Then God blessed Noah and his sons, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” — Genesis 9:1
When Adam and Eve were in charge of the earth, they had one rule: Don’t eat of the fruit of this one tree. They failed. When Noah’s family came off the ark, God gave them a command as well, which happens to be my main WMD verse for the week.
So, How did they do?
Well, pretty good . . . for several generations. Everyone likes to think this verse still applies today and means to have tons and tons of babies, which was definitely part of the deal considering there were only 8 people on the planet. However, by the time Jesus came, the command was no longer “fill the earth with people,” it was “fill the people with God.” “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
Anyway, it only took two chapters for the people to adamantly defy the last part of God’s command. Here is exactly where it happens:
“Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and KEEP US FROM BEING SCATTERED ALL OVER THE WORLD.” (Genesis 11:4 emphasis mine)
God wanted them to scatter. The people came to a point where they simply said, “No, God. We don’t want to scatter.”
I believe we are in a very similar position today. People who claim to be God’s people have very plain and simple orders from the Word of God, and simply choose to either ignore them, or flat our defy them. Here are a few:
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) Yet, Christians seem to get caught up in all of these stupid, unwinnable debates on whose lives matter the most. Or, perhaps worse, we will condemn non-believers to Hell for acting like, well, non-believers.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) “Nope” we say, “My family and my kingdom first. But I will do what I think is right along the way and show up to church sometimes . . . if it is convenient. I know I don’t read my Bible or pray that much, but I’m really busy.”
“Flee sexual immorality.” (1 Corinthians 6:18) The majority of those who say they are Christians say with their actions, “Forget that God. Everybody is doing it now. Your antiquated book needs to get with the times. In fact, we will have a business meeting and vote this part of your word out of our denomination and let everyone know that you are now cool with our behavior.”
I could go on and on with these examples. I only feel led to write this because many people who claim to be Christians are baffling me. The arguments they will enter. The sin they will endorse. The attitudes they will display. I ask, “Do they even read the Bible? Do they not know that the only people Jesus really thrashed were the Pharisees who behaved just as they are behaving now?”
If you are a fairly young Christian, of course there is grace and mercy. I was beyond pathetic for my first 5 years. However, 20 years later, I’m not still pathetic. I don’t claim a great understanding, but I have read the Word several times and I plan on reading it a lot more. I do ask God consistently for wisdom and understanding and He has never failed to help me learn more and more every year. I have stepped out on faith and obeyed according to my new understanding more and more. And no, I’m not talking perfect obedience lest you call my name Jesus, but I am talking about growing more and more in righteousness. I am talking about refusing to go against what, “thus saith the Lord.”
Are you there? Do you want to be?
Is there some sin in your life that you know God wants you to stop?
Is there some discipline, such as praying, or regularly reading God’s Word that God wants you to start?
As a result of your salvation, do you behave any different than the non-believers who want nothing to do with your God, your Bible, or your church?
For the person serious about seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, these questions are great places to start.