A prophet stated: “Rule upon rule, precept upon precept”. If righteousness was dependent only on laws, why would he say this?
Faith and obedience go hand in hand when you are in a relationship with God. Your faith equals obedience and is credited to you as righteousness – (i.e., Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness because he trusted God and was willing to obey what He told him to do, even though he didn’t understand it).
Even though Abraham knew that murder was wrong (reference Cain), still he did not judge God’s command or assume He was going to give him another child. He believed that God could raise Isaac from the dead because God said Isaac was the one to follow Abraham. Who are Abraham’s children? Those who are willing to disobey the very laws God put into place because God said so. THAT is faith and obedience. Faith in God’s perfect nature and righteousness.
God told Hosea to marry an adulteress. Even though God had said adultery was sinful and the one who committed it was to be punished by death, He told him to do it. He even told him to take her back after she had done it again, instead of being obedient to the law and having her stoned. Hosea was obedient to God alone. The law is NOT God. Isn’t choosing the law over what God is saying idolatry?
So, was God wrong to tell them to do this? Absolutely not! To think that God is wrong in ANY way is to call Him a liar, God forbid! Both things He said to do are wrong according to the laws He set up for US, but God is above the law in every way.
God is not accountable to anyone! How dare we judge HIM by the laws He gave Israel! If He shows us the Truth and we won’t accept it because we think it’s wrong, what does that say to Him? That isn’t faith in Him, that is faith in our own understanding and passing judgement ON Him.
How dare we decide to know His will by our foolishness? How dare we tell Him He cannot do something because we don’t agree with the way He chooses to do it. He is the potter and we the clay. He is the Creator and we are the created.
But back to faith and obedience. It is common to try to have faith without works and works without faith, but you cannot honestly have one without the other. Consider the people who don’t believe in God. Those people obey what their spirit knows are righteous acts because we are made in His image and likeness, but without faith in God they are empty works. Things done to make themselves feel like a “good” person in an attempt to fill the spiritual void that is made for God alone.
So, you have faith in God and know that He is gracious, merciful, forgiving and loving, are you PRESUMING a true relationship with Him without joining faith and obedience? But one will not work without the other. Can you please God without both?
He is faithful and just. We are not and cannot be like Him. We only know what He has shown us about Himself. Without the Holy Spirit we are left in the dark because it is He who opens our eyes and ears. He is the one who illuminates the Scriptures to show us the true meaning in life; that our finite minds can’t comprehend any Truth on our own. We can scratch the surface of things but even this understanding is a gift, but we cannot fathom the depths or breadth of them.
When our heart and soul cry out to Him in honesty and humility He hears us. Not because we are doing something good or righteous, but out of His very perfect nature, love and faithfulness to His covenant, He hears. King David spoke of having a broken and contrite heart and it being pleasing to God. When we look at our obedience without faith, we insult Him. When we say we trust in Him, but don’t show it by obeying Him alone, we lie to Him and ourselves.
Everyone knows as children we learn by example, not just by someone telling us it is right or wrong. With God, we learn by His nature as revealed by the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. We learn what is right and wrong by what He says AND what HE does.
Without an understanding of the intent behind the law and statues we can’t truly see why they were given and that is where we decide to be obedient, or stubborn and rebellious. Stubbornness and rebellion are like idolatry and witchcraft. When we will not allow our eyes to be opened, nor our ears to hear we are being stubborn and rebellious.
When we presume to know the mind of God and His plans, we are being stubborn and rebellious and not trusting Him. Is there nothing that God cannot do? Is He required to abide by our “alleged” understanding or our limited interpretation of His holy Words?
We are unworthy servants and there is nothing we can do to be worthy. We cannot attain His righteousness, no matter the level of faith or our best ability to obey the law. But He in His love and mercy accepted our poor offerings of faith and obedience, even though they never made us worthy.
Therefore, as we can never be worthy, He alone had to provide One who is worthy for us. The One who can fulfill His requirement of perfection in every way. What mere man could ever do this? NO ONE, EVER ! So, in order to provide that requirement of worthiness, One had to come who could attain it. Have we ever known anyone who has done this? There is only the One and no other. Yet, we in our stubbornness and rebellion will not accept His One because in our foolish human wisdom it goes against what we “think” we understand about Him and the law. Again, who are we to question how He provides His will?
Nothing is beyond His power to do. We slap Him in the face when we refuse to accept how HE provides to justify us. That’s why God told us to walk humbly with Him.
What true prophet spoke on his own merit? How many men have claimed to be the Messiah, yet spoke and acted according to his frail understanding and even failed at that?
If we cannot see that faith and obedience will never make us worthy, how will we ever understand it is the humble, honest heart and spirit of man He desires, but accepts only out of His mercy and grace?
If God spoke through mere men who were sinful, how much more will He provide the One who is not?
No one can forgive our sins, but God alone. So, we remain unworthy, even if we listen to Him, obey the law and repent through what He said to the prophets He provided.
What do we think is most important to Him? Physical things, or spiritual things? Establishing physical peace on earth only covers a portion. How will He establish peace for His people spiritually?
If we, as the created, only go by what we perceive He has planned, we in fact are saying that God cannot do His will unless we approve of how He chooses to do it. We are NOT and never will be privy to His infinite power and wisdom.
Therefore, if He has decided to reveal Himself physically and spiritually through someone who IS worthy, who are we to say no, you cannot do this thing? If stubbornness and rebellion won’t accept His ways, how much more does it reject His Provision?
As we cannot fully understand Him, we have no right to tell Him how He must do something. If He chooses to provide Someone who IS sinless, that person will be as perfectly holy as He is. They cannot be less, or they are only men.
If angels can appear as men, how much more the Son? God is spirit and He shares His glory with no one. Therefore, if Someone comes down to earth according to God’s will who is Holy, Sinless and Worthy, is it not God who enclosed this Someone in a physical body so we can interact with Him on a more physical level? Rejecting the Son is rejecting our Heavenly Father, our very creator. Again, we are the created and have no right as sinful, stubborn, rebellious and wicked creations to judge Him or His ways.
So, we now have the choice. Do we trust Him and His Providence or do we use our pride and the law to judge Him and what He chooses to do?
No, we humble ourselves, search the Scriptures and learn through the Holy Spirit what He wills and has done on our behalf. So, let us now seal our mouths, examine our hearts, lean not on our own understanding and receive HIS wisdom.
God said, “Come let us reason together” – not ‘here is the law you guys go reason it out and get back to Me’
May He be glorified forever and His will be done.