Deuteronomy 30:19 (ERV), Today I am giving you a choice of two ways. And I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses of your choice. You can choose life or death. The first choice will bring a blessing. The other choice will bring a curse. So choose life! Then you and your children will live.
Picher, Oklahoma, is no more. In mid-2009, this once-bustling town of 20,000 went out of business. In the first quarter of the 1900’s Picher was a boomtown because of its abundant lead and zinc. Workers extracted the ore, which was used to help arm the US during both World Wars.
The town faded as the ore began to run out—but the biggest problem was that while the lead and zinc brought wealth, they also brought pollution. Because nothing was done to deal with the pollution, Picher became a toxic wasteland, and the government condemned the land.
What happened to Picher can happen to people. Prosperity, things, parts of life can look so good that it is hard to think about possible downsides.
Proverbs 3:5-12, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the first-fruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Actions, that are detrimental to long-term spiritual health if not corrected, can lead to destruction. It happened to King Saul. He began as a good king, but in seeking success he failed to see the damage he was doing. Turning his back on God’s commands, he acted “foolishly” and lost his kingdom.
1 Samuel 13:13-14, And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
In our attempts to find success, we need to watch out for spiritual pollution that comes when we fail to follow God’s clear scriptural guidelines. Godly living always beats toxic living!
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her.
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens;
20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes—Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
22 So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck.
23 Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
Psalm 119:73, Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
I John 1:5-10, This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
“I confess… More grace please!”