Yesterday, we introduced judgment from the book of Amos, and we saw that when it comes to the people of God, their sin was against God, but when it has to do with the peoples not of God, their sin was against men.
Isn't it strange, then, that we seem to get this exactly backward?
We are a people of God who believe our job is to convince the rest of the world not to sin against God, all the while practicing our greatest calling - to not sin against men. To us, the ultimate goal of existence, and the aim of all of our evangelism, is that we would love others and others would love God.
It's why we spend so much of our time trying to legislate morality for the societies that we live in. We look around, and we say to ourselves that this people is doing a terrible job of loving God and living by His wisdom, so we decide that the best thing we can do for them is to make them live by God's wisdom. Perhaps, then, they might one day love Him.
And as we are doing this, we tell ourselves that this is us loving others. This is us having their best interest at heart. This is us telling them the hard truth that they need to hear. And isn't that what Jesus has called us to do?
Not at all.
When we look at what God says to the nations, it's pretty clear. He never asks the nations outside of Israel why they don't love Him more and why they aren't doing a better job following His ways. His ways are not for them; they haven't bought into it. They haven't come to the place where that is meaningful for them.
Similarly, God never asks Israel why they didn't do a better job of making the other nations follow God's ways. He never says things like, "Oh, Israel, how I longed for you to convert all of Tyre and make them into a God-fearing people so that they would live wisely and wonderfully." It's laughable when we write it out because it is just so far from anything that God has ever said.
What God says to the nations is, "Why don't you at least live like a people who knows what it's like to be a people?" And what He says to His nation is, "Why don't you live like you are my people?" And we really need to stop confusing the two.
Because the truth is, living like we love God is a full-time job for us. It's something we will work on our entire lives and still have room for improvement in. It's something we're still getting wrong and God is still calling us out on. We talk about how important it is for us to love others because loving others is easier than loving God (especially when we claim that dropping a bomb of truth is "loving" - we can justify anything if we try hard enough). But at the end of the day, God's not going to ask us why we let others get away with not living well for Him.
He's going to ask us why we didn't live well for Him.
And I can pretty much guarantee (although I am not God) that if we give Him the same excuses we give ourselves to justify our behavior, He's not going to be impressed with us.
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