Monday, December 28, 2015
Sunday, December 27, 2015
He will See what their End Shall Be
They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith (Deut. 32:17-20)
As we learned in yesterday’s devotion, God did not exert divine power to destroy sinners in the Old Testament as is commonly taught. On the contrary, there are always enemy forces waiting to destroy mankind. Were it not for God exerting His divine power to keep these enemy forces at bay, most of us would have experienced certain destruction by now.
However, when we persist in sin and push God out of lives sooner or later He is left with no choice but to withdraw His protective presence. This is known as the hiding of His face. This is the exact opposite of God shining His face on us, which is symbolic of His protective presence:
Tell Aaron and his sons: You will bless the Israelites as follows. Say to them: The Lord bless you and protect you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace. They will place my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them (Numbers 6:23-27; Common English Bible)
God prefers to “shine” rather than “hide” His face. Sadly, men have a strange propensity for ingratitude. Rather than seeing God’s graciousness in protecting His people from the evil forces that surround them, men use it as a false security to sin, not realizing that persistent sin can cause the face of God to stop shining and start hiding.
When God hides His face He takes a step back to observe what will happen to the unrepentant sinner. This proves that God is not actively bringing about the results of their sin but simply removing His protection and allowing the forces surrounding the sinner to have their way. This truth should be the interpretive model for all of the statements in Deuteronomy 28 in which God is said to inflict the results of the curses that come from disobedience. God is only said to do that which He permits to happen when He removes His protection.
Friday, December 25, 2015
God’s Benevolent Will Towards Men
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:10-14)
If we are to remember one thing this Christmas day, it is that God’s will towards men is not evil but for good. Jeremiah said it best when he recorded God as saying, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11).
One should never believe that the evil in this world is a representation of God’s will. The angels that announced the birth of Jesus told us exactly what the will of God is towards men when they sang the song above. They had just announced the birth of the Savior into the world and expressed God’s heartfelt intentions for sending Him, which was peace on earth and a good will towards men.
Some who adhere to a determinist theology and make God the cause of all that happens have a tendency to redefine what is meant by “good.” However, there is no confusion about this when we see that the angels equate “peace on earth” with the good will and intentions that God has towards men.
We see then that because there is much happening in our world today that could by no means be classified as “good”. There are wars and rumors of wars. Immorality has become rampant and is even being legislated as law. Morality is looked upon as evil and the government is taking sides against businesses that attempt to hold on to Christ-like principles. Anarchy continues to reign in our inner cities and the murder of the unborn is seen as a legal right in the courts. Politicians and preachers are being exposed constantly for lies and hypocrisy and the Bible, if adhered to at all, is being twisted by both to justify immoral stances.
These do not represent God’s good intentions. It is for this reason that we needed a Savior. This Christmas, reflect on the fact that God demonstrates His loving character by having sent Jesus Christ to save us from all of the destruction that the world is doing to itself. Embrace the One who was born to die for you.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Your Christmas Gift
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:31-32)
This Christmas Eve while many are doing their last minute shopping, preparing large meals for multiple relatives (or preparing to eat them), as well as putting up last minute decorations and Christmas trees, remember the main reason for this wonderful holiday is to reflect on why the Savior came into the world. Jesus is God’s special and precious “Christmas gift” to all of mankind.
Concerning His life Jesus said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:18). This is important to remember. Jesus did not have to die if He did not want to. The Father did not have to allow His Son to be killed. Both the Father and Son made choices and in their choices you and I took precedence over all of the pain, suffering, heartbreak, and separation that the Father and Jesus would have to endure.
Look at the language used in these passages: God, “spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,” That means He could have used omnipotent power to prevent the killing of His Son. He could have easily blown away the men and demons that orchestrated the worse murder in all of history. Rather than stop it, Peter also says, “Him, when he was given up, by the decision and knowledge of God….” (Acts 2:23). God gave up His Son. He gave Him up for us. God did not kill Him. Our sins put Him on that cross.
Jesus, who could have called upon a legion of angels to help Him (Matt. 26:53) instead decided to lay down His life. This same Jesus who created the universe and who created mankind, allowed His own creatures to kill Him in order that He may save them. This is the epitome of love. The Creator God who had power to stop the torment and torture that He underwent for us gave Himself over to it because we were on His mind during the whole torturous event.
