Thursday, August 13, 2009

Destroying the Destroyer

Jeremiah 50:2-3
(2) "Declare among the nations and proclaim, set up a banner and proclaim, conceal it not, and say: 'Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dismayed. Her images are put to shame, her idols are dismayed.'
(3) "For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away.

The circle finally closes on Babylon. God had used Babylon to punish Israel and Judah, but there still had to be a reckoning for their sin. Their time had come and God was going to use Persia to punish them.

I may have mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating. Just because someone or some organization seems successful we should not leap to the conclusion that they are doing the right things. If we measured success that way we would be inclined to follow the gods of Babylon. After all, they had the upper hand. Their kingdom was incredibly prosperous.

However, in the end they still had to face the true God's wrath. There had to be justice for how they worshiped. Their success was fleeting only because they were instruments in God's hands.

This is why we must use the Bible as our standard for judging ministry. Obviously it leaves some things up to personal preference. I don't think God cares if we use pianos, organs, or guitars in singing our songs. I don't think he cares if we wear suits or skater jackets. What He does care about is the true proclamation of the gospel done by humble leaders who know Him and love Him. That's the kind of place where I want to worship and where I would want to lead if I end up going the pastoral route.

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