Whether nations, peoples, tongues or churches, mankind has been challenged to walk in a manner that is pleasing and acceptable to God and avoid violating the moral and civil standards that He has set forth.
There are two commands specifically that have plagued mankind and the people of God for a long time. God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel when it was an infant nation.
The impacts of these eternal guidelines are the model of law and relationship between man and God for both the ancient and now modern world.
Mankind developed the propensity to differentiate between both horizontal and vertical relationships, a stigma of the first and last commandments hold firmly to our nature and life pursuits.
As Israel grew into a mature nation and inherited the promises of God, they, like us today, were drawn away from God and His guidance to go after other gods and they fashioned themselves like the nations around them.
God encouraged this young nation to hold firmly to the precepts that He had given them and not to deviate to the left hand or to the right.
In His initial introduction, God said, “You shall have no other gods before me,” and “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20: 3; 17 NIV).
Using King Solomon as an example, the word of God states, “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God” (1 Kings 11: 4 NIV).
Today, we live in a society that promotes tolerance in religion, relationships and ideology. The church has bought into this same ideology to be like the nations, peoples and tongues that now fill our spectrum.
We must ask ourselves, “Is God satisfied with this? Or have we, like Israel before us, sold out to the notion that God has changed and no longer requires autonomy.
As Israel grew, they became a people who were unstable and vacillated in their relationship with their God.
When things were well, the gods of the nations became attractive to them; but when time got hard, they sought the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They continued until God sold them into bondage to Assyria and Babylon.
Israel wanted a king when the eternal God of creation was their king. They coveted the kings of the other nations, which lead their armies to war and became icons to the inhabitants.
Israel cried, “Give us a king to lead us” (1 Samuel 8: 6 NIV).
Today, the church wants to be like other nations (the world), do what they do, wear what they wear, go where they go, talk like they talk.
God requires a wholly separate people unto himself.
As nations, peoples, tongues or churches, our saving grace is to hold on to the God who has been faithful, keep His commandments and live.
Heed Moses’ proposal, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.
“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 30: 19 NIV).
Lockett is the pastor of Pillar In Zion Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.