Advertise With Us

God Cleanses His People

God Cleanses His People

By Henry Nelson

 

 

 

5The Woman in a Basket. Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what this is that is appearing.”6I asked, “What is it?”He replied, “It is a measuring basket.” And he added, “This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land.”7Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman!8He said, “This is wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth.9Then I looked up—and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.10″Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel who was speaking to me.11He replied, “To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When it is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.” Zechariah 5:5-11 {{more}}   Before the Israelites had gone into exile, they were primarily a agriculture based society. They lived off the land and farming. During their stay in Babylon, this began to change to a more commercial way of life. The Jews saw the wealth of the people of Babylon and desired it. They in fact are not above dishonest gain. It causes God to say through Malachi that the people are robbing God of the tithe and the offering. It caused Haggai to declare that they have little and received little because they were treating God with contempt It reminds me of a poem: Now I lay me down to sleep I pray my Cuisinart to keep I pray my stocks are on the rise And that my analyst is wise That all the wine I sip is white And that my hot tubs watertight That racquetball won’t get too tough That all my sushi’s fresh enough I pray my cordless phone still works That my career won’t lose it perks My microwave won’t radiate My condo won’t depreciate I pray my health club does not close And that my money market grows If I go broke before I wake I pray my Volvo they won’t take ~Steve Farrar~ This was the problem of the Israelites. This is what God is trying to say to them in this vision of Zechariah in Zechariah 5:5-11. Here are what some of the symbols mean: Ephah- a dry measure equal to a bushel. It was used to measure flour and barley. It symbolizes trade or commerce. Babylon- symbol the world and the marketplace. In Revelations 18 we see God judging Babylon at the setting up of His kingdom. The woman in the basket represents Israel’s sin. Materialism is bad for a number of reasons. Clearly, God felt that He had to cleanse His people before they could move on and be used greatly of Him. We see that in Zechariah 3 when God removes the filth from Joshua and clothes him with rich garments. The principle behind this is that 1. Repentance comes before usefulness. We see this when God reveals himself to Isaiah in Isaiah 6:7 and with Peter when he falls before Christ and asks Christ to depart for he is a sinful man. Revival also must start with repentance. For repentance means cleansing and cleansing is always for a purpose. 2. Materialism reflects misplaced priorities. We are to be seeking His kingdom and righteousness first. George W. Truett, a well known pastor was once invited to a home of a wealthy man in Texas. After dinner, the host led him outside where they had a commanding view of the area. Pointing to the oil wells that punctuated the landscape, he boasted: 25 years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see it’s all mine. Turning east toward a herd of cattle, he bragged, “They are all mine.” Turning west to a forest he said “That is also mine.” and so on. Truett placed his hand on the man’s shoulder and pointed heavenward and said “How much do you have in that direction.” The man hung his head and confessed, “I never thought of that.” If all these things are going to be burned up eventually, then should not we be placing more value on what will last eternally? That is a good question for us to consider “How much do you have in that direction.” Martin Luther once said “I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands that I still possess.” Amen! 3. Materialism reflects misplaced loyalty. The person who loves money cannot love God. You cannot love this world and money also. 1st Timothy 6:10 says, “That the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Amen! Christopher Winans, in his book, Malcolm Forbes: The Man Who Had Everything”, tells of a motorcycle tour Forbes took through Egypt in 1984 with his capitalist Tool motorcycle team. After viewing the burial tomb of King Tut, Forbes seemed reflective. He asked one of his associates. Do you think I will be remembered after I die? Forbes use to say, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” He collected motorcycles, castles and countless other toys he now cannot use. The Lord Jesus once said in Matthew 16:26, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul.”Amen! So, what about you. Where are you placing your treasure? How much do you have up there? Where are your investments? This Scripture encourages us to hold on to lightly the things of this earth and to place our priority and loyalty on the things of heaven. Amen!