FORGOTTEN PURPOSE! As you read Hebrews chapter eleven you thrill at the history of those people of faith in the first thirty one verses but when you realize at that point in the history of the nation a sad time had arrived for the nation. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 ASV). Though the faith chapter of Hebrews continues, and though we realize that down through history, there was a shortage of real people of faith, Judges 21:25 displays the stark reality of how people can go from “walking in the garden with God” to “hell on earth.” In America, where we have so much individual freedom, we often resemble the nation of Israel at the Judges 21:25 point. People absolutely want to do their “own thing” without restraints or comments from anyone else. And of course this leads to conflicts within a society governed by “laws and justice” that seek to provide the same rights and privileges for everyone.
As Christians we should remember that we are governed by a King named Jesus whose directives are to be our standard and guide regardless of the lack of laws or the imposition of laws in the society in which we live. As Christians we should not be described as “doing what is right in our own eyes” but rather as people who do what God has directed us to do according to the Word of God. The people of Israel in the Judges 21:25 era had forgotten the Word of God and the God of the Word. They had forgotten God’s work and miracles in the life of the nation and they had forgotten their purpose in God’s plan and program for the world. I think many “Christians” today may have forgotten their purpose and calling in this world as well.
The Apostle Peter said, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV). God has granted American Christians the privilege of living in a country with special freedoms in a world that very seldom sees such freedoms. We should not use these freedoms as an excuse for self-indulgence, self-promotion, or self-sufficiency. God’s purpose for us is clearly stated by the Apostle Peter and we should pray and strive to live up to the standard set before us by our King Jesus. As we walk before many people “who are doing what is right in their own eyes” let us declare in life and word “the praises of him who called (us) out of darkness into his wonderful light.”