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October 1, 2016

Text: They say to God, ‘Depart from us!  We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.   What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?  And what profit do we get if we pray to him?” Job 21:14-15

Do you ever consider the treatment you practice on other persons? Are you kind and helpful with some folk but ill-tempered and abusive to others?  Do you adopt  being kind from sweet, thoughtful persons, or do you mimic being hurtful and cruel from mean persons? Perhaps that might be the basics of a  social group. It is persons having obligations toward other persons. That could include few or many relationships. And since God is a person, and man is a person, that kinda puts them together in a group with social obligations toward one another. We recognize that we have obligations to one another; but do we recognize that each of us has obligations toward God?

First, God wants us to know that  he demands his children treat him with the highest reverence and obedience. The first step in recognizing acceptable behavior directed to him by men is for each person must submit to the control of God. “…for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Heb 11:6b  Both punishment and salvation await, punishment for their ill treatment , but reward to those who display good treatment toward God and other men.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” II Corinthians 5:10 If lipservice, luke-warmness, insignificance are representative of your efforts,  then you need  to build a fire under yourself.  

The world being what it is, the now-impoverished Job could ably observe  the blase, jaded, and corrupted society that disdained the living God. His statement above demonstrates that the hearts of many men are  emptied of hope and faith and filled  with disrespect and hatred toward God.  They shun God, his wisdom and his ways, and, “”They say to God, ‘Depart from us!  We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.” (see above)  That is straightforward and unvarnished disobedience.

Men are vain and defiant toward God! They are indignant and insist that they must control their own lives. Job had excellent insight into mankind’s contention that they have no need for God. (see text above)   Others are not as crass as those who drive God away; but they disinvite God by ignoring him. Both of these attitudes are fatal in the judgement. Some of those who ignore God may profess to be his children and others may affirm that there is a God, but their ignorance of God will condemn them. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6  

Man’s own selfishness is a cornerstone of his persistent ill-treatment toward God.  Man is an acquirer  of material things. Thus he is mistaken in believing that God is “Santa Claus”, duty-bound to gift man with all his requests. Or perhaps God is to men a tinkerer who fixes man’s mistakes , and a doctor who heals whatever is ailing. Humans have a misunderstanding about God and prayer:  whatever a man prays for he expects God to pay for. “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! or I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.” Psalms 39:12

To treat God properly you must order your life to love and obey God. Another way to say that is that you must surrender to God and obey him.  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37  When one becomes  a Christian and enters the employ of God he becomes a slave to the Lord. He willingly turns everything he has or is to the usage of his Master, including his very life. His position is that of a bond-slave, no freedom, no wages, no property. Everything is dedicated to the service of God. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17   

And, as you can see above (Matthew 22:37) your treatment of God is also tethered to your treatment of men and women. How we act toward God is a model of how we should treat our fellow human beings.

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.


















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