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Home The Light Articles from 2011 The Danger of "I"

The Danger of "I"

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I am important. I have great opinions. I have high and lofty aspira­tions. I am strong. The problem is, I am a creature of dust and ashes. I am a worm. My high and lofty intentions are of no value if I leave God out of my plans. Our Lord described a man who did that in Luke 12:16-21,"... the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast pro­vided? So is he that layeth up trea­sure for himself, and is not rich to­ward God."

Oh, the folly of purely human reasoning! We are what we are and have what we have because it is God's will that it be so. Moses warned the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8 that they must not forget God's power. In verses 17-18 he said, "And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day." In James 4:13-15 we are told, "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. "We must live with the understanding that our plans depend on the will of God. It is He that decided if we succeeded or failed. He also has the right to de­mand full, complete obedience.

In 1st Samuel 15:13 we have Saul saying to Samuel, "...Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord." The commandment of the Lord was, "... spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." God does not forget evil actions. About 400 years had passed since Amalek laid wait for Israel as they came out of Egypt. Now Saul was told to take vengeance on that evil nation. He returned, claiming fulfillment of his mission. Samuel had a question, "...What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" Saul gave the excuse that they had brought back the best for a sacrifice to the Lord. Samuel answered, "...behold, to obey is better than sacrifice..." Another call of where "/ thought" was wrong. The sacrifice God wanted was every living thing slain and left where it fell. For his lack of complete obedience Saul lost the position of king. Had he been obedient in all things, his son would have followed him on the throne. As it was, he and his sons were de­stroyed and the obedient son of Jesse became king.

It was a great honor to be born an Israelite. It is an even greater honor to be a Christian. In 1st John 3:1 we are told, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." Revelation 1:6 tells us that Christ, "hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father..." The retention of that wonderful position is depend­ent upon our obedience of all of God's commands. He will not toler­ate rebellion. Saul was told by Sam­uel, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king" (1 Sam. 15:23). Is not putting I think above "it is written" rebellion?

Does not pride then beget stub­bornness? How can people read the Bible and not fear God? Yes, I know the popular teaching is that God is so loving and so merciful that He will not send people to hell for a few sins. Did He not order Saul to have no mercy in wiping out the Amalekites?

Consider Exodus 20:5-6. "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniq­uity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my command­ments." Mercy is obtained by obedi­ence. God has not and will not change. In Malachi 3:6 He said, "For I am the Lord, I change not..." The rebellion of I think will not please Him. In Luke 12:5 Jesus said, "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." There is no respect of persons with God. All are equal.

We have a tendency to think, "I am just as good as, or even better than you." This can be tragic when it is directed toward those in authority. In Numbers 16 we read of
the rebel­lion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. God had appointed Moses leader and Aaron priest. There were gathered against them 250 men who said, "... Ye take too much upon you, see­ing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congrega­tion of the Lord?" (Numbers 16:3). In verse 5 Moses told them,".. .Even to morrow the Lord will shew who are his, and who is holy..." He told Korah and his company to bring their censors and come before the Lord. Moses called for Dathan and Abiram to come up, but they refused. He then told the people to move away from the tabernacle of Korah,
Dathan and Abiram. Moses said in Numbers 16:29-30, "If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord." As Moses stopped speaking, the ground opened up and swallowed them. Verse 33 says, "They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them..."

Does that send fear into your heart? Paul wrote, "Knowing there­fore the terror of the Lord, we per­suade men..." (2 Cor. 5:11). Num­bers 16:35 says, "And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense." Thus, the Lord quenched the rebellion of Israel. No, not quite. Numbers 16:41 tells us, "But on the morrow all the congrega­tion of the children of Israel mur­mured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord." God was an­gered and verse 46 says, "And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atone­ment for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun." Aaron obeyed with all speed. Verse 48 says, "And he stood be­tween the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed." Can't you just see Aaron standing with his cen­ser in his hand, and life on one side and death on the other. This act of rebellion against God's ordained authority cost the lives of 14,700 plus the ones that died about the matter of Korah. This should cause all to fear to rebel against the authority of the breathed New Testament! God said, "Vengeance is mine!" He will punish for sin.

We can be thankful for the words of 1 John 2:1, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." We wonder how many empty pulpits there would be in this land if God struck dead every person who substituted / think for the truth. It won't happen because in this age of grace men are given time and opportunity to repent. When grace ends and judgment begins, all will give account for every word. But I thought...will put men on the left among the goats. -105 W Jefferson Ave, Richland, MO 65556

 

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