CONSEQUENCES . . . 13.02.20
Taking the example of the Israelites in the wilderness, STUDY TOPIC will look at how God views disobedience/idolatry specifically, in this case, and how He brings judgment/punishment/consequences upon them.
Moses had been called up to Mount Sinai by Yahweh, leaving his brother Aaron in charge. Not long after his absence, without Godly leadership directing their pathway daily, the people quickly fell away from God’s Ways. Even Aaron succumbed to the pressure, relenting to the construction of the golden calf.
They didn’t just have an idol to symbolize the God of the Hebrews, but rather literally replaced Him with it, giving to this piece of metal the Glory that belonged to God alone: “They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ” (Ex.32:8).
God was furious! He gave instructions to Moses for how He would deal with this: “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor’ ” (Ex.32:27). The Israelites, headed up by the sons of Levi, went on a wild killing spree sanctioned/ordered by God “And about three thousand men of the people fell that day” (Ex.32:28).
Yahweh proceeded to validate those who had administered His judgement; further to this, after Moses had made yet another trip up the mountain to consult with Yahweh, “the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book … . . in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin. So the Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made” (Ex.32:33-35). In the meantime, He assured Moses: “Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you” (Ex.32:34).
This speaks volumes as to how God views, and responds to human kind’s rebellious, disobedient ways. Just because God does not strike us down immediately when we indulge in idol worship and/or whatever other forms of disobedience occur, does not mean: (a) that He is not still enraged, furious, or disappointed, saddened, displeased, or that (b) there are no consequences. The only reason we don’t get struck down immediately as the people at the time of the golden calf incident did, is because we have an intermediary in Jesus/Yeshua, Who “is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, making intercession for us” (Rom.8:34), for “we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God . . . High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin” (Heb.4:14,15).
There is much deception in this matter. There are many false teachings, largely perpetuated by the loosely interpreted definitions of God’s Grace, taught by false teachers, leaders who benefit from the positive response of believers who are only too happy to have their ears tickled by hearing what they want to hear, for the time has arrived “when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim.4:3,4). With this type of invitation to undermine God’s Word, believers in general do not take consequences of disobedience very seriously; in fact, it is scarcely a consideration.
Assuming that a carte blanche statement of confession and repentance at the time of salvation takes care of everything eternally, believers tend to revert to worldly ways, resting on their laurels, coasting complacently, feeling no sense of conviction. In fact, when such conviction may occur, believers are usually misadvised, told that this is merely condemnation from the Devil, and they just need declare that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom.8:1,2), omitting (of course) the second half of the verse, which indicates that “no condemnation” is conditional, applying exclusively to “those who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit,” not to mention the complete teaching by Paul on this matter from:
4 “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God”
Putting the entire rationale within the context of God’s Word changes everything. But then, those who are walking in the flesh are not likely studying God’s Word.
This lackadaisical practice on the part of believers would appear to be an offshoot of the loose, flimsy, erroneous teachings on God’s Grace, combined with the reality that we are in that zone where, just as Jesus/Yeshua prophesied, “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold” (Matt.24:12). Generally speaking, people really don’t give it much thought. Once the proverbial sinner’s prayer has been given lip-service, and the individual is advised that they now have a free ticket to heaven, the things of God are pretty much cast aside. And if that individual attends a mega-church or any other church which espouses to live in freedom by God’s Grace (a cheap, imitation of God’s Grace, I might add), they will be adequately reinforced for such behaviour and experience no reason to do otherwise, for “in the last days there will be very difficult times . . . . people will love only themselves . . . be boastful and proud, scoffing at God . . . consider nothing sacred” (2 Tim.3:1,2).
But the consequences, although often subtle, deferred and not necessarily life-threatening, are nevertheless very real. Disobedience of every kind drives a wedge between the self and God Almighty; and when there is a wedge between the self and God, that means there is AN OPENING to the ENEMY of one’s soul; that means there are holes in your armour, my friend, & you can pray Ephesians 6 all day & night, but until you confess/repent and ACT on it, by walking in God’s Ways, those holes will remain; it is through those holes that “all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Eph.6:16) can access you. In addition to the holes in the armour, the reality is that the carnal mind, even without the Enemy’s direct input, will fail to operate in accordance with God’s will, & thereby miss out on God’s blessings/God’s best, resulting in decisions that lead one astray, taking them entirely off the pathway aligned with God’s Ways and Will. The primary consequence, in simple phrased summation is that when one commits sin knowingly and believes it’s okay because God’s Grace will cover it, that individual, until he/she has made themselves right before God, loses God’s protective covering.
© 2020 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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