By Eric White & John Hinkle
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life. John. 3:16 As Christians we have a very difficult time separating what we like from what is good for us, and for the blessing to the world. We only see what is directly in front of us while God sees what is down the road years from now.
For instance, two years ago I got my finger cut in a industrial bread slicer, at the time I didn’t like it. Not only did I bleed all over the place, I had to get stitches and a tetnis shot. However this year when I wanted to go on a mission trip and didn’t have the extra money for a shot I remembered the incident and then realized that God had seen this long ago when I wasn’t even interested in missions and had provided for me to be able to go. So, while we personally don’t think negatively, we wanted to take a look at some of God’s judgments that were blessings, but are not viewed that way all the time.
Jer. 17:9 states “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it”?
We were born with this bad heart, and this is the reason Jesus said “except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” John. 3:3. The problem most of us have is the same problem Nicodemus had “How can these things be”? John. 3:9 “My son give me thine heart and let thine eyes observe my ways” Prov. 23:26. Jesus will only accept a heart that is given to Him. This text also says “and let thine eyes observe My ways”.
Let us look at why this is so important.
Moses in the desert said “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I might find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people” Ex. 33:13. To see and understand God’s ways is to know Him. This becomes essential when you realize what Jesus said in John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”. Do you know Him? Do you know His ways? Do you understand what His ways are?
Deut. 32:4 will help us understand more about God’s ways, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he”. Have you ever considered that ALL God’s ways are judgment. This may surprise you, but blessings were a judgment of God on His
people, so were the curses. God first tries to speak to us through blessings. If that doesn’t work He next speaks through blessings removed. He prefers speaking through blessings, but when we refuse to listen, He is willing to speak in much harder language. Whatever touches our lives is either permitted by or given from God, with the promise that “all things work together for good to them that love God” Rom. 8:28. But Deut. 32:4 says “his work is perfect”. Notice what Psalms 111:7 says “The works of his hands are verity (truth) and judgment; all His commandments are sure”. Did you catch that? Not only are God’s ways judgment perfect, but so are his works! And “His work is perfect” His judgment and work are one, and they are perfect.
Looking at a few examples of God’s judgment we find:
* To cure Samson, God gave him blindness and slavery. Judges
16:21 (He will be in heaven because he gave his heart to God in
the end. That’s what God was concerned with, He wanted to spend
eternity with Samson.)
* Hagar was told “return and submit” Gen 16:9 (God made a great nation
out of Ishmael)
* Pharaoh rejected God’s judgments, and each one got harder, until he
buried his son. He despised
God’s judgments until he lost his life and drown in the Red Sea.
* For refining Joseph, God used slavery, prison, and suffering. Gen.37:28,
Gen. 39:20 (Then He
placed him over all of Pharaoh’s kingdom, and the world knew of the true
and living God.)
* God’s judgment for Moses was that he was not able into the Promised
Land. Num. 20:12 (But the judgment got even better, he went to Heaven.)
* King Saul heard “The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this
day, and hath given it to a neighbor of thine”… when he ripped Samuels
mantel 1 Sam. 15:28. Saul was given many years
to implement this judgment, but he refused it.
Did you notice, that accepting God’s judgments as best for your life, results in it being a blessing? Please pay close attention to Job 40:6-8 “Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou disannul my judgment?
Wilt thou condemn me that thou mayest be righteous”? To disannul means to make of none effect, to do away with, or to make void. God was saying to Job, will you make void my judgment, (my perfect work) in your life? Will you make of none effect, do away with (my perfect work), my judgments in your life Psalms 19:9 adds a new understanding to judgments “The fear of the Lord is clean enduring forever, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether”. Because they are “true and righteous altogether”. God has never apologized to anyone. In fact, Ezra said that “our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve” Ezra 9:13. Not only are “all of God’s ways Judgment”, they “are true and righteous
all together”. Imagine that any judgment in my life is “less than I deserve”, and “true and righteous all together”. We should be praising God and giving thanks already.
Let’s go back and read the last part of Psalms 19:9 and continue reading thru verse10 “…the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. (10 ) More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb”. What is more to be desired than gold? “The judgments of
the Lord”. Can you imagine that? God wants us to desire His judgments, because that is the way He purifies, or sanctifies and blesses us.
Moses, Job, Samson and Joseph would tell you that the judgments bestowed upon them by God were “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the
honeycomb”. They were blessings from the heart of infinite love. Notice, Joseph gave his brothers no credit for his being in Egypt. Gen 45:4-8 “So now it was not you that sent me here but God” Later Joseph told his brothers “But as for you, ye thought evil against me , but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this
day, to save much people alive” Gen 50:20.
Read Job 42:3. Job came to understand “things too wonderful for me”, and in reality the work that God is doing in our lives are “things too wonderful for me”. Psalms 119:75 says “ I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me”. God is faithful and not willing to allow
any to perish. God wants to save us and He wants us to rejoice in what He gives us, so He can take us home. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John. 1:9. The forgiveness comes from Calvary, but the cleansing comes from judgments. He is the refiner; His judgments burn the dross, and impurities out of our lives.
If we do not let God do “His perfect work”, “His judgments” we will be found “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” 2 Tim. 3:5. So please “My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her
perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” Jam 1:2-4. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” 1 Peter 4:12.
Remember “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” Heb. 12:11.
Are you willing to be “exercised” by God’s judgments”? This is eternal life no matter where you are now. The early Christian church understood this message, that is why the martyrs were able to go singing to the stake. That is how Paul could go to his death with calmness, because he knew that God was more concerned
with his eternal relationship. This life is but a shadow. John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”.