June 5, 2017
Dilute No More
Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth (1 Kings 13: 33-34, NIV).
Friend to Friend
My husband James is a diluter.
He dilutes fruit juice with water. He dilutes hand soap to make it last longer. He adds water to the shampoo bottle. And friends, he even dilutes my family’s maple syrup.
When we’re gathered around the breakfast table with hot, yummy pancakes, we all know one thing. Our maple syrup will be watery and thin. It will need to be applied quite generously to have any taste at all.
One glorious day, the maple syrup finally ran out. When I bought new maple syrup from the store, I roared to my husband, “You will not touch this syrup!”
Maple syrup is meant to be enjoyed undiluted.
This is how the Word of God should be consumed - undiluted. We should not water down the Scriptures to make our lives easier.
You might say King Jeroboam in the Old Testament was a diluter.
In 1 Kings 13, we learn that a man of God issues a warning to King Jeroboam. He says that one day his son Josiah will sacrifice the priests of the high places on the altar. He will clean up house and get rid of those who practice idolatry. Jeroboam didn’t repent upon these words. Instead he tried to seize the man of God, but God withered his hand. He asked the man of God to pray for him and his hand was restored.
You would think after such a dramatic episode that King Jeroboam would heed the words of the man of God. But no, he didn’t repent and instead appointed more priests for the high places. He disobeyed God’s strict requirements for the priesthood. Anyone who wanted to become a priest could be one. Talk about a watered down priesthood!
This sin did not go unpunished. The Bible says it led to the downfall and obliteration of Jeroboam’s house.
Friend, if you choose to dilute your juice or even your maple syrup, it will not cause major problems in your life. But if you dilute the Word of God, trouble will follow. For King Jeroboam, it cost him the legacy of his family.
It says in Psalm 119, the law of the Lord is to be “fully obeyed” (v. 4), “kept with all your heart” (v. 69), and “followed” (v. 106). May we declare today, “I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (v. 102-103).
Sweet like undiluted maple syrup!
Since my declaration of “You will not touch this syrup!” my family has been enjoying maple syrup as it was designed to be eaten. Let us rise up and more importantly declare, “We will not alter the Word of God or water it down to make the message more palatable.” The undiluted Word of God is powerful and active, making life truly sweet and worth living.
Dear God, I love Your Word. I will meditate on the Bible and obey the commandments inside. Forgive me for watering down Your commandments when they are inconvenient or difficult to follow. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to embrace and obey Your precious Word.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Ask the Lord to reveal the answer to this question: Lord, am I diluting Your Word in any way? Am I following a watered down version of Christianity? What are the areas of my life that need to be corrected according to your laws?
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