So this day before Christmas, when some parents will lie to children and tell them about an overweight, white bearded man in a red suit who climbs down chimneys to bring them toys as gifts as a reward for being good, let us tell the world about a Savior who gave us the gift of Savior. This gift wasn’t given because we were good. He was given to make us good.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Monday, December 21, 2015
Correcting Distorted Views of God
Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. (Isa. 49:13-14)
Notice the distorted picture of God that was being held in the minds of the Israelites. They had a picture of a God who was uncaring and angry because they were steeped in sin. When they began to suffer the consequences of their rebellion they give up hope because they felt that God had forsaken them and will not answer their prayers.
Sin always gives us a distorted view of God’s love (Gen. 3:7-12). It is always Satan who gives us these perverted pictures of our loving Heavenly Father (Gen. 3:1-6). Thankfully, in the case of Israel, God immediately corrects their distorted view of Himself, showing that He is more loving than the best of parents:
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isa. 49:15-16)
When we sin and suffer the consequences of our rebellion, we can sense that we are forsaken and forgotten by God. Yet God compares Himself to the best of mothers and says that like a really good mother I could never forget you. However, realizing the selfish nature of many humans, this comparison can only go so far. Someone could easily cite numerous examples of mothers who have selfishly destroyed their own children and forgotten them. Therefore, God goes even further to say that even if a mother acts in such a selfish unnatural way, I won’t.
God is the prime example of what a parent should be like. Parents often fall short of the true ideal (God) and God should not be compared to our human parental failures which are often born out of selfish motives. Distorted views of God are the major contributors to a lack of trust in Him.
Jesus echoes this same thought concerning God some centuries later (Matt. 7:7-11). God is the model parent. Let us stop looking at human parents to get our understanding of God. Let us look at God to see how parents should begin to act. Being a good parent will begin with the right understanding of God’s character and nature.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
God’s Ways and Thoughts
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa. 55:8-9)
Quite often those who teach that God is behind the evils, tragedies and miseries in this world refer to this passage to justify their stance. When Christians who disagree with this false idea protest against their teachings this passage is quoted in order to silence them. After all, God can do these things because He does not think the way we mere mortals think neither are His ways ours.
Actually, the passage is being quoted out of context to support erroneous ideas about God that contradict His character of self-sacrificing love. When it is read in context it actually supports the truth about God’s love:
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa. 55:6-9)
Far from teaching that God is hiding behind some mysterious sovereignty that brings about destructive events in the lives of people, this passage proclaims a loving God who is calling His people back into relationship with Him. His ways and thoughts are only higher than ours in that we are selfish and sinful and He is not.
Unlike us, God is loving and forgiving and gives us the opportunity to repent. However, He will not force us but tells us to seek Him. If we do then He promises that we will find Him. It is amazing that Satan has been able to twist this wonderful revelation of God’s love and twist it it to make Him appear as an evil, all-controlling tyrant. God’s thoughts and ways are only different from unredeemed man in that His is pure love and man’s is not.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Praying God’s Will to be Done on Earth
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9, 10; see also Luke 11:2)
There are a number of views concerning this passage. One view teaches that whatever happens on earth is God’s sovereign will (be it sickness, tragedy, etc.). Those who advocate this view tell us that Jesus was teaching us to pray in submission to His will. Another view is the eschatological view in which we are to praying for the millennial reign of Christ to come on the earth. I believe that both views are a distorted understanding of the Lord’s teaching here.
While we long for Christ’s millennial reign, this could not be the primary purpose of this prayer. Nor could Jesus have been teaching the “whatever will be will be” attitude when He taught us to pray “thy will be done” because such resignation actually defeats the purpose of prayer. The purpose of prayer is to request God's aid and intervention in bringing a change to negative circumstances. Prayer is inviting God to do that which He otherwise would not have done had we not prayed. In a sermon titled, “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection,” Wesley said:
God does nothing but in answer to prayer; and even they who have been converted to God without praying for it themselves, (which is exceeding rare,) were not without the prayers of others. Every new victory which a soul gains is the effect of a new prayer. (emphasis are mine)
Therefore the “passive submission” view promotes doubt and confusion concerning God's will. Quite often it is the foundation for many putting a doubtful “if” in their prayers and praying with a lack of assurance. There is no indication that Jesus was teaching a lack of assurance concerning the will of God when he taught us this manner of praying. On the contrary, this statement is a statement of faith.
