People say, “God’s Not Fair”

God is Good Always

Daily Spirit & Word: 785: “God’s Not Fair”

That’s what some people say, “God’s not just or fair”

Good morning my friends, you’ve probably all heard non-Christians and atheists say, “How can there be a God when there is so much evil, hatred and injustice in this world?” It’s like they are judging God and therefore reason that they don’t need to bother believing in him.

In our verse today, you’ll note that it was a constant complaint of the Israelites about their own God. “God is not fair”

Listen in to what God is saying in response to them:

Ezekiel 18:25-29 (NKJV)
25  “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
26  When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
27  Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.
28  Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
29  Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

In the Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written, the actual word for “fair” used in these verses was “unequal” referring to the unequal scales. Scales were used to measure grain and they were balance scales, when they were balanced a trade was fair and sealed, it’s done because we can see the scales are balanced, but what they are accusing God of is using unbalanced or unequal scales.

However, the LORD turns their argument on it’s head and accuses / complains back to the Israelites:

“It’s YOU who are not fair” or “It’s YOU Israelites who are using unbalanced / unequal scales”.

Both God and Israel are complaining in our passage.

The People said, “The way of the Lord is not fair”…

God responds, “Your ways are not fair”…

Who’s right?

This verse is repeated three more times in Ezekiel. It is basically God answering Israel’s complaints and setting the record straight.

Complaint about God. “Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not fair.”

First, it accuses God of being unfair. So the people here are accusing God of being unfair to man, of being unfaithful, untruthful, unjust towards them.

Yet when we look at God’s answer: You’ll note it’s because of the wickedness the Israelites have committed they are suffering.

Do not blame God for all the evil in this world; it is not God’s fault.

Think about Syria, the bombing and destruction, and all those poor people suffering; but when they showed a Christian Minister on the News last night, his church was blown to bit, dust and rubble. Most of the Christians had either been killed or had fled Syria. He remained in the land, but he was not screaming at God or accusing God. All he talked about was PEACE. Christians, Jews and Muslims seemed to get along in Syria for many generations, but now, they are killing the Christians and the Jews, they’ve been driven from the land of Syria or they have been murdered and now the Muslims are bombing each other.

Who’s to blame? It’s NOT GOD!

Sometimes, we do the same things as the Israelites: We may not say it out loud, but we might say it in our attitude or in the ways we serve the Lord.

For example: We know God wants us to live a certain way. We pray and ask God for something. He doesn’t respond as quickly as we’d want Him to. So we drag our feet in our Christian service. We become slack in our worship, praise and adoration of God. Just because He’s not doing things the way we want Him to.

We want God to bless our ways, but He wants us to serve Him always.

Also we cry out to God to bestow financial blessings in our lives, while we are tight and stingy when the offering plate is passed in our gatherings.

One of the ways the LORD has decided to test us is in the way we GIVE: It’s also one of the ways that we can and are encouraged by God to TEST HIM…

My friends, if we are FAIR in the ways we serve the LORD, He will OPEN up Heaven into our lives.

It’s NOT God’s WAYS that are unfair, unjust or unbalanced, but our own.

God doesn’t hate us, He loves us so much, and wants to bless our lives, but; death, destruction, cheating and craftiness are man’s ways; so mankind reaps what he sows.

God Speaking: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

Let’s determine in our heart today, to be the people God wants us to be.

  • He’s revealed in the Bible: “Love your neighbour as yourself”
  • He’s also revealed: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength”…
  • When God looks at your life today, will He see you being fair or unjust? Will He see you being; loving, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, good and self-controlled?

From yesterday’s teaching, we know that these things are the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you are struggling in any of these areas, then God’s got some resourses He’s longing to pour into your life today: The fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I’m praying for all my friends today that God will richly bless you in every way.

I’m also praying you’ll be the joy filled servants of the LORD! That You’ll KNOW God is ALWAYS FAIR.

Psalm 145:17-19 (NIV)
17  The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made.
18  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
19  He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

God is ONLY A PRAYER AWAY!

Amen!

Don.

Don’t Go Near The Hornet’s Nest

King Solomon's Temple Destroyed because of sin and rebellion

Daily Spirit & Word: 752: Don’t Go Near The Hornet’s Nest.

Sin Brings: Destruction and Deportation.

Ezra 5:11-12 (NIV)
11  This is the answer they gave us: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished. 12  But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.

WARNING: Don’t Anger The God of Heaven and Earth.

John 5:14 (ESV) Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

Good morning my friends, have you ever wondered if your sin would bring God’s wrath and anger against you? For hundreds of years after King Solomon had done a marvellous work for God, building the magnificent Temple, there was a long time of decline in National morals. Eventually, after warning the people time and time again, God’s anger burned and He brought upon them the promised punishment and they were deported from His promised land.

