Yesterday I experienced a situation which again affirms the value of the Word of God and its application in our daily lives. My reading was from 2Chr 19:1-7. King Jehoshaphat has just returned from the time when he made an alliance with King Ahab, they go to war together against the Arameans, and King Ahab is killed.
“When King Jehoshaphat of Judah arrived safely home in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him. “Why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord (referring to Ahab)?” he asked the king. “Because of what you have done, the Lord is very angry with you. 3 Even so, there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asherah poles throughout the land, and you have committed yourself to seeking God.” 4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, but he went out among the people, traveling from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, encouraging the people to return to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 5 He appointed judges throughout the nation in all the fortified towns, 6 and he said to them, “Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment. Remember that you do not judge to please people but to please the Lord. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. 7 Fear the Lord and judge with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.”
You may wonder: what does any of this have to do with a day living in America in 2020? We can be approachable for correction (v2). We can encourage people by our lives to return to the Lord (v4). We can be careful not to judge people and circumstances according to man’s thinking but only according to God’s standard (v6).
This is how it played out in my life. I was heading out to the post office. When I approached our main road, which has been under construction, a sign said ‘Wait for pacing car’; in other words, don’t come onto this street until directed by the construction crew. I sat there for about 5 minutes when I thought, Why wait? I’ll turn and go out the other clear end of the development. I threw the car into reverse, glancing back over my shoulder to the last driveway, and applied the gas before seeing another vehicle directly behind me. I had no damage to my vehicle, but his vehicle had a cracked bumper.
The young man was very distraught; he had borrowed the vehicle, was already late to work, wasn’t even sure where the paperwork was in the well-used pick-up. We exchanged info, I took pictures and he said the owner would call me later. He took off.
I sat for several more minutes before I could function. Why did that happen, Lord? Am I out of your will? What do you have for me to learn in this? Is this the start of trouble? In my last post, I referred to Ex23:20 about the angel sent before me to protect me and bring me to a place prepared for me. I definitely wasn’t seeing this place!
As I examined myself, I realized my own failings, not just in driving, but in attitude: I hadn’t even thought to thank God for our safety. Attempts at an encouraging word were absent. Worse still, I found myself unconsciously judging the young man by his appearance and stress level.
Sitting alongside the road afterward, I could honestly repent for my self-sustaining judgmental attitude. An accident is an accident, but a judgemental attitude is sin. Paul described the innermost sin in this way: “My lofty desires to do what is good are dashed when I do the things I want to avoid.” Rom 7:15(TPT) My core self was revealed to me. Although I missed my first opportunity with this young man, there may be others as we conclude our business together. God has given me this young man and his family as a new prayer assignment.
How about you? How has God corrected you recently? What has he allowed as that instrument of challenge to your attempts to be Christlike?