Negative circumstances are usually not the will of God for the obedient child of God. Therefore we pray in order to invite God to prevail upon the situation and cause it to line up with His perfect will as revealed in His Word and by His Spirit.
 Wesley, John A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, from The Works of the Rev. John Wesley Vol. XI (London: Thomas Cordeux, 1812), p. 241
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Why do the Wicked Prosper?
Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? (Jer. 12:1)
In our devotions we have emphasized the truth of God’s moral order and the fact that God often punishes by removing His protective presence and allowing the wicked to reap that which they have sown. We have also emphasized the fact that God keeps His hand of protection over the righteous. Yet, we cannot deny the fact that we see so much injustice in this life and the wicked seem to be very successful at their evil. They seem to get away with it.
As Jeremiah’s complaint shows us, this is not something new and was even an issue in Biblical times. However, why is this so? Sadly, Satan has the current governorship of this world so the moral order does not always work the way that God intended in this present life. Some righteous people do not always get the rewards of righteousness in this life nor do the wicked always suffer the consequences of their sin in this life. However, all will receive the rewards of the righteousness or wickedness whether it is here on earth or in eternity. God will make sure of it:
For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment…. Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches…. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors (Psalm 73:3-6, 12, 16-19)
The wicked often do appear to get away with evil in this life, but a day of reckoning is coming. Therefore do not fear or envy them (Psalm 37:1-2; Prov. 23:17-18). God’s moral principles will take effect sooner or later.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Cause and Effect: Key to Understanding God’s Ways in the Old Testament
The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him (Isa. 3:9-11)
People are often perplexed by some of the things that God says that He will personally do to rebellious people. Many would rather not read the Old Testament believing that it portrays a totally different God than the One in the New Testament. However, these same people would also have to give up many portions of the New Testament.
Remember that Jesus is the God of both testaments. Yet, how do we deal with the type of punitive vengeful language that we read in which God is said to make people sin, bring natural disasters, inflict with pestilence, kill using wild animals, attack using enemy armies and other methods by which God is said to smite, destroy, slay, take vengeance, etc.?
God created the universe with a moral orderliness. The universe has been established upon the principles of cause and effect, action and reaction, sowing and reaping. This is why Isaiah could say that the wicked have rewarded evil unto themselves and that things would go well for the righteous because they would eat the fruit of their own doings.
God often takes credit for the self-inflicted punishment of the wicked and the reward given to the righteous because of the fact that He established the laws by which each receives these things based on their actions. God’s presence and protections remains over the righteous and as we pray, He ensures that we are rewarded. Since the wicked have forsaken the Lord, He allows them to receive the results of their wickedness and takes credit for inflicting it upon them.
This is the common principle by which the Old Testament can be interpreted. This does not mean that God is passive since He is often using His omnipotent power to protect the repent from the results of previous sins, protecting the righteous from the sins of others, and pleading with the wicked to turn from his or her evil ways. He is certainly involved. However, He also allows His established laws to take their course when wickedness prevails. In that sense, God is said to be the doer of what He permitted. This is the true understanding of God’s ways in the Old Testament.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Do all Religions Lead to God?
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12)
Liberal theologians have deceived millions of people into believing that Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions are all roads leading to the one true God. This strange desire for an ecumenical unity among the various religions is said to promote “compassion”. However, there is nothing compassionate about giving false information that could lead to eternal damnation.
First thing we must understand is that God does not save anyone based on sincerity or a system of works. This may sound harsh but we must see this from God’s perspective. Man, apart from Christ, is under the reign of Satan’s government. Within his wicked government, Satan has set up multiple ways to receive worship from man. All of these religions have their origins in demonism because they reject Christ as Savior.
Furthermore, not one of the human founders of any of these religions were willing to give their lives for the salvation of their followers. Even if they did die for their followers it would have done no good since these founders were sinners themselves. Jesus not only died for His followers but for the whole world. He was our substitute who suffered the penalty for the sin we committed. Since Jesus was sinless, His death paid for our sin.
Since other religions don’t have a sinless Savior, they have a system of things one must do to reach “nirvana” or “paradise” or to ensure that one’s “reincarnation” gets them to a better life. None of this can lead to the true God because this is not what He is asking from anyone. The true God, the One taught in the Bible, bases salvation strictly on a loving relationship with Him. That relationship cn only come through recognizing all that Christ has done on our behalf to make relationship with God possible.
