How can “good” things also be “vomit”?

Hey, thanks again for sending in your questions related to our recent sermons. As you know, we’re in a series entitled Jesus in Every Genre, in which we’re looking at all the different kind of sections or themes of the Old Testament and showing how really all of them point to Jesus. This last week we were talking about the kings and how Israel wanted a king. And Samuel warned them, if you have a king, that king sure might provide some measure of peace and prosperity compared to other nations around them, but also and more so that king would rob from them, steal from them. So there’s some benefit, but the benefit comes at a cost.

In the course of that sermon, we talked about how all of us serve some kind of king as if it were really a king. That we were under its authority that will do anything that we want, whether that be family or reputation or our kids having a good reputation or us getting the promotion, or us having comfort. All of these things can become kings, become ultimate things that we will serve and we will do anything for. And we will do more and more and more and maybe more questionable things and risk putting ourselves in jeopardy in other ways in order to serve these kings. If job is our ultimate, we might be tempted to fudge our resume.

If comfort is our ultimate, we’ll desire more and more and more extravagance, likely at the cost of being generous to others. And every time we take another step in that direction, it robs us a little bit. It’s like we are addicts, is what we talked about. We keep going back to the thing that empties us in hopes that it will fill us. Then I quoted Proverbs, which says as a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.

And in many ways, that is us. If we’ve taken something of this world and made it an ultimate thing, even if it’s a very good thing like job or family or relationship or health, if we’re concerned about our health, that’s a good thing. But if we make it the ultimate thing that we serve, no matter what, it will actually end up crushing us. So the question this week is how can we say things? How can we compare really good things in this world like family and job and being accepted?

We all want to be accepted. How can we compare those things to vomit? Very graphic illustration that Proverbs uses. Is it fair to call these very good things vomit? And the answer is, which you can probably guess already, the answer is yes, it is fair to call those things vomit.

Because if we’ve taken a good thing and made it an ultimate thing, it will become the worst thing. It will become the king that steals from us. There’s only one object, only one person, only one being that can be in that primary position and of course that’s God through Jesus Christ. In fact Paul becomes just as graphic in Philippians three seven where he says he considers everything rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ and that word that he uses for rubbish is excrement and kind of the vulgar term that we would use for excrement. And he says that’s what he considers everything compared to Christ because if anything’s robbing us of the greatest treasure in the universe which is Jesus then it is rubbish.

However, if we have Christ in the ultimate position, as he should be, and we are willing to forsake anything else in order to have more of him, what will happen is everything else will then become better. And everything else will no longer rob from us. And everything else will be in its proper position in our heart, which is under Christ. And it’ll become brighter and better. But we do have to have Christ in that number one ultimate position or those other things will just enslave us and rob from us and be rubbish or even vomit.

So we hope that helps and thanks for the a question. We will see you next time. Bye.