September 10, 2012
The LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments ... But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God. 2 Kings 17:13a-14
I've never been through a hurricane.
I've weathered tornadoes, forest and prairie fires, earthquakes, blizzards, and floods, but never a hurricane. That's why I really can't understand how a person feels when the leaders of the community or the federal government order my neighborhood to be evacuated.
Since I don't like the idea of sitting on my rooftop, waiting for a friendly neighbor to rescue me in his flat-bottomed duck boat, I think I would leave.
This is more than some of the folks in Plaquemines Parish did when Hurricane Isaac hit. With a levee eight feet high and a predicted storm surge of 9 to 12 feet, getting out would have seemed like a reasonable thing to do.
But some of those folks were stubborn, didn't listen and ended up waiting for someone to show up and take them to safety.
You know, it's not just hurricane warnings which bring out the stubborn in people. I remember how some folks were stubborn and refused to go when they were ordered to leave the area around Mt. St. Helens before it blew its top. Even worse, our text from 2 Kings points out that the Lord sent prophet after prophet to His people. Again and again the Lord's representatives called for people to repent. And what happened? What did those folks do?
The Lord tells us what happened. He says: "But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God."
That kind of stubbornness and refusal to listen to the Lord is not confined to the Old Testament.
Every week The Lutheran Hour, as well as churches and congregations come together and say, "God wants to save sinners. So your salvation might be a reality, He sent His Son into this world as our Sacrifice. Through Jesus' life, suffering, death and resurrection, all who believe on Him as Savior are redeemed.
And what is the result?
It is the same as it was when 2 Kings was written. About our age God can still say, "Many will not listen but are stubborn as have been those who went before them, stubborn like those who didn't believe in the Lord their God."
No, many will not listen ... but some will. Some will be touched by the Holy Spirit and be brought to repentance and faith. Some will be saved. And since we can't tell who they will be, we'll just keep telling everybody: Jesus lived, died and rose for you.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have called me to faith in my Savior. Now may I do all I can to share the story of salvation with those who are stubborn and don't hear. Open their hearts and minds to the wonders of Your gracious love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries