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6/2/20 - MISUNDERSTANDING GOD’S SILENCE AS APPROVAL

But to the wicked person, God says:

“What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? You hate my instruction and cast My words behind you. When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw your lot with adulterers. You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. You sit and testify against your brother and slander your own mother’s son. When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought the I AM was exactly like you. But I now arraign you and set my accusations before you..Selah Psalm 50:16-21


Harsh words? Not easy to swallow? But necessary, especially today. God has indeed been silent but not absent. ( see Proverbs 15:3) Any parent who has rebellious children can attest that at some point the ax must fall. I am about to celebrate my 63rd birthday in a few weeks, and I never thought I would be witnessing some of the things I am right now. God is indeed silent. But His silence is far from being His approval. The Bible refers to that as the long suffering of God. Excruciatingly patient. Some parents use the count down method for rebellion, one of the stupidest things I’ve witnessed as a parent; because the child continues the bad behavior until the promised number is reached.


I never used that approach because it’s utter nonsense. You teach respect and reverential fear not by counting, but by immediately responding to the behavior with age appropriate discipline. Children understand boundaries and they also understand lazy parenting . They have already lost their respect for you at number 1. They have figured out how much time they have to get their way. Instead of counting, act! Fast forward to today. People are still counting down to how long they can get away with sinning before they need to repent and follow Jesus before they die. That, is just plain stupid! That’s the Russian roulette method. You never know when the chamber with the bullet will go off🤦‍♀️ BAM!! There’s no repentance in the grave. No matter what you may have been taught. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2


In Matthew 24 and 25. We have Jesus sharing warnings of the last days. The famous statement or take away is this. “Watch therefore, because you know not the day or the hour, when the Lord will appear.”

Like a child with bad behavior, the discipline should be swift after the warning has been given. There’s no need to count. Swift discipline builds respect. Delayed discipline breeds rebellion. We will experience consequences for the decisions we make, what we have not yet experienced is the wrath or judgment of God. We avoid judgment when we adhere to the discipline. For example. If I told my daughter to clean her room. And she’s taking her sweet time, I may not do anything about her speed, as long as she obeys. But if at the end of the day it wasn’t done, then comes judgment. And that can take many forms.


In the scripture above. God was addressing rebellion in His children. He had warned and instructed, but nothing doing. So like a child thinking he had gotten away, God speaks up. “You thought my silence was my approval?” Listen to the rest of the verses 22-23


“Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: Those who sacrifice thank offerings (those who obey) honor Me, and to the blameless (obedient) I will show my salvation. “


We have a saying in Jamaica. “ Who can’t hear will feel” that applies here. God had spoken, given direction. We either hear, adhere or suffer the consequences. To the casual reader God may appear mean and harsh. But to a parent, He’s right on. How long would you tolerate rebellion in your home? How long would you tolerate disrespect in your home? How long would you continue to support a child who takes and takes but does not contribute in anyway to the wellbeing of the family?

Exactly!! You wouldn’t! But listen to this.


The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Numbers 14:18 and this. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 or this: For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. Lamentations 3:33. Pure unadulterated GRACE 🙏


We have a good Father! He loves us so much that He gave His Only Son to die in our place. But He loves us too much to leave us in our sin. He more than anyone, understands what rebellion does to our lives. He has made a way of escape for us. By refusing the invitation for a better life, we open ourselves up to His just judgement. He’s shown us the path to life. All we need to do is take it. Don’t mistake His silence for approval. The Bible says in James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.


No one reading these words today will have an excuse in the presence of God. If you have chosen rebellion then that’s your decision. But never let it be said that you didn’t have a choice. God said these words to the Israelites, and He’s repeating them to us today: “ I set before you life and death, blessings and curses. NOW CHOOSE LIFE, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19


Father in the Name of Jesus, I confess that I have often confused your silence as approval. I also confess that I have abused your long suffering with me. I have not always done what I know is right. I’ve ignored Your Holy Spirit’s promptings to get my spiritual house in order. Today I make a conscious decision to walk away from my rebellion and surrender to Your love and forgiveness. Thank you for giving me today! A day to make things right. I’m so grateful for Jesus my intercessor, forever pleading my case. I receive Your forgiveness in Jesus Name. Amen


Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23


Written by permission of the Holy Spirit.

W. Tennant


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