Sunday, March 14, 2021

Cultural Automatic

When modern Christians study the Old Testament, they automatically zip in the equivalence of ourselves as individuals drawing lessons from what happened to the Israelites. What should we learn about our own trust in God from looking at what happened to Israel under Joshua?  This morning's sermon from Malachi switched effortlessly from the people of Israel being discouraged and ceasing to be rigorous in practice to our own individual tendencies to wonder if God has forgotten us and no longer cares for us. Not what our family's experience is, nor our church's, nor our denomination's, nor our country's, nor our era's.  Just ours.  Our own little selves.  We see individual lessons automatically, and do not even think to expand them to something close to their original meaning. 

I don't write this in particular criticism.  Sumus quod sumus, we are what we are.  While there are advantages to expanding our thinking and applying it to our groups rather than our own transitory feelings, it is not easily done. I simply note it as a place where our culture is so divergent from the assumptions of not only Old Testament times, but virtually every other culture in the world until the last few centuries in NW Europe and its colonies. Don't leap to conclusions here.  God may be speaking to to you about your church, not you personally in your reading and devotions.


james said...

We have the most control over our own attitudes, so it isn't a bad first approach.

Texan99 said...

Agreed--it's too easy, in wondering what God is telling my church, etc., to drift into thinking "what is He telling all those members of my church who, unlike me, are getting it all wrong."