As a five year old and the first of what would be five of us ‘Walterman kids’ I sometimes had little supervision in church. And church was an important and frequent part of my young life.
Dad was the pastor.
Baby sister Dawn would be held by a friend or grandma … Mom would be at the piano … Dad would be on the platform and I would be by myself on the front row. Even at that early age I was quite proficient at ‘cutting up.’ I would turn around and make funny faces at serious worshippers. I would bend at the waist until I could look between my legs, under the seats clear to the back of the sanctuary.
I was mischief in a small package. I felt safe because Mom was tied to the piano and if she came over, the worship would grind to a halt. And Dad? No way he would leave the platform and lose the decorum and flow of the church service. And besides, he probably didn’t even notice my behavior.
When church was over I discovered that he had indeed noticed!
Our moral mischief doesn’t go unnoticed either. “But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked.” Psalms 11:4 New Living Translation In Jeremiah 23:24 God asks very simply, “Can anyone hide from me?” TLB
Israel made the mistake of assuming that God wasn’t watching because He didn’t care. But God is watching because He established the rules and knows that obedience to them gives life meaning and satisfaction. Moral ambiguity isn’t safe and it ultimately isn’t fun.
We can assume that if enough of us take the side of sin that God will have to adjust to the new norms. And besides, it can’t be wrong when it feels so right. And so with our faulty flashlight of consensus in one hand and our broken compass of feelings in the other we stumble off the road and leave safety and sense behind.
Dad didn’t immediately jump off the platform to correct me. He gave me sufficient time to ‘straighten out.’ And God’s mercy gives us ample opportunity to follow his loving heart for our lives.
This week don’t challenge God’s authority. Instead let him love you …
“For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty Savior.
He will give you victory. He will rejoice over you with great gladness;
he will love you and not accuse you.” Is that a joyous choir I hear?
No, it is the Lord himself exulting over you in happy song.”
Zephaniah 3:17,18 TLB