We just don’t know how much God hates SIN:

  • Sin is rebellion against God.
  • Sin is transgression of God’s law.
  • Sin is breaking one or other of God’s Commandments.
  • Sin is going our own way instead of God’s way.

The Consequences of SIN: Destruction and Deportation.

Are YOU In Trouble With God?

Read the verse from Ezra once more:

“But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.”

Border Police: Deportation.

The other week in West Norwood, as we were out sharing the Good News of Jesus, right across the road from where we were witnessing a DRAMA unfolded before our eyes. The Border Police had arrived in great numbers, they’d come to arrest someone to be deported. The crowds gathered instantly, some shouting abuse at the police, others just standing around watching, as they forcefully bundled someone into their big police van to take them away. It really was over-the-top policing, all those officers to remove one individual.

A few months ago I watched a Nature programme on TV about Killer Giant Hornets: They invade wasps nests and bees nests and killed every single one of the wasps or bees and steal all their honey. However, when people wander inadvertently too close they too come under attack.  That’s what happened to Israel when they stirred up God’s wrath and anger; He sent an overwhelming power to destroy their Temple and deport them to Babylon. After watching those hornets there’s no way I’d go near one of their nests.

My friends, that’s what God’s wrath is like too: He didn’t send just another little army to deport Israel, He stirred up an whole Empire and they came if huge force, overwhelming force, to take away the rebellious Nation of Israel into captivity. There was no way they’d be able to withstand an attack from this Empire. In addition to the DEPORTATION the Babylonian Empire also came to DESTROY the great Temple that King Solomon had built for God.

When we get angry, someone can step in to the situation and bring peace. However, when God gets angry and His righteous fury is aroused, then there’s NOTHING on Earth that can stop Him.

Jonah: When God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh, initially Jonah didn’t want to go and ran away, however, God brought Jonah to his knees and he eventually took God’s message to Nineveh. It took a storm, being thrown overboard and a big fish to swallow Jonah, but he reluctantly and finally repented inside that huge fish, and eventually did what God wanted from the beginning, to go to Nineveh.

Questions:

  • Have you ever wondered why Jonah was so reluctant to do what God wanted him to do?
  • Have you ever wondered why the Nation of Israel found it so difficult to obey God’s Commands?
  • Have you ever wondered why you always seem to fall into sin so easily?
  • After all it seems like a no-brainer that walking with God is much better for us, but human beings always think they know what’s best don’t they?

Well, this verse tells us what can happen to us if we choose to stir up the hornet’s nest of God’s wrath. When we ignore His warnings, when we refuse to listen to our Conscience.

This verse is part of the answer the Jews gave to their enemies when they were rebuilding the Temple after coming back to the Promised Land after the long years of captivity and exile.

The verse tells why the Temple needed rebuilding: It had been DESTROYED. It speaks of the provoking of God to anger, and the resultant punishment brought upon themselves by God.

Provoking God To Anger: Ezra 5:12 “But because our fathers angered the God of heaven”

This verse tells us when the provoking occurred and what the provoking did.

First, when it occurred. “After that.” The context says this provoking occurred after the first Temple was built by Solomon. After a great work was done for God, the people provoked God by their disobedience.

My friends, we must be very careful after accomplishing some great work, some good work for God, that we don’t let down our guard. Solomon was so full of wisdom and dedicated, but afterwards, he let down his spiritual guard and fell into temptation. He’d done something so amazing and marvellous, it became a wonder of the world and many people travelled thousands of miles just to see his awesome Temple of God. However his dedication and devotion turned to PRIDE and the great wise king fell into sin. Sadly it wasn’t only Solomon, the whole Nation of Israel was rotten from the Head to the Toe: They’d turned away from God. It is often after a time of great success for God, that Satan attacks and causes us to go astray.

Second, what the REBELLION did. “Provoked the God of heaven unto wrath.”

What this provocation did was stir up the wrath of God. Like the hornet’s nest, like the OTT Border Security. Sin stirs-up the wrath of God. If there is anything you want to avoid in life, it is the wrath of God.

My friends, we all love warm and fuzzy messages about the LOVE of God don’t we? We like to hear about the GRACE of God, the MERCY of God. We’re amazed at the Miracles of God, We’re encouraged by the wisdom of God and the Power of God, but we also need to hear some of the TRUTH about the WRATH of God. Sin stirs-up the Righteous ANGER and wrath of God. Our sin provokes the wrath of God, and nothing is more dangerous for your soul.

Finally, The Punishing by God.

Ezra 5:12 “… he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.”

Another translation puts it like this “Nebuchadnezzar carried the people away into Babylon.”

The punishment was twofold: It involved destruction and deportation.

