We are now over half way through our book of 30 Life Principles. This week the principle was “Whatever you acquire outside of God’s will eventually turns to ashes.” The scripture verse for that was Ezekiel 25: 6-7, which we read and promptly went, huh? It is pronouncing God’s judgement against one of Israel’s enemies, except you have to look up to verse one to make the connection! Well, eventually it made sense anyway.
It seems that God used the Ammonites to punish Israel and then He judged them for their own sin. Okay, that makes some sense, after all the Babylonians got taken over by the next wave of invaders too. But this is before that I guess and we were struggling to put it all together. Someone suggested that it helps to have a chronological bible. Maybe I will look for one of those.
Anyway, here were all sorts of questions about God’s dealings with the Ammonites. They had been trying to run Israel out of the Promised Land for a long time. But apparently they allied themselves with the Babylonians, against God’s warning to them by Ezekiel. It finally began to make sense that God was warning them, when we read that they were actually the descendants of Lot. So this was like your cousin coming over to repossess your house or something.
So the Ammonites beat Israel, but then the Babylonians turned on them. Eventually their civilization was so thoroughly destroyed, that they are hardly remembered at all, as God predicted. In fact I wonder if they aren’t remembered more because they have a place in the Old Testament.
Living the principle included Ps. 37:4 and several other verses. However, unless it was covered before I left, I’m not sure we got that far. We had had an extended sharing time in the beginning, so the class part was shorter than usual. Our life examples included an acquaintance who had an affair, divorced and remarried, only to have the second marriage crash when the husband had yet another affair. Someone else shared about a relationship in which they ignored the warning signs and regretted it. I’m sure many of us have stories like that.
Basically, that was the message of the lesson. If you feel a hesitation in your spirit, or have alarm bells going off, don’t do whatever it is you are about to do. Makes good sense, though he has an odd way of getting there. I guess at least, we are getting a good dose of lesser known old testament stories. I’m pretty sure I have some form of a timeline somewhere that might keep things a little straighter in our heads, if I can find it.