And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger. Judges 2:11-12
Ronald Cabrera is an engineer for The Long Island Rail Road.
Wait. Let's reword that: Ronald Cabrera was an engineer for The Long Island Rail Road.
According to the Associated Press, Cabrera lost his job because of a little, hard-to-be-noticed mistake.
That little slip-up was this: Cabrera let William Kutsch, a passenger, drive his train -- with 400 other riders aboard -- during rush hour -- at speeds up to 80 mph. Apparently, management took a dim view of Cabrera's ill-advised sharing.
As I read through Scripture, I've noticed the Lord also seems to take a rather dim view of His people allowing others to run their lives.
He didn't like it when Adam and Eve rejected His single Garden of Eden rule and accepted Satan's suggestion to sin. He didn't like it when the builders of Babel's tower decided they wanted to be masters of their fate, and He didn't like it when the Children of Israel indulged in what almost became their national sport: chasing after other gods.
The Bible in both the Old and New Testaments is clear: the Lord who has created, redeemed, and called us doesn't want some second-level substitute trying to pilot our lives.
That's what we're being told in the passage from Exodus that serves as the text for today's Daily Devotion.
By inspiration, Moses wrote those words so the Lord's children, in every age, might know how the Divinity gets angry when He's jilted for a cheap, nickel-plated Baal.
He gets provoked when He's discarded like an old shoe and He becomes annoyed when His people enshrine anything that removes Him from His rightly deserved number-one position.
Personally, I think the Lord's position is a reasonable one. He has a right to expect something from the hearts of those who know He has sent His Son to seek and save the lost. He has a right to expect something from us who have been redeemed by the Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I am often like Adam and Eve, preferring to listen to anybody's voice other than Yours. Forgive my flightiness and grant me the ability to be faithful to You who have done all for my salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries