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Ocean Clouds and Sunbeams

Are you a creation consumer?

…OR…

Do you cherish the Creator?

All of us are either one or the other!

When the writer of the book of Judges (probably Samuel) concluded his treatise on the “Canaanization of Israel” (see Daniel Block, Judges, NAC), he recorded some disturbing behaviors.  These atrocities (e.g., slaughtering of men, women, and children; adultery, rape, and murder; human trafficking, etc.), it appears, were chosen to show the depravity of humanity devoid of the divine.  Judges 18-21 chronicle the chaos that inevitably ensues after God is discarded.  Judges 17 captures the desertion; chapters 18-21 the desolation.  It is almost as if Samuel knew the two commandants well before Jesus’ ministry and the inexorable truth that when God is abandoned, the creation will be abused.

Jesus ties treasuring the Creator with loving the created.

37 And he said to him,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

38 This is the great and first commandment.

39 And a second is like it:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

When God is not loved, His creation will be consumed.

Samuel shows the progression: (1) Micah abandons the God of Israel for idols and in so doing functions as the model for all Israel, and (2) humanity turns on itself, consuming itself, in a feeble attempt to replace God’s kingdom with that of self.  People become mere means to self-aggrandizing ends.  When land is needed, Dan slaughters an unprotected people (18:27ff.)  When personal pleasure and self-exaltation is sought, Gibeah rapes and murders an innocent woman.  When a father’s honor and a husband lives are protected, sleep is sweet while a daughter and wife dies at the door’s threshold.  When protecting the clan (and thus oneself) is forefront, justice is denied and a war is invited.  Finally, when perpetuating the nation is in jeopardy, women are enslaved.

When God is not loved, His creation will be consumed.

You and I may never act as badly as Israel did during the period of the judges, but we have all that is necessary when God is not treasured.  If you do not love God supremely then you will subtly or significantly use humanity.  People will become more objects than image-bearers.  People will become property—property to be spent on the pursuit of self.  If you “need” people, you are already sliding down the slippery slope to Canaan.  The more you “need” people, the less you will love people.  The question remains…and demands a response.

Are you a creation consumer?

…OR…

Do you cherish the Creator?

Beloved, love God and then love your neighbor.