Therefore, do not be deceived by Satan’s tactics. All religions do not lead to the true God. All of them are based on lies (though they might have a little bit of truth in them to draw people in). God cannot partner with a lie in order to bring people to Him: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way to God. To look for any other way will get a person lost eternally.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Did God know that Billions would go to Hell?
And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin (Jer. 32:35)
Did God know before He created man that the majority of them would end up in hell? Most of the church believes that God knew this. Some even go as far as to believe that God predestined this to happen. While the latter thought makes God into a wicked tormentor, the first one unintentionally makes Him negligent (Gen. 6:5-7; Jer. 7:31; 19:5; 32:35). After all, if God saw the future eternal torment of billions of His creatures before He created them but created them anyway, does that make Him too much better than if He had intentionally predestined them to this fate?
God Himself holds people responsible for knowing what would happen but not doing something about it. Concerning the parable of the wicked servant Jesus said, “And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes” (Luke 12:47). In this parable and other passages of Scripture we see that God holds people accountable for doing something or failing to do something based on the knowledge that they had (Matt. 25:24-30; 1 Sam. 3:11-13; 2:30). Does God hold a double standard?
If God created with full foreknowledge of the evil that would infiltrate man and eternally damn the majority of them then this makes Him reckless, negligent, and fully culpable for the evil. To have perfect knowledge that an action taken, regardless of how noble it may be, would lead to the death and eternal damnation of millions of people, as well as provide the opportunity for horrendous evil to take place, makes the actor just as responsible for the evil as if he or she is the one that committed the actual evil.
If a father leaves his loaded gun sitting on a table where his five and six year old children has access to it, and he knows the very harm that of doing so, and then one of the children grabs the gun and kills his sibling, is the father not fully responsible? Scriptures tell us that God was not fully aware of man’s fall into sin. It never entered His mind. Therefore He is not culpable. The fact that billions are suffering eternal torment is due to the choices they made and not a predestined plan or a negligent use of divine exhaustive foreknowledge.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Man’s Covenant with Hell
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves (Isa. 28:15)
God cannot arbitrarily deliver people from hell apart from their acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior because they have made a covenant with it. God has to honor those covenants that are made of our own free will. Some have become “children of hell” before they ever get there (Matt. 23:15).
Due to this covenant, Hell pulls the unrepentant sinner down like a gravitational force upon death (Psalm 116:3; Isa. 5:14; Luke 16:22-23). As S. D. Gordon wrote, “They who prefer to leave God out will gather together at some time by a natural moral affinity, or gravitation. The name used for such meeting-place in this old Book is that hurting word hell.” (S. D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Personal Problems, pp. 28-29. Emphasis is mine).
Therefore, God is not throwing people into hell upon their death as some traditions assert. Hell itself knows who belongs to it and pulls them in when they die. Hell knows who has kept a covenant with it.
The only way to keep from going to that horrible place upon death is to break one’s covenant with hell. God told the Israelites, “And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand” (Isa. 28:15). Through the redemptive work of Christ on our behalf we can break the covenant that we once made with death and hell and enter into the new covenant with Christ.
God has made every provision available to keep us from having to go to hell (John 3:16-21). God does not condemn anyone to hell. We were destined to go there because we chose to follow Satan. However, Jesus came to give us another choice. We choose Him and our destiny changes. We choose against Him and we will continue on the course that we have chosen (Matt. 7:13-14).
Dear reader, if you have not yet chose Christ as your Lord and Savior, why don’t you choose to enter into a new covenant today by accepting His provision on your behalf. You will be eternally grateful that you did.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Death and Hell are God’s Enemies
Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it…. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption (Acts 2:24, 31)
One should not embrace or take comfort in the false teaching that a literal hell does not exist. We can see that part of the redemption price that Jesus paid was to enter into hell. This proves that the doctrines of soul sleep and annihilation are utterly false and have no bearing in Scripture. Otherwise Jesus would have had to suffer both.
However, another false doctrine taught in the majority of Christianity is the false idea that God personally imprisons sinners in hell upon their death. On the contrary it is the sinner himself who chooses hell because he or she refuses to repent. If men and women will choose to serve God’s enemies while alive on the earth then He will give them over to these same enemies upon their death.
