Let's Get Serious!
The Terrible Danger of Passing Judgment on Yahweh
I am writing this article at 4 o'clock in the morning and I am writing it as a warning to not only just those who claim to be Christians but also to myself who has claimed to be one for a long time now and those who are non-believers. My message to us all is this: it is time to wake up and get serious.
I expect that you, like myself, have at some time been deeply troubled by some of the blood-curdling accounts found in the Old Testament and wondered what on earth these have to do with a loving Elohim (God). They offend, I know, our 21st century liberal western sensibilities. If we are offended then we need not suppose that we are the first to react in this way. And neither need we further suppose that only we, in our supposedly more "enlightened" era, are more sensitive than those from distant times past.
I woke up at 02:30 this morning deeply troubled in my soul. I went to bed the previous night deeply irritated and frustrated with Yahweh. To be truthful, I was angry with Him. I was angry because I could see no apparent sense in some of the events taking place around me and in my own life. I was demanding an explanation from Divinity but not getting one.
So at 02:30 I opened my Bible and began to read:
"When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of Elohim, because the oxen stumbled. Yahweh's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore Elohim struck him down and he died there beside the ark of Elohim. Then David was angry because of Yahweh's wrath" (2 Sam.6:6-8, NIV).
Every Bible student knows, of course, that although Uzzah's intent may have been good, he violated the clear instructions Yahweh had given for handling the ark (Ex.25:15; 1 Chr.15:13-15). He was not the first, and he was most certainly not the last. Yahweh struck down 70 men from Beth-shemesh for looking into the ark (1 Sam.6:19), burned up Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu for offering unauthorised fire (Lev.10:1-3), through Joshua destroyed the covenant-breaker Aachan and his whole family and possessions (Josh.7:24-26) and in the New Testament dispensation of our Master and Deliverer Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) killed Ananias and Saphhira for lying and breaking the financial covenant of the United Order (Ac.5:1-11).
Well, I know a lot of self-righteous "Christians" have been outraged by such behaviour and have passed judgement on Elohim! Every excuse imaginable has been conjured up -- "Oh, this was a primitive time. Elohim isn't really like that!" But the truth of the matter is that He is -- indeed, He has to be if you really believe in Him.
Well, I'm one of the those guilty people who has passed judgement on Yahweh-Elohim of Israel, He who incarnated as the Messiah Yah'shua. And many times. So I understand David's reaction. I wish I had been more like Aaron who, despite his many faults, at least "remained silent" as he watched his own flesh and blood consumed (Lev.10:3b, NIV). And perhaps that is why Aaron was restored to favour after leading Israel into the sin of idolatry... because he simply accepted Yahweh's judgment. Unfortunately, unlike Aaron "the idolater" we are more often than not like David, "the adulterer and murderer". We pass judgement on Yahweh! O, the shame of it!
But instead of allowing ourselves to be led by our temperamental and spiritually unreliable emotions we ought to be getting serious and asking some deep questions, as I did this morning. I asked myself: Why? And even though I have known the answer intellectually and theologically for many years only today, I think, have I received an answer in my heart, and it's this:
At every important new beginning in Israel's life with Yahweh, whether in the Old Covenant or the New, Yahweh gives a shocking and vivid reminder that those who claim to serve Him must acknowledge His rule with absolute seriousness.
And those who offer Yahweh the service of their whole lives He always tests to their very limit of endurance. Always. Without exception.
Being human beings filled with the desire for self-rule and independent authority, we are apt to challenge Yahweh's sovereignty over us by either openly rebelling or by 'redefining' the Gospel to fit in with our own weak, feeble and pathetic expectations of it. Typically, we see our own righteousness and use this to bargain with Elohim. And even more typically, we point to our kindness, our lovingness, and goodness. "I'm not so bad," we say to ourselves. But Yahweh says: "Your righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isa.64:6).
We struggle to understand the Master and His Ways -- His righteousness. Job did. Though he was a righteous man, Elohim was not going to allow him to be waylaid by conceit or pride. Though this man is held up as a model of piety and goodness, Yahweh had to bring him into right relationship with Himself by showing him who he really was. And this, my friend, is what He wants to do with you too by bringing you to this realisation:
"My ears have heard of You but now my eyes have seen You. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5-6, NIV).
So did King David. When his anger had worn off and he realised his arrogance in passing judgement on Elohim, he "was afraid of Yahweh that day and said, 'How can the ark of Yahweh ever come to me?'" (2 Sam.6:9, NIV).
Perhaps you too have been angry with Yahweh and then grown afraid because you have seen His mighty hand at work in your life but have been too afraid to acknowledge that it was His heavy hand bringing you to judgement and reminding you of the deadly seriousness of His Gospel of Ahavah (Love). Perhaps you too have asked: "How can the Covenant of Yahweh be in me?"
It is not good to live in fear. The fear David had after he sobered up and realised what he had done in losing his temper with Yahweh is not healthy. But this kind of fear is not untypical when we rebel and pass judgement on Him. We have good cause to be afraid! What Yahweh wants is the wholesome fear of proper honour and respect for Him (1 Sam.12:24; Josh.24:14) and not the anxiety arising from an acute sense of our own guilt (Gen.3:10; Dt.5:5).
David learned this lesson in time but not without a frightful cost. He became the "friend of Elohim", an honour not given by Yahweh again until the time of the twelve apostles when the Master Yah'shua the Messiah conferred this honour in the flesh: "You are My friends if you do what I command" (John 15:14, NIV, cp. Ex.33:11; Jas.4:4).
Today He is calling us to be His friends too and to receive the fullness of His grace and ahavah (love). But first must come a healthy respect. And this can only come by getting serious and letting Elohim (God) be Who He is and not what we want Him to be. Otherwise we will never know Him, nor the everlasting life which He offers those who truly love Him:
"Now this is life eternal: that they may know You, the only true Elohim, and Yah'shua the Messiah, Whom You have sent" (John 17:3, NIV).
Have you been living in rebellion against Elohim? Have you broken your covenants with Him? Have you chosen to live a watered-down Gospel in order to appease your fallen, worldly nature? If so, now is the time to get serious, repent in dust and ashes as Job did, and acknowledge Yahweh as truly Sovereign of your life. Then you will come to know Him. Amen. ¨
This page was created on 16 October 1997
Last updated on 29 January 2011
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