Who’s Fault Is It?

They were arguing—again. “Well if you hadn’t said. . .”

He glared at his wife and yelled, “I wouldn’t have done. . .if you hadn’t said. . .”

She answered, “Why is everything always my fault? You think you’re so perfect. Well, let me tell you, buster.  . .”

 

Sound familiar? It does to me. I hear this frequently on so called sit-coms, and sometimes from other couples in real life. It’s so easy to focus on the other person’s faults instead of asking ourselves how we contribute to the problem and try to think of solutions.

 

We do this with God, too. Well, Lord, if you’d take care of this situation for me I’d go to church more often. Lord, if you’d just change my husband, job, boss, etc. I’d serve you more.

 

As I read scripture, I find many passages that talk about what it takes for God to bless us, and what happens when we refuse to accept His authority in our lives. It is imperative for each of us to accept responsibility for our actions, take the consequences, repent with a sincere heart, seek God’s forgiveness, and ask Him to help us become the people He created us to be.

 

When David sinned with Bathsheba, then had her husband killed in battle when he found out she was carrying his child, [(Bathsheba was not at fault: she obeyed the king’s command; according to the passage in scripture, it was David who was at fault. He wasn’t where he was should have been—on the battle field with his men.] God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David. There were several consequences  to his sin. The first was that the first child he conceived with Bathsheba died. David repented of his sin as soon as Nathan pointed out his sin. God forgave David immediately, but it did not cancel out the consequences. Romans 3:23 says the wages of sin is death. David paid the price with a broken heart over the loss of that child, but his relationship with God was restored immediately upon his repentance.

 

God promised in Phil. 4:19 to supply ALL of our NEEDS according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. However, when we are demanding our own way, not following His rules, and walking in deliberate disobedience, all the while waving our ticket to heaven, proclaiming ourselves to be Christians, He often withholds the supply because we are not in a position to receive His blessings. We take them for granted and don’t learn the lesson. If your grown child refuses to get a job, even though he is able to do so, do you keep paying his bills? Do you continue to give him everything he needs, or do you, in great love, compassion, and heartbreak, close the checkbook and tell him it’s time to grow up? If not, how do you expect him to survive after you’re gone? You aren’t going to live forever. How will that child know how to survive if he never has to?

God is our heavenly Father. We cannot ignore him until things are falling apart and then blame Him for allowing it to happen. If we demand our own way, God will allow us to go our own way, but He will withhold His blessings until we accept responsibility for our own actions. We need to accept His authority because He knows best. He sees all of time at once so He knows what’s coming.

 

The Consequences of Disobedience

How many of us, as parents, would allow our children to just do whatever they want, with no guidelines for wise decisions, no consequences for rebellion or disobedience? I have to believe that most parents want the best for their children and want to instill in them an attitude of respect for authority.  Here is a lesson from king Saul in Israel’s history.

King Saul was the tallest man in Israel when he was anointed king. He was humble and shy. But as he won battles his popularity grew. As his popularity he grew so did his ego. He became proud and thought he could do things his own way.

The background: Saul’s son Jonathan and his army won a battle against the Philistines in Geba while his father and his army fought in another area. Saul took credit for the coup (which was normal in their culture, but still displeasing to God) and his pride grew a little more.

Saul blew the trumpet that called the nation of Israel together in one place and made an announcement. There would be a celebration seven days hence. That was the appointed time for the prophet Samuel to come. Sacrifices would be made to honor and praise God for being on their side and giving them victory over their enemies. The only people allowed by law to offer sacrifices were the priests. Saul was not a priest.

On the seventh day Samuel was delayed in getting to the meeting place. Saul decided that he would go ahead and offer the sacrifices. I Sam. 13:8-12: “And he [Saul] tarried seven days, according to the set thime that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him (Saul). And Saul said ‘Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.”

The fact is Samuel did arrive on the seventh day, just not when Saul wanted him there. Also, Saul did exactly what he wanted to do; he did not force himself to disobey God. He was justifying himself, as we are all prone to do.

The consequences for Saul’s disobedience: verses 13 and 14: Samuel said to Saul–“Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.”

This was the first time Saul disobeyed God’s commandment. It was a few years after this that God effected his promise to give His nation a new king. I Sam. 15:22, 23–These are not the whole verses, just the parts that make the point: “To obey is better than sacrifice. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” God would rather have our obedience than all the “favors” we could ever do for him. God sees deliberate disobedience as rebellion, and rebellion as witchcraft. More about witchcraft at a later date.