Sabbath Day Worship

Sabbath or Sunday Worship Part 14D Series

Religion and the Sabbath/Sunday Worship Part 14D: Fulfillment

When God speaks, it is either a command with consequences or a promise with fulfillment. God commanded the law He gave Moses to follow, and any disobedience to that law is a sin, and sin harms the relationship from the love of God. James said that if you obey every law except one, you are still guilty of breaking them all. So, it is a sin to pick and choose which commandment you will follow and leave others out. The consequences of sin are death.

When God says something, it is different from humans. Unlike humans, God never gives a date, time, or place when it will happen. We must be aware that It is a big mistake, if not arrogance, for humans to act to know more than God, citing date, time, and place. When God says it, it will come to pass, and when the human-made promises, it may or it may not come to pass. When God told Jesus of things to come, as recorded in the book of Revelation, surely it would come to pass.

When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach His message about the coming judgment, he was reluctant to obey God but eventually decided to go to the other route, wherein a big fish swallowed him. To make the story short, the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time and proclaimed the message of the Lord as he was told.

And the word was heard by the Ninevites. “Forty more days, and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed in God, and when the warning reached the king of Nineveh, he also believed and made a decree. “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink, but let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turns from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3

Another promise that was reversed.

Here is an example of a blessing of a promised land and its reversed outcome, as recorded in Numbers 14:26-34 (NIV).

The LORD promised the Land they would settle and call their home through obedience. Moses was prevented from entering the Promised Land because he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God instructed him to do. As we have learned in our Sunday school, the behavior of the Israelites of their disobedience and unbelief made it difficult for them to possess the promised Land, the Land flowing with milk and honey, which means that the Land is rich, everything they need is already provided, but instead, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Their lack of belief in God’s word and promises rather than seeing the promised Land, they got the wrath of God. Everyone from twenty years old or older who complained against God will never enter the promised Land which God, with an uplifted hand, made their home until this grumbling; unbelieving generation passed away.

God made an exception to two spies, Caleb and Joshua, who believed in God’s promise, while the other ten spies who brought the evil report about the Land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD. (Numbers 14:37). The grumbler’s children of Israel did not know that their left and right hand would enter the promised Land. God’s compassion for children is explicitly pronounced. Likewise, The children of Nineveh were also why God reversed His judgment to destroy their city. However,  after 40 years, we can assume that these Ninevites children were in their mature minds, and they chose to be wicked like their parents. Therefore God handed the judgment of destruction, which happened during the time of the prophet Nahum.

These two stories tell us that God, who is faithful to His word, will never change, but due to our disobedience, the judgment was only delayed, but it is still at hand. When God says it, He will do it. God can change the circumstances, but what He says stays. After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve did not die right away; it took centuries before they died, but they did die. He said that Nineveh would be destroyed. It was delayed because they believed God when they heard the message of God from Jonah, but after forty years, destruction came because they went to sin again. Also, those who wandered in the wilderness could not possess the promised Land, but their children did.

God had promised them victory, and they chose defeat. They can live with joy, choose sufferings, and instead of living with the love of God, they reject the blessings. If they only trusted and obeyed God, grace should have been provided, and the power of His might should have protected them wherever they went, whatever they did. The Israelites had seen the power of God and the miracles He did when God saved them from the hands of the Egyptians that enslaved them, and yet like many people, they appreciated it at the moment and forgot it the following day. This is a lack of faith. They only need God when it gives them convenience, and they walk away when they feel it is not enough. They walked by sight and not by faith.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Their failure to believe in God’s word kept them from entering the Promised Land. This truth has never changed, and their unbelief displeased God.

God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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