14. The Ways of God

Opening Spiritual Eyes
David Williams
Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
2 Sam. 24:1 π 1 Chr. 21:1

The next chapter is going to be about how to judge the fruit of others as Jesus told us to, so we would not be deceived. So in this chapter, I want to show that the church has long been deceived in judging fruit. In order to do this, I must again bring up iniquity in some of our Patriarchs, and show that we count them as heroes, while missing hidden truths. If we donít judge their fruit properly, then how can we judge the fruit of todayís leaders properly?

Know before we start that the Patriarchs were only able to perform on the level of revelation God had given them in their eras. This is why we can today call them blameless in all their ways, even after we investigate hidden truths about them. Even Lot was called righteous, but it is easy for us to question that.

In showing these iniquities, we will also show God trying to get them to see it, too. This <>was the way of God, and <>still is the way of God with us. He did this with many O.T. people, but they were not yet ready to understand His ways. Jesus was the first to see this, and He learned to think in parables in order to know what His Father was showing Him. Letís give some examples of how God gave some O.T. men the chance to see His ways:

David is a prime example of this. We will show the iniquity within him that most of us missed seeing, believing he remained the apple of Godís eye to the end. Perhaps it will show why we need to be very careful whom we consider to be heroes, even today. Davidís story is scattered over many parts of the Bible, and reading only in context keeps us from seeing the whole picture. Letís put his history together.

We see in the Psalms that David was sincerely asking God to search his heart for any wicked ways, and he also asked God to show him His ways. God answered both requests, but David failed to see them. God arranged Davidís life circumstances to show him his wickedness. He arranged for a war against Israel, to expose his iniquity. That is the way of God.

It was known that when David led the army in battle, quick victory was assured because of Godís hand on him. Yet we find him as king, at a time when kings normally go to war, lounging around the palace while his soldiers did the dirty work. He then gets into adultery with Bathsheba, who becomes pregnant. He sent for her husband Uriah to come from the warfront, expecting him to have sex with his wife so it would look like Uriah was the father of the baby, not David. In this, God put an example of a more righteous man, Uriah, right before Davidís eyes. Uriah would not partake of pleasures while others were at the warfront, just the opposite of David. That too, is Godís way.

So David manipulated Uriah into being killed in the war, in order to cover his own sin. He did not repent until Nathan confronted him, and even then his repentance fell short. He said he had sinned against God and God only. Uriah might have disagreed. So God gave David mercy and gave him another chance to see his wicked ways of using the lives of others under him for his own pleasure.

We then see by putting 2 Sam. 24:1 and 1 Chron. 21:1 (top) together, that God sent the devil to entice David into counting his men. This was to expose his pride of rulership. David was warned by several not to do this, but he paid no attention. So for his disobedience, many deaths came to his people from a plague. David repented again, but of the wrong thing. He repented only of what was obvious to onlookers, but did not see his own arrogance of royal position.

So God had mercy on him once again, and arranged a new set of circumstances to reveal his evil heart. We find David once again lounging in his palace while his men went off to war. When victory was near, word was sent to him from the war front so he could come and get the glory, instead of the general. David did and God never used him again, except to install his son, Solomon, as the next king. And even that had to be arranged by Bathsheba, for David had become a useless old man with a hardened heart. He had both his requests of God answered, but he failed to see them.

So then we see how this went down from generation to generation. Solomon was the wisest man ever, aside from Jesus. But note he did not ask God for wisdom to rule the people, He only dreamed he did. Nevertheless, he dispensed wisdom as never seen before to the people. But because that wisdom was a gift, rather than earned, he could not put it to use for himself. His childhood vows to be seen as significant overruled his personal wisdom, just as with David before him.

Solomon knew God had promised not to visit Davidís sin on him, and that his reign would be in peace. Then we see him preparing for war, buying horses and chariots from Egypt, whom Israel was forbidden to have dealings with at that time. He built army outposts to defend against an enemy that would never come during his reign. Solomon built a great empire with the riches that God sent on him. He made his people part time slaves in order to accomplish this exalting of himself.

Solomon married many wives and had a harem of concubines. These women, many from other nations, incessantly pled for him to build them high places so they could worship their idols in them. He did, giving in to what he knew was absolutely against Godís will. Were David and his son Solomon really heroes, as we teach our kids in Sunday School?

Now, letís see how both of them got to be the way they were, with hidden iniquity within. It was in his childhood that David was looked down upon by his family, making him feel rejection. (Yet at that time, he was very humble.) We find when the prophet came to the house of Jesse looking for the next king, that David was not allowed to be present with the other sons of Jesse. Later when David took supplies to the warfront for his brothers, they ridiculed him. This shows how he had been shamed as a child. Just like Joseph, he desired in his heart to one day prove he was significant, not rejectable.

Then we see David ignoring his son Solomon, and preferring evil Absalom over him. Of course, this affected Solomonís feelings of self worth. His shame. No doubt he also hoped one day to prove himself acceptable in the eyes of others. But when they each came into power, the urge to prove themselves significant went beyond just that. They allowed self-righteous pride to creep in and they selfishly ruled the people with blind arrogance. Their true humbleness left them, and from then on they could only act humble to cover their pride.

The same leaven came into them as is in the case of the Pharisees. And it is the same leaven you and I go and would use, if we were elevated to rule over others. These are the major giants we face in our kingdom souls within.

We saw earlier how Jesus was capable as a lad to do wrong and justify it. We can now look back on it and see that even He had been affected by shame. He suffered from people believing He was illegitimate, a bastard. This was a very serious thing in those days. In fact, the Law even said His mother should have been stoned to death. We also see His brothers had no respect for Him. They were probably embarrassed to be related to Him. But we see at the end of His hidden walk, Satan could find nothing in Him. He saw and conquered shame, even before the cross. He had no leaven.

The Law π Discerning Fruit
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