The fact that hell is an enemy of God is seen in how it attempted to hold Jesus in its grip upon His sacrificial death on our behalf. The word “death” in verse 24 is "Hades" which is translated "hell" in other parts of the Bible. Furthermore, in the original languages, hell takes on a living personality. One scholar says, “....it should be rendered snares of death; the figure being that of escape from the snare of a huntsman” (Marvin Vincent's Word Studies; emphasis mine). Another scholar notes:
“....but the Hebrew original means ‘snares’ or ‘traps’ or ‘cords’ of death where sheol and death are personified as hunters laying snares for prey ....’Loosing’ (lusas) suits better the notion of ‘snares’ held a prisoner by death” (A.T. Robertson's Word Pictures In the New Testament)
Hell attempted to hold on to Jesus. Hell was not the friend of Jesus. Jesus went to war and defeated hell on our behalf. We are told, “God raised him up! God freed him from death’s dreadful grip, since it was impossible for death to hang on to him” (Common English Bible) and Then God released him from the horrors of death and brought him back to life again, for death could not keep this man within its grip (The Living Bible). Jesus defeated hell on our behalf so that those who appropriate this truth won’t go there.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Who was Eternal Damnation Prepared For?
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not (Matt. 25:41-43)
God did not prepare hell and the lake of fire for mankind. This was prepared for Satan and his angels. So why do men and women go there? Because they have taken on Satan’s nature and have decided to follow him (Eph. 2:1-5). Those who take on Satan’s nature and follow his ways must share his eternal destiny.
Notice that Jesus says to those who are condemned to the everlasting fire that they did not feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, give shelter to strangers, clothe the naked, or visit those in prison. This is a lack of compassion for those in need and this is satanic in nature. While criminals and sexually immoral people will go to the lake of fire, so will those who neglect to exhibit God’s love for others who are deprived. God’s nature is one of selfless, others-focused love. Anyone lacking this essential characteristic is not serving Christ.
However, keep in mind that God never prepared this place for man because it was never His intentions for man to take on Satan’s attributes. It was never God’s desire that any human being go to that place (Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9) and He derives no pleasure from the fact that people die and separate themselves from Him (Ezekiel 18:23-32; 33:11). God basically cries over those who make choices to live in such ways that leaves Him no choice but to allow them the eternal consequences of their choice (Matt. 23:37; Luke 7:30; John 5:40; Hosea 11:5-7).
So why is there a hell in the first place? Hell and, later, the lake of fire is for Satan because he and his followers hated God intensely and chose to separate themselves from Him. Therefore, God prepared a place by which they can have the separation that they wanted so badly (Isa. 14:12-15). Any place where God’s presence is lacking is a place of misery.
Jesus, in His deep and intense love for us was willing to pay the full price to redeem us from this place. God does not want any man to go there and there is no reason for anyone to. Make Christ your Savior and obey His Lordship and you will never have to go to a place that was not prepared for you in the first place.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The Price for Disobeying God’s Voice
And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him (1 Kings 13:26)
The prophet had just had a successful ministry in Judah in which he prophesied and it came to pass. When Jeroboam attempted to attack the prophet he suffered as a result. The prophet prayed and King Jeroboam was healed. When the king wanted to reward him for this the prophet was insistent that he would not eat in this city, “For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest” (1 Kings 13:9).
Sadly, the prophet believed the lie of another prophet, thus disobeying God and began to eat and drink in the city. The very prophet that lied to him would then pronounce the judgment upon him that he would not make it alive to his destination (1 King 13:15-22). The prophet had forfeited God’s protection through disobedience.
Notice that, “the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion.” The Lord did not “send” the lion. The Lord knew the danger the prophet would be in if he did not do exactly as he was told. However, his failure to obey, nor do we see any repentance recorded for having disobeyed, caused him to forfeit the protection God would have provided from the lion:
Because thou hast said, The Lord is my protection, the Most High hast thou made thy refuge.... Upon the fierce lion and asp shalt thou tread: thou shalt trample under foot the young lion and serpent (Psalm 91:9, 13; Leeser Old Testament)
This is why we must not only train our spirits to hear God’s voice, but we must go with His personal guidance to us against any other “word” that comes from someone else. If what someone else gives us contradicts what God has told us personally then we must reject it. Failure to do so could cost us our lives. However, God cannot be blamed for our demise.
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