God Proves You
A careful study of the Scriptures reveals that God created man as a special part of His creation. He desires people in eternity who serve Him because they want to. They believe that He is the sovereign God, a God of truth, love and justice.
From the beginning, man was under a test to determine whether or not he would choose to obey God without question. God placed Adam under the restriction of one simple command. He was not to eat of the fruit of one particular tree. If he did he would die. In man’s opinion, eating of the tree was a very minor infraction. We would be inclined to ask, “Why all the fuss over such a small thing?” No doubt Eve thought that. What was the issue? It was the same as any disobedience on our part today. The issue is that God is God, not man. We look at such things as man thinks. But God sees them altogether differently. He sees His holiness and sovereignty despised in every act of disobedience.
After God delivered His people from Egypt they murmured against Moses because they found themselves in the wilderness, or desert, (Exodus 16) and thought they would starve there. God spoke to them through Moses “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no” (Exodus 16:4). But the people had their own ideas (:27-28). This was very serious to God.
In Numbers 15:32 a man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day, which had been forbidden by God. This again would seem like a very little thing. They ask God what should be done, and He said, “The man shall surely be put to death…”
The Old Testament, under the law of Moses, gives nineteen such laws for which God required the death penalty. “…the law was our school master to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24). “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). With God it is not a matter of how big, or little; or important or unimportant a matter is to us. If it is disobedience it is all the same. The principle is that when we disobey an authority whom God has set over us, we despise God’s holy name and character.
There is no sin in heaven. God requires that it be that way with His people on earth. Throughout the whole Bible God is God. His words are to be obeyed. In Ephesians 6 we are commanded to obey. When we choose to disobey, deciding that this or that is not so important, we bring God’s disfavour upon us. “And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” (Exodus 20:20). “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no… Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;” (Deu. 8:2,16). “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21). “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5). Reprobates are unapproved, rejected, or worthless.
The book of Hebrews gives solemn warning. “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:28-29). This tells us plainly how God evaluates every disobedience. Only if men repent of their disobedience and turn from it, do the mercy of God and the blood of Christ become effective.
We are without excuse in the light of the warning and example God has given us in His word. These include Achan, King Saul, Uzzah and Ananias and Sapphira. God is proving His people today. Does He find us faithful or wanting? Will we hear the welcome call, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Mat. 25:21). May we always remember that “many are called, but few are chosen” (Mat. 22:14).
Jesus also said, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Mat. 24:37-39). Because these people did not repent and obey his message from God, they were not saved and knew not, though they had heard it repeatedly from Noah’s preaching. They knew not, because they reasoned that what he said was unreasonable. “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1 Cor. 1:21).
In these last days many such like people trust their own reasoning rather than to obey God (see Matthew 25:44). “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.” (Psalm 103:17-18).
Bro Gaius Egwu (Ohafia Nigeria)