Without a moral compass, you will believe anything

Patricia Holbrook of Soaring With Him Ministries

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Patricia Holbrook of Soaring With Him Ministries

One of the peculiar sins of the 20th century which we’ve developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God, they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything.” Malcolm Muggeridge

The prophet had spoken. The Jews were not to seek an alliance with Egypt, even though it made perfect sense. The Assyrians conquered every surrounding nation, marching at a steady and deadly pace, destroying everything on their path and taking captive kingdoms and kings. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was one of them — its sins of idolatry and rebellion against God caught up with them, and God allowed Assyria to defeat and disperse the people.

The king of Judah, the southern Kingdom of Israel, chose not to listen to the prophet Isaiah, who warned against trusting foreign alliances other than God. Rather, he relied on what made political sense. He sought a defensive alliance with Egypt against Sennacherib of Assyria, which proved useless since the Babylonian forces were more powerful. By choosing to believe the words of the false prophets instead of God, the king led the nation into disobedience. Hence, the Jews settled in Egypt, wishing to hear only good news, defiantly refusing God’s warning through the prophet.

The rest is history. The alliance proved to be helpless as the mighty forces of Babylon swept over Judah, wherein Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, installed Zedekiah as a vassal king of Judah. Zedekiah later rebelled against Babylon, its military forces eventually besieging Jerusalem in 587 B.C.

Anyone studying the history of Israel, whether before or after the division of the nation, may find themselves judging the Jews with utter contempt. We may shake our heads while reading about their rebellious spirit and regard their infidelity and idolatry as something we would never do. After all, Israeli kings led the nation to even perform human sacrifice at the lowest moral stance of its history! An abomination, we may say. Which indeed, it is. But the truth is, 21st-century believers are not significantly different. Many of us fall into the same complacent state and stop listening to God’s voice, deeming his word as “antiquated, obtuse or allegorical.”

Renowned Bible commentator Matthew Henry’s words about Judah’s sin still convict today:

They were so confident of the prudence of their own measures that they thought it needless to consult the oracle; nay, they were not willing to put it to that issue.

If we are honest, like Judah, many believers struggle with trusting God when his word does not make sense or when obeying him brings forth a cloud of unpopularity and conflict. To some, they have even stopped seeking God for certain issues, making their minds before consulting his heart.

It’s understandable, no doubt. It is indeed so tempting to “seek the comfort of Egypt” when we see the mighty waves of condemnation threatening to take over and defeat us. Yes, it is easier to listen to the false prophets whose agenda is often to appease men other than pleasing God. But make no mistake. Their teaching does not spare us, harmless as they may seem. Their beliefs may make us acceptable and modern, but their “tickling of the ears” sedates our minds into believing that the relevance of God’s word has changed.

And it’s not getting any better. One would have to be blind not to notice that the rapid winds of change are not blowing in our favor.

Pastor Clay Smith of Johnson Ferry Baptist made a strong, however correct, statement in his latest sermon:

Ten years ago, our beliefs were considered old-fashioned. Today, we are viewed as hateful if we stand by what we believe.” (paraphrased)

It is true. It seems like tolerance must be given to everyone nowadays, except for believers. Everyone can proudly stand by their principles, but when people of faith choose to use Scriptures as the compass by which they base their principles, they are considered haters.

I don’t know about you, but I call that unjust. I respect those who choose to stand by different views than my own and don’t consider them haters for not agreeing with me. But as for me, I wish to keep my ears close to the words of the prophet, use Scriptures as my compass, however imperfect my life may be, lest I become like Israel and Judah, broken and captive, living a life bound to the weight of my sins.

As they say nowadays: “You do you, and I’ll do me.” That’s fair enough, I would say.

Patricia Holbrook is a columnist, author, blogger and international speaker. Visit her website www.soaringwithHim.com to learn about her speaking ministry, Bible studies and book. For speaking engagements and comments, email pholbrook@soaringwithHim.com