Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Assuming Approval

Sometimes what Jehovah says and does comes across as harsh, unyielding. This can be readily illustrated in the case of Uzzah. For what seemed to be a good deed, namely preventing the Ark from toppling over, he was immediately executed by God. Some may have reasoned that dismissal from his Levitical appointment would have sufficed. Even King David was said to be angered against Jehovah for this punishment against Uzzah. The one principle the Bible reminds us is that God is ultimately righteous in everything he does. Nothing he does is unjust. This article helps us to understand that even more clearly. Collaborating that, is this article from

Perhaps this may also have been a case of wrong expectations that God would approve. Korah was a warning example of that type of thinking. He felt Moses was misusing the authority God had given him and stood up against Moses declaring ‘enough of you! The whole assembly of God is holy, not just you!’ Did Korah think he could do a better job? Even if that were so, he learned the hard way that when God has set up a means of handling a matter, revolting or even chafing at such is a direct rebellion against God’s decision. Moses wasn’t perfect. Perfection wasn’t a requirement. But Moses did closely listen and follow the directions God gave. (As a sideline, Moses didn’t feel superior. In fact, at one point he stated that he wished everyone had his power and authority.)

Another case of not following direction, which Jehovah viewed as blatant disregard, not for Moses, but for God himself, was the case of what happened when the 12 spies came back from their expedition. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the other 10 men all gave a bad report, which disheartened the nation, making them afraid to take possession of the land Jehovah promised them. (See Numbers chapters 13 & 14.) Once the people heard that their refusal to trust in God resulted in a condemnation of wandering for 40 years, they immediately changed their tune and, then once again in disobedience, refused to listen and tried to go up to war. Here are the devastating consequences.

Why do I cite these cases? Some have contended that “all religions (especially those claiming to be Christian) are approved by God.” With that claim, they find fault with me because I disagree. One of the key scriptures here is Matthew 7:21-23. The individuals mentioned there seemed shocked that they were rejected. What they did in “prophesying, expelling demons, and performing many powerful works,” all to Christ’s credit, are exactly what Jesus himself did. Yet he did not approve -- expressly because they did not do what they were directed to do. They didn't follow direction. 

I would hope that most would agree with me that today’s fake miracle workers, the insatiably money-hungry evangelists, and others who have little but selfish motives would absolutely fit in this category. But what of others who, just as supposedly sincere as the ones mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 7, likewise feel they are serving God. Indeed, no one, including me, is in any position to take God’s place as judge. He and his son, Jesus, are capable of reading the hearts that we mere humans cannot. I personally can only go on what I read and understand in the Bible. The Bible teaches there is only one God, Jehovah. The Bible teaches permanent destruction of wicked, not an eternal torment. There is more than ample evidence in scripture that Jesus is the Son of God, not God the Son, not God-in-flesh on earth, not half man, half God. I believe these things so wholeheartedly that I am convinced those who don’t, no matter how sincere they are, have deceived themselves; and like Uzzah, Korah, and those others who decide for themselves what and how much they will do for God, will suffer the consequences. 

Before anyone condemns me, I’d ask you -- Do you have such strong faith in your beliefs that you are thoroughly convinced of them and want to take strong issue with me? If so, then you are essentially doing the same thing I am doing -- being thoroughly convinced and sharing your beliefs with others. But unlike those that find fault with me and want to silence me, I respect that God gave us free will. I have no problem with people defending their beliefs in a respectful, calm manner. (Please note that I will not treat those who disagree with me with disrespect. Although I am completely, resolutely convinced I have found the one and only truth, I am not the judge of anyone.)

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