I just finished reading 2 Kings and am getting ready to start 1st Chronicles. It is heartbreaking to read about the abject failures of the tragedy of tossing aside the glorious promises of God for the miseries of trash and filth and worthlessness. Which is exactly what Israel did when God led them into the Promised land and gave them the promises and they instead choked on the greed of wanting to wallow in the evil that mirrored the nations surrounding them.
But this wasn’t the first time the promises of glory were exchanged for an illusion resulting in the most reprehensible retardation of one’s standing before God. For instance, God gave Adam and Eve the most perfect setting imaginable and they had nothing to worry about, had nothing standing in their way, and yet they could still throw it all away for the illusion of a better way. Strike one.
God being gracious gave mankind another chance and chose Israel to reveal Himself in a dramatic way. The historical books of the Old Testament show how that went. Very little went well, so much failure. Strike two.
Then Our Lord personally came to earth, dwelt among us in human form with a very specific mission, to save humanity by paying the penalty for our sin and giving us the opportunity of receiving that gift. And the Church was born. And for a hundred years or so, fighting against the evil of the world, the church flourished. Then after a few hundred years, when the church grew, conversions spread, and even the Emperor reportedly converted to Christianity, soon it would be possible to blend Christianity with the State governing. And in doing so the gospel would be broadcast even further around the world, but would be watered down in the process, and Christianity would be watered down in the process as well, and the leaders of Christianity would soon bring great shame on an institution that is supposed to be called by the name of our great God and Creator. Just as His name was supposed to rest in the Temple of Jerusalem forever as He promised it would if only Israel would keep His laws and commandments; but they did not, and in spite of the prophesied 70 year captivity in Babylon as He promised God wiped the place away as one wipes a dish clean and turns it over to dry.
As church leaders today make a mockery of Christ, and give a poor example to the flock? The Book of Revelation has some warnings for a few churches for being to luke-warm, for loosing their first love, for basically forgetting who they are. Is this strike three? Fortunately His Holy Spirit has never kept quite and has always voiced His word down the centuries for any with ears to hear and eyes to read His word. There is a way and we can walk in it. We don’t have to listen to the false teachers and leaders when the Spirit dwells inside. How many strikes can we expect as we dance around this plate we call Earth?