2 Kings 20-21

Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Amon.
Manasseh sacrificed his son searching for ways to succeed as king.  One must be more than convinced that such an irrevocable action will be helpful.  This is the action is a person who believes that the world is about magic and superstition.  This is not the action of faith but of trying to win the approvals of gods.  It is a quid pro quo relationship — if I do something great then the gods will reward me.  Such a view means that life is about trying to do the right things in order to get rewarded.  We can hold such a view in connection to God.  We can approach him on the basis of engaging life seeking rewards for our goodness.  We can believe that God is obligated to reward us if we live life a certain way or that we live life a certain way in order to keep God from punishing us.  In the first view, God is a spiritual Santa Claus designed to give us what we want if we are good.  In the second view, God is a spiritual judge waiting to punish us if we choose too many evil things.  Either view is not about faith but about our own goodness.  God calls us to follow him in faith allowing our actions to be a response to his goodness and grace.  Faith acts because of love and in expectation that God will fulfill all his promises.  Trusting God and trying to appease God are two different views.  Choose to trust.

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