Today’s Scripture: For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. Jeremiah 4:22

What good is it to spend years learning how to do something wrong? What if someone thought the higher your score in golf the better and had spent 20 years becoming a “professional”? Who do you think would win a real game, this “professional” or someone who had never played golf before?

Although this is a silly example, sometimes we are like this “professional”. God wants us to know Him and His Word. This is the proper way to live, yet often we live learning the wrong things. Instead of learning about God, we learn about evil. God’s condemnation of Israel was that they knew all about evil, but they were ignorant of how to do good.

Just as it was possible for God’s chosen people, Israel, to disobey Him, it is also possible for His church to disobey Him. Many people teach that if someone is truly a child of God, then their lives will bear record of that fact. It removes mankind’s will and choice to serve or not. This is not what the Bible teaches.

God’s people always have a choice whether to serve or not. Joshua told the Israelites, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:15) Elijah told Israel, “If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21) Although Israel was God’s chosen people, they still had to decide whether or not to serve Him. Just because we are saved, our choice whether or not to live for God isn’t removed. Instead, our service shows our love for God.

We can obey or disobey our Heavenly Father – just like any earthly parent. Obedience doesn’t show relationship, it shows love and respect. Just like any good father, God will punish us for wrongdoing. We can be obedient or disobedient children; let’s make the choice to know the things of God and be ignorant toward evil. Let’s not spend any more time getting things backward.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder