship with God caused them to literally backslide away from God. I have had the experiences of counseling with people through the years. When I was a younger minister I could not understand some of the choices people made. For example...the parents of a teenage girl walked into my office one day when they had just been told their teenage daughter was pregnant. They brought the daughter into my office with them. The parents were broken and hurt about the news of their daughter's condition. I realized later they were all in my office to receive sound counsel and encouragement. But, I was so disappointed in the choices that this teenager had made, so, I looked at her and said with a raised voice..."Are you kidding me? Don't you have more sense than to allow this in your life?
I don't think any of them expected me to be so blunt. Israel was making some dumb choices. They even got this dumb look on their faces and told God, "What have I done?" Are you kidding me? They turned away from the God that has given them a land to live and work and survive. They turned away from the One who had given them safety from their enemies even when their enemy was much more powerful. And they stayed with their rebellion. They "stayed the course." God was...to say the least...extremely disappointed. A dog, a bird, and a horse have more sense to do what is right than the people of God.
Do we have people today who are living unnatural lives? You bet we do. Many of them...when approached about it...will give you an answer like God got. "DUH...(you have to say it with a great amount of sarcasm)...DUH...What have I done?" You got of course for God's plan in your life. You have jumped ship. You have lost your mind. You are playing games with God and He will NOT tolerate it long! You care about yourself more than you care about the heart of God. You are sucking up to the wrong people. You have other gods in your life and have dethroned God...the only One who has brought you through previous storms. WAKE UP!
God said in the next couple of verses that their wrong choices will cause them to be "put to shame."
Read: The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and snared.
They have rejected the word of the Lord,
so what wisdom do they really have? v. 9
I have to admit that there are plenty of people who are really God's children who are abandoning God's ship. If you know of someone in this condition spiritually...do ALL that you can to bring them back. John said, "If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not bring death, he should ask, and God will give life to him—to those who commit a sin that doesn't bring death. There is sin that brings death. I am not saying he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin that does not bring death. I John 5:16-17
Okay. When you see someone in the family of God that has attached themselves to SIN...Pray for them. Then do what is necessary to bring them back into the graces of God. You probably know someone right now. When you finish reading this email...go to God on their behalf. It is an extremely dangerous place to be outside of the will of God. For many, it is a matter of life or death. Let's pray for them.
May God Bless You!
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY!