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Zechariah 1:4

Turn, Turn, Turn

4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.

Turning to the Lord means to turn away from sin. There is no sin in the presence of God, because He abhors it and will not tolerate it. When we turn to Him, we may not bring our sins with us, "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16) But, most of us do not know what it means to be holy.

God was sore displeased with the fathers of the people of Judah, and the fathers taught their children their wicked ways. It seems each generation introduces more sin into the culture than the one before it. The sins of succeeding generations are piled one upon another until they seem to be acceptable behavior to everyone but God.

God had sent them prophet after prophet to call them to repentance, but they would not change. They hated the prophets, killed some of them, and completely rejected the word of God, which the prophets had faithfully preached. Their evil ways had become traditions handed down from one generation to another. Who did the prophets think they were to speak against the ways of their people?

Yet, the prophets had loved both their God and their people. They cried out passionately for the people to listen to God and avoid His anger, but they would not. Finally, God had sent His people into captivity, just as the prophets had said He would, and now he warns, "Be not as your fathers..."

In Jesus' day, the Jewish people were still living in disobedience to God. Both their oral and written traditions had rendered God's laws unrecognizable. "Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (Mark 7:5-9)

How easy it is for sin to become tradition! People no longer think anything is wrong with the skimpy bikinis worn by women on our beaches or the sexy lingerie ads on T.V. A hundred years ago those women would have been arrested. I hear pastors using language to youth that was considered filthy when I was a kid. Sin has become the norm and we do not recognize it, because our fathers did it, we have expanded on it, and our children are building upon that. It is even considered a mother's right to kill her unborn baby.

Our forefathers did not listen to God, and we are following in their footsteps. Even Christians want to be God's people, but practice the sins that have practically become traditions. But, there is no sin in the presence of God. To turn to Him, you must turn away from sin... permanently. You simply cannot bounce back and forth like a rubber ball.

Turn, turn, turn... Thus saith the LORD of hosts!

Before The Throne:

Compare your life with the lives of people who lived a hundred years ago. What would they have thought? What do you think God would say? Why not ask Him? Have we made the sins of our fathers to be the traditions we teach to our children? Ask God to show you how to be holy as He is holy. Then, repent.

For Further Study:

** as: 2Chron 29:6-10; 30:7; 34:21; Ezra 9:7; Neh 9:16; Psa 78:8; 106:6-7; Eze 18:14-17; 1Pet 1:18; ** unto: Zech 7:11-13; 2Chron 24:19-22; 36:15-16; Neh 9:26, 30; Isa 30:9-11; Jer 6:16-17; 13:16-18; 17:19-23; 25:3-7; 35:15; 36:2, 3-10; 44:4-5; Eze 3:7-9; Mic 2:6; Act 7:51-52; 1Thes 2:15-16; ** Turn: Zech 1:3; Isa 1:16-19; 31:6; Jer 3:12; 7:3-7; 18:11; Eze 18:30-32; 33:11; Hos 14:1; Amos 5:13-15, 24; Mat 3:8-10; Act 3:19; 26:20; ** but: Jer 11:6-8; 13:9-10; 26:5; 36:23-24; 44:16;


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