Tag: God repays

Rejoice: God is just!

Scripture reading for March 9th:  Judges 9-12

Key Scriptures:  Judges 9:22-24  “After Abimelech had governed Israel three years, God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech.  God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s (Gideon) seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelech and on the citizens of Shechem who had helped him murder his brothers.”

God is just.  A man will reap what he has sowed.  Abimelech, the son of a Gideon and a prostitute from Shechem, wanted power and authority.  He used intimidation to gain power and murdered all but one of his half-brothers.  God allowed an evil spirit to bring about justice on these rebellious people.

Rejoice in God’s justice:  Under the New Covenant, Christ offers forgiveness to repentant sinners and commands His people to allow Him to bring justice!  “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:  “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”  (Romans 12:17-19)

 

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Why do the wicked prosper?

Scripture reading for May 25th: Job 20-21

Job’s friend Zophar was offended by Job’s warning to fear God’s  punishment as well! (Job 19:28-29)  Zophar had a belief that the wicked only get by for a short time and then punishment falls on them in this life.  Job took exception with his theology and his way of comforting him!

Job stated that often the wicked seem to grow old and increase in power. (Job 21:7)  He observed that they appear to be safe and have no fear or problems.  They mock God and God seems to do nothing.  (Job 21:14, 15)  Some men die fat and happy, others die in bitterness and pain.  The grave swallows them both and we don’t know why.  (Job 21:23-26)   It would be easy to come to a wrong conclusion based only on what we can see with our own eyes.

This controversy has been the subject of other writers of Scripture.  Psalm 73 was written by Asaph, a gifted musician in King David’s Levitical choir.  Asaph nearly lost faith when he observed the prosperity of the wicked.  (Psalm 78:2)  He saw that they had health and prosperity but were proud at heart.  They scoffed at man and mocked heaven and nothing seemed to happen to them.  He thought he was keeping himself pure for nothing and almost slipped away from serving God.  Then he entered the sanctuary of God and understood their final end.  In the end, God would judge them and send them away to sudden destruction! (Psalm 73:16-19)

We can’t go by what we see!  The righteous live by their faith!  Job’s  faith was tested by the taunts of Zophar.  Asaph was tested by Satan when he began to reason based on observations with his eyes.  We are often tempted to join the wicked in their sins and folly.  But when we enter the sanctuary of God and see the truth of His holy Word, we understand that the wicked will not stand in the judgment or sinners before a holy God who will bring every secret thing into judgment!  (Psalm 1:5-6)  Allow the Lord to bring you understanding today.  If you are involved in sin or wickedness, repent quickly and begin a new path of faith and obedience!  You’ ll never regret it!

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What about the poor?

Scripture reading for February 25: Deuteronomy 12-16

In many cultures, the poor and needy are viewed as under the judgment of the gods.  These people are despised and live in the worst conditions on the fringes of society.  Children born in the families are destined to live in poverty, sickness, and usually have an early death. India has millions living in the caste system and viewed as nearly untouchable by their peers. The Hindu religion and the teaching of reincarnation and this caste system keeps the bondage in place.

The God of the Bible, creator of heaven and earth, is compassionate and merciful.  When He formed the nation of Israel and delivered them from slavery, He instructed them in the care of those society had looked down upon.  The orphans and widows were singled out for care by the Lord.   (Deuteronomy 14:28-29)  God promised to bless the Israelites for caring for them.  The alien was also to be cared for, because the Israelites were also aliens and strangers in Egypt and could identify with what it felts like to be in a strange culture and on the outside of the economic and political power system.

God said that there should be no poor among His people, however. (Deuteronomy 15:4)  The reason given was that if they fully obeyed the Lord in keeping all His commands, God would so bless them that they would have an abundance to help others.  They would lend only and not borrow. (Deuteronomy 15:6)  They would also rule and not be in servitude. “The rich rule over the poor, the borrower becomes the slave of the lender.” (Proverbs: 22:7)  This is God’s heart desire for His people. (3 John 2)

God seems to contradict Himself later in Deuteronomy 15:11.  He only seems to because here God is telling the Israelites not all will fully obey.  Some will be poor and they will need help.  Those who are fully obeying the Lord are to be generous with the poor.  They are not to be “tight-fisted” or “hard-hearted” towards their poor brothers, but are to be “open-handed” and “freely lend”.  (Deuteronomy 15:7-10)  God even goes so far as to say it is sin to be stingy toward the poor brother!  He is indicating His care for those who are truly needy. God always pays well when we help the poor.  We can’t outgive God!

“A generous man will prosper and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25)

“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31)

“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17)

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