To a people whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured. They are one with Him. But the Jews had separated themselves from God. Because of their sins they were suffering under His judgements. This was the cause of their bondage to a heathen nation. Their minds were darkened by transgression, and because in times past the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins. They flattered themselves that they were better than other men and entitled to His blessings.
1 Corinthians 10:11 "These things are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." How often we misinterpret God's blessings and flatter ourselves that we are favored on account of some goodness in us. God cannot do for us that which He longs to do. We use His gifts to increase our self-satisfaction, and to harden our hearts in unbelief and sin.
John declared to the teachers of Israel that their pride, selfishness, and cruelty showed them to be a generation of vipers, a deadly curse to the people, rather than the children of just and obedient Abraham. In view of the light they have received from God, they were even worse than the heathen, to whom they felt so much superior. They had forgotten the rock from whence they were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which they had been dug. God was not dependent upon them for the fulfilling of His purpose As He had called Abraham out from a heathen people, so He could call others to His service. Their hearts might now appear as lifeless as the stones of the desert, but His Spirit could quicken them to do His will, and receive the fulfillment of His promise.
Under the heart searching words, his hearers were convicted. They came to him with the inquiry, "What shall we do then?" He answered, "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise." And he warned the publicans against injustice, and the soldiers against violence.
All who became the subjects of Christ's kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives. They would minister to the needy, and bring their offerings to God. They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen. Otherwise they are like the chaff that is given to the fire.
(Wouldn't we have a wonderful world if we followed the Bible teachings of how we should conduct our lives? Some day on the new earth that God is going to create for His people, this will be the way it will be. Read Revelation 21,22. God has plans for His people, why not make the effort to make our choice today to be one of His followers. Our lives would be so very much happier and peaceful. Let's try it shall we? Grandma Joan)