Intervention not Interference

This blog has been inspired by the especially religious thinking being promulgated by many known religious leaders that in Election 2016 no matter who wins, or who you vote for God is still Sovereign and still in control.  I would bet that many people heard this ear tickling message from the pulpit recently.

Yes, ear tickling message.  It does not line up with the totality of The Word of God.

That’s like saying no matter what happens on Tuesday fire will be hot and water will be wet.

It’s an immutable unchangeable fact.

God is sovereign at all times.  That is a fact.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD The biblical teaching that God is the source of all creation and that all things come from and depend upon God. Sovereignty means that God is in all and over all. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

Psalm 24:1 (NKJV) 1  The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.

God’s rule extends to all people, even those who do not acknowledge His power.

Psalm 33:14 (NKJV) 14  From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth;

God created everything in an orderly and stable manner.

Psalm 89:11 (NKJV) 11  The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.

Psalm 102:25 (NKJV) 25  Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.

Psalm 104:5 (NKJV) 5  You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever,

Genesis 1:1 Names of God Bible (NOG) In the beginning Elohim created heaven and earth.

Created” in verse 1 is from the Hebrew bara’ (<H1254>), to bring into being.

bara’ (HSN-<H1254>) is reserved for the introduction of the three spheres of existence: the world of matter; the natural life of all living creatures; and spiritual life represented by man.

Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV) 3  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Deuteronomy 4:39 (NKJV) 39  Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.

He established it all and then gave us FREE WILL.

He intervenes in the lives of His children but He interferes with the works of the enemy.

He will never interfere with our free will.

And, those choices made with our free will are our responsibility.

He’s under no obligation to fix our mess or clean it up.

Genesis 2:7-9 (NKJV) 7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8  The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9  And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-17 (NKJV) 15  Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Don’t eat of the fruit of this tree….CHOOSE NOT TO DO THIS.  IF YOU DO THERE IS A PRICE; OUTCOME.

CAUSE AND EFFECT.

Genesis 3:9-13 (NKJV) 9  Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10  So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11  And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12  Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13  And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Adam’s answer was to blame God for the woman He gave him.

Eve blames the serpent for being deceived.

Blame infers a choice was made based on other influences.

Job 31:33 (NKJV) 33  If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,

 Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) 13  He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Adam wasn’t deceived (1Tim. 2:12-15).  Adam implied blame on God also, because if God hadn’t given him Eve he wouldn’t have sinned. Blaming others is a trait of the natural man.  Eve gave it to Adam and Adam accepted.

It is natural for both women and men to blame others. Eve acknowledged eating, but claimed she was not to blame. She was “beguiled” by the serpent.  The devil made her do it.

Sin entered because of Adam not Eve.  He could have said no.  He was there.  He could have run the serpent off but he didn’t.  His desire to please his wife was greater than his desire to please God.  And…God did not interfere with his choice.

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) 12  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–

The price was the curse of sin and death not just on Adam but on all things.  The curse was not only on man, but also on animals, the ground, and all that it produces.  That’s why all of creation groans for His Return.

Romans 8:19-23 (NKJV) 19  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21  because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23  Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Revelation 21:4 (NKJV) 4  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 22:3 (NKJV) 3  And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

Even so, until then, God INTERVENES:

Genesis 3:22-24 (NKJV) 22  Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– 23  therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24  So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

The fact that the tree of life remained, even though guarded by angels and a flaming sword, was our ray of hope. Is it not possible that because He but did not uproot it but simply kept us from it meant that one day its fruit may be eaten again? Indeed, one day we will see it again.

Revelation 22:2 (NKJV) 2  In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Adam and Eve were no longer welcome in God’s presence, but they had the hope that someday Paradise would be regained.

The way to the tree of Life is the narrow road that brings us to Salvation in the Lord.

CHOICE because God INTERVENED.

God’s sovereignty, His authority over creation, is grounded in God’s essential moral nature. God is to be obeyed not simply because He is mighty but because He is righteous.

God judges His creation on the basis of His profound moral character compared to theirs. And, since we cannot compare we must accept the substitute righteous of the Lord on our behalf.

Let’s get something clear.  No matter what the ear ticklers, watered down teachings and social media memes say, Divine sovereignty does not mean that everything which occurs in the world is God’s will. God has created a world in which freedom is a real possibility BY CHOICE. If we choose His perfect will for our lives, we find freedom.  Seek out His permissive will and we find trouble.

