In my post, ‘God Has It Prepared‘, I mentioned how God’s way for Jonah to get to Nineveh would have been far preferable compared to the way he ended up getting there, inside the belly of a big fish. In this post I want to look at other examples of where people really should have done things God’s way, instead of their own way.
Whenever an evil king arose, the people followed his evil ways.
Probably the most far reaching example in the Bible of not doing things God’s way, is the Israelites’ demand for a king in 1 Samuel chapter 8. God warned the Israelites that it was not in their best interests to have a king, but they insisted and God gave them what they wanted. There were some good kings, like David & Solomon, but it was because of having a king that Israel was split into the separate nations – Israel and Judah. After the split, the northern kingdom of Israel did not have a single good king and as a consequence the people followed their evil kings further and further away from God, until they were eventually forcibly removed from the land. Judah fared slightly better, at least having some good kings, but whenever an evil king arose, the people followed his evil ways and suffered the consequences. The Old Testament is full of the consequences of Israel ignoring God’s way and demanding a king.
This instruction too was ignored – with fatal consequences.
The next example is the time when King David decided to transport the ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. God had given very detailed instructions about the ark, part of which involved how it was to be transported. God’s way, was for the ark to be carried on poles by the Levites. Instead of doing it God’s way though, David had the ark put on a cart pulled by oxen. Another part of God’s instructions involved the fact that the ark was an extremely holy object and as such should be treated with the utmost reverence. 2 Samuel 6:6-7 from the New International Version describes how this instruction too was ignored – with fatal consequences: “When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God”. If the ark had been transported God’s way, there would have been no danger of it falling off a cart and Uzzah would not have died.
Jesus did things God’s way.
Before we continue, let’s look at someone who did do things God’s way – despite that involving an immense internal struggle. That person is Jesus. Luke 22:42 records Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane: “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?”, (The Message). Jesus did things God’s way, for which we will be eternally grateful; but what if He hadn’t? We would have been forever damned, there would have been no hope for Mankind. Jesus knew that it had to be God’s way.
Cain did bring an offering, but it was nothing special.
Let’s return now to people who did not do things God’s way. Our example this time is Cain. God’s way was (and is) tithing and the offering of the first fruits. Abel understood this and did things God’s way, by bringing the best of his flock. Cain however did not do things God’s way: “Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk”, Genesis 4:3-5 (The Message). Cain did bring an offering, but it was nothing special, it was not the first fruits. The result of Cain doing things his way and not God’s way was that in his anger he killed his brother Abel and suffered a tough life: “From now on you’ll get nothing but curses from this ground; you’ll be driven from this ground that has opened its arms to receive the blood of your murdered brother. You’ll farm this ground, but it will no longer give you its best. You’ll be a homeless wanderer on Earth“, Genesis 4:10-12 (The Message).
Whenever God tells you to do something through the Holy Spirit, do it.
We could look at more examples, but I think I have made my point, which is that God’s way is always best – whether it seems to be or not. So whenever you see something in the Bible that you can apply to your own life, do it. Whenever God tells you to do something through the Holy Spirit, do it. God’s ways do not always make sense, but they are always the best way to do things. Its time to stop being so foolish as to think that we know better than God, its time to actually trust God enough not to question His way of doing things. Its time to step into the blessed, abundant life that results from doing things God’s way.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
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