First, The Destruction. “Destroyed this house.” The great Temple which Solomon had built was destroyed. Israel forsook worship at the Temple, and so God destroyed it. If we are not good at looking after our Spiritual Achievements or of God’s wonderful Spiritual privileges, we will lose them. They will be as if they had not been.

Second, the Deportation. “Deported the people to Babylon.” Israel was removed from the Promised Land. When they rejected God, He no longer protected them from their enemies, they came and deported the people to a place far away from the Promised Land. Most of them, never to return.

I think that when we get to Heaven we’re going to be totally shocked by just HOW the LORD has been protecting us from evil all our lives. How He’s watching over us, How He’s keeping Satan away from our house, home, family, friends, fellowship and life. However, when we choose to walk away from God, on purpose, we’re opening up the doorway to Satan. It’s like we’re giving him permission to do whatever he wants with all that we hold most dear to us. Don’t give the devil a foothold into your life today. However, there’s something worse than Satan or the Devil. My friends, you DON’T WANT to stir-up the wrath and anger of God or he just might remove that protective barrier and allow something terrible to happen, just to bring us back to our senses and to allow us to see that walking with Him is much better than walking our own way.

Heed the warning in the history of Israel: See what happens when God’s chosen people refuse to repent.

Heed the warnings given in the New Testament to Believers and Followers of Jesus: Hebrews 5:11-6:12.

Times have not changed; this is still true. Our own nation, the UK was once a great world power, we took the Word of God to the Nations of the world at one time, but now God has turned things on their heads, and the peoples of the world are coming back to the UK, they have come to EVANGELISE Great Britain, to bring the Word of God back, because we’ve rejected God as a Nation. Thankfully He’s not destroyed us yet or banished us into captivity. However, we are living like there is no God, like sin doesn’t matter. Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes again.

My friends, we do need to heed God’s warnings.

As far as you are concerned, follower of Jesus Christ, don’t stir up the Hornet’s Nest of God’s wrath and anger with your sinful choices. See sin how God sees it and hate it as much as He does. Repent and turn again to God. Do the things you once did when you first came to know and follow Jesus Christ.

PEACE CAN BE RESTORED:

Just last night we were standing outside KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) sharing the good news of Jesus with a couple. A man came out and immediately began to shout abuse at the couple. Apparently they had purposefully leaned up against his car. He was really angry, I mean, really angry. It’s strange how quickly ANGER gets stirred-up in a person. He began to racially abuse the man; the car owner was Jamaican and the man we were talking with was African. He said, “You African, you boy, you are ignorant”… with a few more unrepeatable words. Richard, who’d come out with us for the first time since doing the Alpha Course, was brilliant, he just stepped in the middle of the two of them, peace guys, peace. He offered the car owner £1,000,000. He initially said, “I don’t want your money”… Then after a few moments said, “What is that?”… He jumped into his car, but before he did, I grabbed hold of his hand and said, “Jesus is LORD, we are Christians, Here’s a little Coin with the Ten Commandments, Jesus sees hatred as murder”. Richard, said, “Forgiveness is for everyone”… He smiled and said, “I know, I know”.

Jesus said, “Stop sinning or something worse might happen to you”…

John 5:14 (ESV)  Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

It’s amazing HOW PEACE can be RESTORED.

But don’t leave it too long: God is patient, but…

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the whole world. He did so to bring PEACE between mankind and God. So that we can avoid His wrath and anger against sin. But the whole world, in order to benefit from God’s own sacrifice, needs to come to it’s knees as Jonah did. Jonah was forced to his knees before he eventually went to Nineveh, Israel was forced into exile, but by then it was too late to repent, let’s do it without the need for God to force us to our knees. Choose today to come back to the LORD and let go of sin in your life. Don’t stir up the Hornet’s Nest of God’s Wrath and Anger. You don’t want His Heavenly Border Security Force to cast you into the Lake of Fire…

Jesus has delivered every Christian from sin, He set us free, so that we can now live a life that’s pleasing to God. But, we must continue to walk with Jesus every day. “Take up your Cross daily and follow me” We all need to walk with Jesus and be full of the Holy Spirit and keep our eyes on Him every day in order to know how to avoid sin in our own lives. As we do so, He will transform our minds, renew our thinking and enable us to experience His JOY in our hearts. (Romans 12).

Christian brothers and sisters, we all need to heed this frightening warning today. God hates sin it makes Him so angry. We tolerate sin, but it stirs our God to Wrath and Anger. We all know people, who were once great followers of Jesus who’s lives lie in ruins now because of their sinful choices.

  • Sin Brings: Destruction.
  • Sin Brings: Banishment.
  • BUT: Repentance: Brings PEACE.