His permissive will provides for human freedom and the universal laws of nature. This freedom means that sovereignty must always be distinguished from “fate” or “destiny,” the belief that everything which occurs in the world has been predetermined, scheduled in advance, by God.

Adam and Eve tried to lay the blame on God for their choices but neither fate, destiny or the pagan concept of karma played a part in what they did.

That view, carried to extremes, makes human beings pawns or puppets of a mechanical universe in which all choices are made in advance and where freedom is not possible.  Freedom is always possible.

The Gospel suggests that human beings find genuine freedom, not in doing everything they wish, but in submitting themselves to the sovereign will of God, the rule and reign of God in their individual and collective lives.

The sovereignty of God is applied by the Fruit of the Spirt and our self-control along with God’s limitations in order that we might also choose freedom in Him.

We see this concept of intervention and not interference in the life of Abraham as well with the brith of Ishmael (Genesis 16).  Abraham and Sarah did not want to wait anymore for the promise to be fulfilled so they went ahead on their own to get it down with Hagar the Egyptian handmaiden when Abraham was 85.

Abraham was 75 years old when the promise was made. Fifteen years later, when Abraham was 90, God renewed his promise. Ten years later, at age 100, Abraham and Sarah finally had their son. That’s a total of twenty-five years before “the fullness of time.  And, because they couldn’t wait the problem of Ishmael and his descendants haunts Israel (and the world) to this day.  Hagar’s son would become the father of a great but wild and hostile nation living in the Arabian Desert as perennial enemies of Israel.

Living by faith requires perseverance.

This concept of intervention and not interference plays out in the times in captivity for Israel in Babylon, Assyria and Egypt.

Israel’s problem was not that the Lord wasn’t doing right by them but that they were persistently doing what was wrong to God. And, they were consistently punished for bad leadership that defied God.  They deserved God’s judgment.

Kings Of Israel

Kings Of Judah

1. Jeroboam 1 (22 yrs) 1. Rehoboam (17 yrs)
2. Nadab (2 yrs) 2. Abijam (3 yrs)
3. Baasha (24 yrs) 3. Asa (41 yrs)*
4. Elah (2 yrs) 4. Jehoshaphat (25 yrs)*
5. Zimri (7 days) 5. Jehoram (8 yrs)
6. Omri (12 yrs) 6. Ahaziah (1 yr)
7. Ahab (22 yrs) 7. Athaliah (Queen) (6 yrs)
8. Ahaziah (2 yrs) 8. Joash (40 yrs)*
9. Jehoram (Joram)(12 yrs) 9. Amaziah (29 yrs)*
10. Jehu (28 yrs) 10. Azariah (Uzziah)(52 yrs)*
11. Jehoahaz (17 yrs) 11. Jotham (16 yrs)*
12. Jehoash (16 yrs) 12. Ahaz (16 yrs)
13. Jeroboam 2 (41 yrs) 13. Hezekiah (29 yrs)*
14. Zachariah (6 mos) 14. Manasseh (55 yrs)
15. Shallum (1 mo) 15. Amon (2 yrs)
16. Menahem (10 yrs) 16. Josiah (31 yrs)*
17. Pekhiah (2 yrs) 17. Jehoahaz (3 mos)
18. Pekah (20 yrs) 18. Jehoiakim (11 yrs)
19. Hoshea (9 yrs) 19. Jehoiachin (3 mos)
20. Zedekiah (11 yrs)

The Bible says ALL of the kings of Israel were evil ( 229 yrs).  Among the kings of Judah, 12 were evil and 8 were good (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah). (414 yrs total. 263 good yrs.  One period of 137 yrs of good kings).

Exile = to be captive.

Babylonian exile = 70 years.

Egypt = 215 years of bondage.

Assyrian captivity = 200 years.

Did God interfere with their rebellion that allowed them to be taken captive?

No, He did not.  And, He won’t now.

He DID NOT INTERFERE but He DID INTERVENE.

Galatians 6:7 (NKJV) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Remember this when you vote tomorrow and in the days ahead for America.  We, like Israel, will reap what we have sown.

His Sovereignty will not change whether you vote or not or whomever you vote for.

Our lives, however, will.

Choices have consequences.

And, the outcome (cursed or blessed) will be our fault.

Richard J Grund