Within the books of prophecy the Bible reader is able to see clearly the problems God had with His people, often called “Jerusalem” (often described with the feminine “she.”)
The word of the Lord came to these prophets, and they were charged with telling God’s people why they were headed for trouble. Here’s one example:
“Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled! She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God. Her officials are roaring lions, her rulers are evening wolves, who leave nothing for the morning. Her prophets are arrogant; they are treacherous men. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law.”
This doesn’t read like a “chamber of commerce” publicity blurb does it. Almost as bad as ancient Sodom, you wouldn’t want to live there or move your family in. This is a place where oppression, rebellion and pride lived. Even the religion of this place was corrupt and profane. And the government officials were like roaring, hungry lions who went on the attack in the evenings with such ferocity, there was nothing left the next day. This is why the people were in such trouble, and headed for destruction.
But in the middle of this, look carefully for a single phrase that spells out the core issue: “She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God.” Yes, that was the foundational problem. They had abandoned God. When God is abandoned, the people suffer multiple consequences generated by sin, even before the eternal outcome.
This should cause us to think, how do we draw near to God? Let us assume we want to be closer to Him and live far away from the corruption and sin of ancient Jerusalem. How do we draw near to God?
- Read His Word
- Obey Him
- Join with others who obey Him
- Pray without ceasing
- Worship in spirit and truth
- Use God’s Word to examine and adjust your attitude
- Be willing to stand corrected by the Word
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded,” (Jas. 4:8).