To BE A FOLLOWER of Jesus Today: Believe in The Lord Jesus, Repent of your sin, Receive Him as your LORD, Be Baptised and Be filled with His Holy Spirit and Follow His ways.

I don’t want the LORD to send an mighty Empire against our Nation.

I don’t want anyone I know to experience the wrath and anger of God.

I want everyone to come back to Jesus now.

I’m also praying that when we’ve been successful, when we’ve done great things for God, we’ll not get proud and conceited and be tempted to fall away and fall into sin, pride, folly, and ignite the anger or wrath of God. Amen!

It’s half-term, I hope you are all enjoying the holiday week.

Stay close to Jesus. Be filled afresh with His Spirit. Walk in PEACE.

Don.

P.S. Tonight there’s a wonderful Presentation of “Oh Happy Day”…

A vision to share the LOVE and JOY of being a follower of Jesus.

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. 7.30pm.

 

Magnificent Ancient Monument Destroyed

Ancient City Destroyed

Daily Spirit & Word: 538: Magnificent Ancient Monument Destroyed.

End Times Prophesy:

Good morning my friends, we’ve heard recently in the news about how ISIS are destroying ancient sites of architectural interest. It’s a sad shame! However, just before Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion He fortold about the destruction of Jerusalem’s most wonderful buildings and the Temple of the Lord, how not one stone would be left upon another. It happened just a few years after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

A City’s Doom (Mk 13:1-2)
13:1-2 As they were going out of the sacred precincts, one of his disciples said to Jesus, “Teacher, see! What stones and what buildings!” Jesus said to him, “You see this great budding? Not one stone will be left on another which will not be thrown down!”

We begin our study of Mark Chapter 13 with the prophecies of Jesus which foretold the DOOM and DESTRUCTION of Jerusalem.

However, it’s good to have a good grasp or grip, an understanding and knowledge of the actual temple stones that the Disciples were pointing to when they were talking with Jesus that day. Why? Because those stone were REALLY HUGE.

The Temple which King Herod had built was one of the wonders of the world. It was begun in 20-19 B.C. and in the time of Jesus was not yet completely finished. It was built on the top of Mount Moriah. But instead of levelling off the summit of the mountain a kind of vast platform was formed by raising up walls of massive masonry and enclosing the whole area. On these walls a platform was laid, strengthened by piers which distributed the weight of the superstructure. Josephus tells us that some of these stones were forty feet long by twelve feet high by eighteen feet wide. It would be some of these vast stones that moved the Galilaean Disciples of Jesus to such wondering amazement.

The most magnificent entrance to the Temple was at the south-west angle. Here between the city and the Temple hill there stretched the Tyropoeon Valley. A marvellous bridge spanned the valley. Each arch was forty-one and a half feet and there were stones used in the building of it which measured twenty-four feet long. The Tyropoeon valley was no less than two hundred and twenty-five feet below. The breadth of the cleft that the bridge spanned was three hundred and fifty-four feet, and the bridge itself was fifty feet in breadth. The bridge led straight into the Royal Porch. The porch consisted of a double row of Corinthian pillars all thirty-seven and a half feet high and each one cut out of one solid block of marble.

The Holy Place:

About the actual Temple building itself, the holy place, Josephus writes;

“Now the outward face of the Temple in its front wanted nothing that was likely to surprise men’s minds or their eyes, for it was covered all over with plates of gold of great weight, and, at the first rising of the sun, reflected back a very fiery splendour, and made those who forced themselves to look upon it to turn their eyes away, just as they would have done at the sun’s own rays. But this Temple appeared to strangers, when they were at a distance, like a mountain covered with snow, for, as to those parts of it which were not gilt, they were exceeding white…. Of its stones, some of them were forty-five cubits in length, five in height and six in breadth.” (A cubit was eighteen inches.)

WOWzer! What a building!
It was all this splendour that so impressed the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Temple seemed the summit of human art and achievement, and seemed so vast and solid that it would stand for ever. But Jesus made the astonishing statement that the day was coming when not one of these stones would stand upon another. In less then fifty years his prophecy came tragically true.

“Pride of man and earthly glory,
Sword and crown betray his trust;
What with care and toil he buildeth,
Tower and temple, fall to dust.
But God’s power,
Hour by hour,
Is my temple and my tower.”

Imagine if you heard on the News of saw in your newspapers the images depicting the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, how would you have felt? How would you feel if it happened today? No wonder the Jews were horrified by Jesus predictions.

My friends, as you read through Mark chapter 13, keep remembering that Jesus foretold the events that would happen; both in the near future and the distant future. We don’t know when the DAY OF THE LORD will come, but we should always be ready, just in case the Lord comes tomorrow or even today.

Have an awesome Saturday.

Don.

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