Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he . . . gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence. (2 Kings 17:20)

R. J. Had a physical and mental condition that resulted in loss of sensation. He was a college mate struggling to make the grade. I distinctly remember him coming barefooted to a midwinter class. Loss of his sense of touch created many dangerous situations for him.

I’ve known others who, because of diabetes or other medical conditions, had limited or no sense of feeling. Through touch we feel sensations, and these send messages to our brains resulting in action. Touching a hot surface causes my brain to shout, “Move your hand.” Stepping on something sharp results in “Pick up your foot.” Without these sensations and messages, I might endanger life or limb.

Israel’s problem wasn’t physical but spiritual. The people’s rebellion brought God’s punishment in the past with four hundred plus years of slavery in Egypt. In today’s passage, God was using the Assyrians’ defeat of the northern kingdom to bring discipline. Some years later He would use the Babylonians to crush the southern kingdom.

God desires that believers involve Him in every detail of their lives, but sin always brings a disconnect; a loss of awareness that He is nearby. God actually never leaves His children. We leave by allowing rebellion and unconfessed sin to remain in our lives. Our bodies are the dwelling place of God’s Spirit. Keeping them pure through spiritual disciplines that mold our thoughts, actions, and words assures open communication between us and Him.

Choose a holy lifestyle so God’s blessings and closeness will be felt.

Martin Wiles loves using his writing to help others move further in their journey toward spiritual maturity.