Friday, December 28, 2012

A SMALL STEP

What a small, easy step it is from doubting a father's love to taking matters into our own hands. But what a tragic one! The moment you force things according to your will, you expose your heart to an avalanche of evil.

The first thing that changed in Joseph's brothers after they began to doubt their father’s love was the way they talked. Listen to them: "Come, let's kill him. No, cast him into a pit. Better yet, let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and make a little money!" Their hearts swelled with contempt and betrayal and out of those corrupted hearts burst a stream of wicked words—the language of the world.

Unholy speech is a sure sign of a hardened heart. Joseph's brothers became insensitive to sin and their corrupted conversation led to criminal behavior. First they talked like the wicked and then they began to act like them. Before long, they became cold, calculating criminals. Not only did they sin, they covered it up and then went about their business of tending sheep as though nothing had happened.

How low we go when once we doubt our Father's love. How corrupt and insensitive we become. Malachi the prophet warned the children of Israel concerning the hardness of their hearts. Like Joseph's brothers, the Israelites had fallen prey to doubt and had wound up calloused to their sin. The book of Malachi begins, "The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?" (Malachi 1:1-2). Incredible! They dared to tell God, "We see no evidence in our lives that You love or care for us."

Show me a Christian who begins to doubt God's love and decides to take matters into his own hands, and I will show you a Christian whose conversation is becoming corrupted. Almost overnight there will be a noticeable change. The more he doubts, the more unholy his speech will become. The way some Christians talk is absolutely shocking. Once, they spoke with godly awe and reverence, uttering words of faith and joy. Once, they spoke softly, with speech that edified. Now they speak bluntly, irreverently. Their words betray what is in their hearts: fear, unbelief, and despair.

Throw off all evil, unbelieving thoughts. Do not continue to doubt God’s great love!