Let me begin this post by saying, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I pray you have a blessed day in the Lord. I know many of us will not be gathering with our families due to the pandemic or other reasons. Just because we can’t be together, doesn’t mean we can’t show our love and gratitude for one another. If you get the chance, call or video chat with those you love. This year may be different, but we can still find ways to be together and share our love for one another.
Harvard professor, George Santayana, said, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” While Santayana may have said it, the nation of Israel in the Old Testament lived it. Of course, so did the 12 disciples, and so do you and I for that matter. There are probably a myriad of reasons why we seem to get locked into endless cycles, and I won’t deal with or try to deal with them all here. But there is a recurring theme that sums them all up, we don’t listen to God very well. In the Bible, God has given us His wisdom on how to live and love. Yet, we like Adam and Eve and every one after them, have decided that we know better than God, and so we try to do it our way. In Hebrews 3 there is a warning that I hope we all take notice of and listen to. Hebrews 3:7-8 says, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness.'”
If you were to try to summarize 2020, how would you do it? I don’t know that we can adequately summarize it. There has been a lot of bad things in this year. Yet, I don’t believe that it has all been bad, and I do believe that there can still be some more good that could come out of it. However, we have to listen and learn. In trying to summarize this year, I guess it all depends on what you are looking for. The truth is whatever we are looking for, we will find. If you want to find nothing but trouble and problems, you won’t have a shortage of those to find in 2020. From racial unrest, injustices, political turmoil, and oh yeah, maybe you have heard about the pandemic we are in. That is just scratching the surface. But, if you want to find some good in all of it, we can find that as well. Families have spent more time together, people have been reminded that life is fragile and short, and for the first time in my lifetime we are starting to have some difficult conversations that needed to be had. I’ve seen several social media posts about 2020 being perfect vision. Maybe, that is what God is trying to do for us, to realign our vision with His heart and His purpose. But we are going to have to learn from our past. This is what the writer of Hebrews was imploring his audience to do. Israel refused to learn from their past, so they kept committing the same sins over and over. It resulted in them missing out on God’s blessings, and it cost them their life. We are in danger of doing the exact same thing. God has given our nation warning after warning. We, like Israel, learn from it for a while, but then we go right back to the way things were, and believe it or not, we go further away from God over time. If our nation doesn’t learn some vital lessons from COVID-19 and this year, I am truly afraid one of two things being the case. I am afraid of what it would take for our nation to be brought to our knees before we repent of our pride and cry out to God. Or, I wonder if we have gone too far, and God’s judgment is going to fall on this great nation. By the way, God’s judgment in this case, I believe would be this, He would give us exactly what we asked for. Both of those scare me, not just for my generation, but for my children’s generation. How far will we go away from God?
But, this is Thanksgiving so I want to end on a positive note here. That positive note is this, God is still giving us time. If you flipped into Hebrews 4, we see the writer of Hebrews saying that God is giving us time and another chance to enter into His rest. In this case, rest speaks of His salvation. While we are in danger of God’s wrath here and eternally, God is still giving us time to repent of our sins and turn to Him. But we need to start learning our lesson now, and start allowing God to make changes. May He do so, and may He begin with me! On behalf of myself, my family, and the entire Westlake Baptist Church family, Happy Thanksgiving from us to you. May this be the time and the season in which we turn back to God, and experience His blessings.
By His grace and for His glory,