Have you ever noticed things seem to go in cycles? The first one that comes to your mind is probably the seasons of the year. It is true they are cyclical, yet I’m thinking more along the lines of world events.
Let’s take the Israelites as an example. They were chosen by God. They worshiped Him. They disobeyed. God punished them. They returned to God. And the cycle started over. We can see their cycle of obedience, disobedience, punishment, and return to God repeated several times.
What cycles can we identified in our country, if we look back over our history? What cycles can we identify within Christianity, if we do some research? What cultural cycles can we identify? Well, I see bell-bottom jeans are making a comeback.
But seriously, there are cycles within Christianity. It is unfortunate to observe that we more closely resemble the Israelites than we like to admit. There have been times of straying away and times of enlightenment. The crusades were certainly a dark time for Christianity.
Thankfully, we have begun seeing signs pointing toward a resurgence in seeking God’s Word. There are many who will state that attendance numbers in our churches are down…and that is true. I’m not talking about numbers, though. The resurgence is only starting and coming in the form of more of our core members digging deeper into God’s Word for understanding. This is a key indicator we are likely on the brink of more people turning to God. However, as the old saying goes, it is darkest just before dawn.
Why is it important that we see more people seeking understanding of God’s Word? As we gain understanding, we gain a better picture of who God is. We become in awe of Him, His creation, and what He has done for us. Our love for God is strengthened. We obey His commands, which increases God’s love and favor for us.
In today’s passage, we see the word fear. It means both being afraid and being in awe. It means we respect and honor God. The passage also states God loves, including caring for, those who keep His commands. At this moment, I’m thinking of the two greatest commands Jesus gave us—love God, love your neighbor.
I pray we all dig deeper into God’s Word for understanding. I pray we turn back to obedience of His commands. I pray each one of us are in awe of God. Study God’s Word. Gain understanding of God’s commands. Obey God. Experience God’s love. Experience God’s righteousness.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.