and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|May 1, 2009||
Volume 8 Number 9
Wherein Have We Wearied Him?
Most of us want to receive Godís blessings. It is, however, also easy for us to forget that the promise of His blessings are conditional upon our obedience to His Word. After He delivered Israel from the Egyptians, Yahweh promised them through Moses that He would make them a "peculiar treasure," which would be a "kingdom of priests," if they would obey Him:
4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bear you on eaglesí wings, and brought you to myself.
5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. -Exodus 19
However, many of us are convinced that we are obeying Him when we are not!
When Saul was anointed as the first king of Israel, he was expected to listen to the voice of Yahweh:
1 Samuel also said to Saul, Yahweh sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore listen you to the voice of the words of Yahweh. -1 Samuel 15
As hard as this command may sound to us, Yahweh told him to destroy all of the Amalekites, and all of their animals, because they had tried to destroy Israel while they were fleeing from Egypt:
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. -1 Samuel 15
Saul almost obeyed. He destroyed their people and the worst of their animals. However, he spared their king and the best of the animals:
8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatted calves, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. -1 Samuel 15
Challenged by Samuel for his disobedience, Saul boasted that he had obeyed the commandment of Yahweh:
13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said to him, Blessed are you of Yahweh: I have performed the commandment of Yahweh. -1 Samuel 15
Why, Samuel asked Saul, did you not obey Yahweh?
19 Why then did you not obey the voice of Yahweh, but did rush upon the spoil, and do evil in the sight of Yahweh? -1 Samuel 15
Saul argued that he did obey Yahweh! However, he explained, there were extenuating circumstances which somehow justified his decision to make exceptions to Godís Word. In spite of what Yahweh had said, it seemed okay to Saul to spare the Amalekite king. Even though Saul blamed the people for taking the spoil and sparing the best animals, he rationalized their actions by telling Samuel that they were going to offer them as a sacrifice to "Yahweh your God:"
20 And Saul said to Samuel, Yes, I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh, and have gone the way which Yahweh sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto Yahweh your God in Gilgal. -1 Samuel 15
Saulís act of disobedience to Yahweh revealed the condition of his heart. It is better to obey Yahweh, Samuel explained, than to sacrifice to Him. Saulís rebellion was no different than the sin of witchcraft or idol worship! Therefore, Saul lost Yahwehís blessing and was removed from his position as the king of Israel:
22 And Samuel said, Has Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh, he has also rejected you from being king. -1 Samuel 15
Tormented for his disobedience against Yahweh, Saul eventually found himself in complete rebellion against His Word. He even sought after a woman who consulted with the spirits of the dead (familiar spirits), which was in total opposition to the Word of Yahweh:
6 And the soul that turns after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. -Leviticus 20
This is what Saul did:
7 Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that has a familiar spirit at Endor. -1 Samuel 28
Saul had lost his way with Yahweh and David was eventually anointed as the new King of Israel (see 1Samuel 16:13). The kingdom was passed on to Davidís son, Solomon.
Even though Solomon had faithfully built the temple of Yahweh, he also blatantly disobeyed His Word, which clearly warns against all forms of idolatry:
23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of Yahweh your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which Yahweh your God has forbidden you. -Deuteronomy 4
Unpersuaded in his heart by the Word of God, Solomon worshipped the images of other gods, beginning with the goddess Ashtoreth, known as the "Queen of Heaven"[see B. W. Savile, Fulfilled Prophecy, In Proof of the Truth of Scripture, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1882, p. 384.]:
5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father. -1 Kings 11
Because of Solomonís sin, Israel was split into two kingdoms, called Israel and Judah. Israel was eventually destroyed by the Assyrians (see 2 Kings 17) and Judah was later destroyed by the Babylonians (see 2 Kings 25).
After seventy years, Yahweh allowed Judah to have a new start. They returned to their homeland and rebuilt the destroyed temple. Soon, however, their priests continued to weary Yahweh by disobeying His Word. They were even saying that Yahweh delights in those that do evil!
17 You have wearied Yahweh with your words. Yet you say, Wherein have we wearied him? When you say, Every one that does evil is good in the sight of Yahweh, and he delights in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? -Malachi 2
Even the priests of Judah underestimated Yahweh. They asked, "Where is the God of judgment?"
Do we also underestimate God? Do we think, "He wonít mind a little disobedience against His Word." Isnít everybody doing the same thing? Do we say we have fellowship with Him when we are actually walking in darkness?
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: -1 John 1
Do we, like Saul, deceive ourselves?
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. -1 John 1
Do we try to call upon Him but refuse to do His will?
46 And why call you me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? -Luke 6
21 Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. -Matthew 7
Do we think our sins are covered because we belong to a certain group or organization?
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. -Romans 2
Do we think we have a special connection with God because of our family heritage?
20 And it was told to him by some which said, Your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to see you.
21 And he answered and said to them, My mother and my brothers are these which hear the word of God, and do it. -Luke 8
Do we, like Solomon, believe that God no longer cares if we join in with those who are worshipping idols?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God Yahweh has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. -2 Corinthians 6
By rationalizing our disobedience against His Word, have we also wearied God? If so, what does He require of us?
12 And now, Israel, what does Yahweh your God require of you, but to fear Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
13 To keep the commandments of Yahweh, and his statutes, which I command you this day for your good? -Deuteronomy 10
Unless we fear Him and love Him enough to obey Him, how can we ever expect to receive His promised blessings?
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