Vacant Lots And Other Such Things
By Grant Phillips
As I imagine the Garden of Eden prior to sin entering therein, I see no weeds or anything else of a negative nature, such as trash, graffiti, or dilapidation of any kind. Adam and Eve’s clothing (birthday suits) never wore out because God designed them not to unless they sinned against Him, of which they did later. They never had to brush their teeth, since their grinders (as Solomon called them in Ecclesiastes) were always clean and white. Their hair was always perfect and Eve never had to worry with make-up or lipstick. She always looked great, as did Adam.
Even though they always wore only their birthday suits, there was never an unclean thought. Did they lust for each other sexually? Do birds fly? Of course they did, but their lust was natural as between a husband (man) and wife (woman).
Yep, everything was perfect, and then, you know who showed up; Satan. When evil creeps through the cracks, everything else goes to pot. We have been going down-hill since. From that point on, every human being, animal, plant and object deteriorate to a state of rot and corruption. From that time forward, everything we see, feel, smell and hear dies, including our own bodies.
If a house is left vacant what happens? It falls apart. Miscreants often take over the premises and it becomes a haven for crime. The wood decays. The nails rust. The windows get broken. The concrete walkway crumbles. The paved driveway splits due to weeds growing through the cracks, and the yard is waist deep in more weeds instead of a manicured lawn. Without a caretaker, or a with poor caretaker, everything is taken over by negative forces. The only good thing that could possibly happen to this place is for a conscientious home owner to come along who buys the property, and restores it.
This reminds me of:
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17 Emphasis mine)
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 Emphasis mine)
Just as a vacant house and lot deteriorate when without a caring owner, so do we as individuals and as a society when we reject God’s grace and choose Satan’s lie.
We can look in any direction in our society today and see what has happened to this world since Satan took over; nothing but death, decay and destruction. We have become the vacant house and lot. We are falling apart and being taken over by the weeds of sin. The miscreants who have moved in are the demons, devils and influences of Satan’s army.
From the looks of this house and lot, we have been vacant for a long time. The heart of man today is totally corrupt as it was in the days of Noah. There is not much left to do but tear down what remains, burn it and start over. That, in my opinion, is what is coming up over the horizon.
I’m sure most of you have heard and seen the actions of our latest child star on stage. What a disgrace and shame this young girl has become. As so many before her, she is reveling in the shock culture of our day. The evil of Satan has brought society to the point of having to do something more shocking, disgusting and revolting than those who came before us. Several of these too rich for their britches and well known youngsters need our prayers. They are damning their souls.
Obviously, many (certainly not all) of the people in Hollywood, the music scene, and politics do not live in the real world. Their lifestyle is such that they are being seduced by the sirens of their own fame. They are headed for destruction and think we are just old fuddy-duddies because we believe in the Lord Jesus and choose to follow Him.
When left without guidance we become wandering ships upon the ocean of life. We aimlessly roam the seas, never reaching land. There is no captain of our life. It may seem like fun riding those waves now, but eventually one will come that will cause us to sink to the bottom of the ocean floor to accompany the wrecks that have sunk before us. We all need a ship’s captain in our lives to guide us home safely. Without Him, we will sink.
Just as the vacant house cannot repair and maintain itself, neither can we. We, as the vacant lot, will only grow weeds and decay if left alone. We need an owner who is qualified and capable of taking care of us.
God told Hosea to take of himself a wife of whoredom (harlotry). He did as God instructed. Later she left him and was being sold as a slave in the market place. God told Hosea to go and buy her back. Again, he obeyed.
Now before some of you pop a vein, I realize this passage is speaking of God’s people Israel. However, this is also a picture of God sending His Son to buy us from the slave market of sin.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Hosea, Joshua and Jesus are all derived from the Hebrew word, hoshea. They mean “salvation.” The words Joshua and Jesus go even further by denoting “Yahweh is Salvation.”
I choose to consider Hosea’s experience at this time, because as Gomer, we too have been corrupted by sin. We are “the house left vacant” mentioned above, and we are being sold by our owner in the slave market. Guess who the current owner is? He is none other than the “you know who” guy again; Satan. Satan owns those in the slave market, but Jesus is willing, as was Hosea, to buy us back. In Jesus’ case however, He is not just a man, but He is Yahweh and He is Salvation. The price was the cross and an empty tomb. It has been paid in full by Jesus Christ.
“…It is finished…” (John 19:30)
This world is going to hell all around us. I have never witnessed such blatant, in your face animosity toward God in my lifetime, and I have been around the block a few times. I marvel at the grace of Almighty God. Obviously, His patience matches His love for us, but how many more buttons of His can we push before He says, “Out of the pool, the party’s over?”
“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.” (Isaiah 38:1)
Hezekiah repented and God allowed him to live another fifteen years. Where does that leave us?
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