Friday, August 12, 2011

Why Doesn't God Prevent His Children From Suffering? -Part 2

The second reason God’s children suffer is for taking a stand for truth and righteousness.  I turn to 1 Peter:

But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled, but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:14, 15)

In other words, Peter is saying here that when trouble comes to you because you have taken a stand for righteousness, first be sure you are right and that you have a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Then when you are sure of that, you can take your stand knowing that God will see you through.

There is a third reason God’s children suffer. We suffer for sin in our lives. If a child of God commits sin, does he get by with it? The answer, of course, is no. But God says that He will give us an opportunity to judge sin in our lives.

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (1 Corinthians 11:31)

In other words, when we sin God gives us an opportunity to confess that sin and make it right. If we do that, God will not judge us.  If we don’t judge ourselves, then God says, “I will judge you.” And I think that is what John meant when he said there is a sin “unto death” (1 John 5:16), meaning physical death for a child of God. In other words, a child of God can go just so far, he can commit certain sins for which God will take him home, remove him from this life. A child of God cannot get by with sin.

There are two good Bible illustrations of God’s dealing with the sins of His children. In the Old Testament it is David. Now David committed two awful sins; he broke two of the Ten Commandments. Did he, as God’s man, get by with it? Well, he thought he had, and how long he concealed it we do not know. David, I think, came in, sat down on his throne, looked about him at his court, and thought, I wonder if anyone knows. He came to the conclusion that no one knew, so he went on with the state business.

One day there slipped into the group a man who actually was a very fine friend of David’s. He was Nathan the prophet. I think David said, “Hello, Nathan,” not thinking that Nathan knew anything about his hidden sin. And when there was a lull in the business of the court, Nathan said, “I have a little story I’d like to tell you.” You will find this incident recorded in 2 Samuel 12. Nathan told him about two men in his kingdom. One was a very rich man with flocks and herds. The other was a poor man with just one little ewe lamb. He loved that little lamb and had raised it with his children. Then a visitor came to see the rich man and, instead of reaching into his own flock and taking a lamb for the visitor’s dinner, the rich man went over and took the pet lamb that belonged to the poor man and killed it. David, who was redheaded, stood up in anger. (It is interesting how we can always see the fault in the other fellow. We can clearly see the other person’s sin, but it is difficult to see our own!)

David said, “As the LORD liveth, the man who hath done this thing shall surely die” (2 Samuel 12:5). I tell you, that’s righteous indignation on the part of David.  But Nathan, who is the bravest man in the Bible in my opinion, pointed the finger and said, “Thou art the man” (2 Samuel 12:7).

Now David could very easily have denied that he was guilty. He could have just lifted his scepter, and his servants would have taken this man Nathan out and executed him. Nobody would have been the wiser. But that’s not what David did. He bowed his head and confessed, “I have sinned.” You see, David had tried to conceal his sin. Instead of confessing it to God after he had done it, he went on to commit a far greater sin and was attempting to rationalize that. So God took him to the woodshed, and He never took the lash off his back. Very frankly, when I read the story of David, I feel like saying to the Lord, “You’ve whipped him enough!” But David never said that. He went through it without complaining because he wanted the joy of his salvation restored to him (see Psalm 51:12). He wanted to be back in fellowship with God. So David learned that God judges sin in the lives of His children.

Then in the New Testament, in Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira illustrate the sin unto death. I believe they were children of God. They lied, but in the early church they could not get by with a lie. Death isn’t the immediate result today, by the way, but because the early church was a holy church, they couldn’t get by with it. God judged them. They committed a sin unto death, and God took them home because God will deal with His own children.

Thru The Bible by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

1 comment:

  1. SO TRUE! May we be careful to confess our sins to the Lord.