How To Get Forgiveness From God (Homologeo: confessing or acknowledging our sins)

How To Get Forgiveness From God
Robert Wurtz II

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (2 Samuel 12:13)

Our passage is a small, but vital part of the story of king David’s sin in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. He had stayed home when the kings went off to war in the house that Hiram the king of Tyre had built for him. (Ezekiel 28:14-19) He wist not that he was being set up of the enemy. The subtle and seemingly insignificant voices and choices of his life had brought David to a baited-snare prepared by the Devil. He saw Bathsheba, called her to his room, and a terrible series of sins ensued. The sordid details of the events are recorded in 2 Samuel 11:1-17.

Obstacles to Confessing

It is human nature to want to cover our sins. Nobody wants to be embarrassed. In modern times exposing peoples’ sins has become a sport. Hardly a week goes by and someone is in the media caught in sin — with millions of people “piling on.” There is a violence in our age that seeks to destroy people. It’s like a diabolic ground and pound is loosed upon the fallen seeking to beat them to pieces. It is Satan at work. I have always marveled at the way in which people can condemn others knowing they have done similar sins. In fact, I attended a court hearing once in which a young man was being charged with a crime. The judged scolded him and ended his rant with this sobering question, “Do you know what the difference is between you and I? You got caught and I didn’t!” With this attitude prevailing in the land it become more difficult by the day to confess our sins when we have done wrong. The Devil works to make each and every person a prisoner to their own past — yet Christ has come to set the captives free. 

I was at a conference a number of years ago and an opportunity was given to share a confession with the people. In fact, it was streaming live all over the world. Feeling pricked in my heart I went up as I have done many times over my Christian life to acknowledge that I was not as perfect as I sometimes projected by my actions. Some brothers prayed with me and others who did likewise. As is typical of these events, there were some who viewed it as an occasion to criticize and condescend. I was quite upset about it and determined to never be vulnerable like that again. However, over the years I have come to realize that the enemy was trying to use this situation (and others like it) to harden my heart before God. Satan does not like it when we are self-loathing (for lack of a better term) and sensitive before the Lord. He wants us to proudly carry on as if we are perfect before God so that the world “will never see us sweat.” Can you imagine how many people were lined up to throw a stone at king David? They may have had two or three mistresses on the side themselves; but if people were then as they are today they would have stoned him with lipstick on their own collar. 

How could a person be so callous that they would send someone to jail for doing the very thing they did — only they didn’t get caught? This, to me, is one of the many reasons why hell is going to be so hot. Like the man forgiven of a fortune Matthew 26:28 who then went and took his neighbor by the throat over a few coins. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:1–3 KJV) In spite of all of these things we have an obligation to confess our sins before the Lord. If our sin is known publically it should be confessed to the extent that it is known. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
(Proverbs 28:13 KJV)   

Cover Up and Denial 

When the “writing is on the wall” and a person still will not own up to their wrong doing — we call that “denial.” It is an ancient sin traced to Cain and his evasive and contemptuous answers when confronted by God. The Lord knows that this is often a human reaction to sin. Cover-up and then deny. It can last for hours, days, weeks and years. It all depends on when the guilty decide to change their mind about their behavior and justify God instead of themselves. All the evidence in the world cannot secure a confession if the person is not prepared to admit. Many variables weigh in on this stubbornness. We simply don’t want to admit that we could do something so dishonorable. 

Convinced of Sin

Nobody likes to be confronted when they are in error. Herod killed John the Baptist because his wife was furious over John’s preaching. She wanted his head in a charger and Herod gave it to her. Paul told the Roman authorities that the Jews sought to kill him because he called them to repentance (Acts 26:19-21). It is safe to say that nobody wants to be confronted with their sins. 

King David was an unusual case because he held the power to kill his accusers. Shockingly, he had already demonstrated he was willing to kill to cover up his sin (i.e. he had Uriah killed). In fact, Joab knew David so well that he anticipated exactly what he would say to the messenger that gave the details of the losses in battle. He armed the messenger with these words, thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. To this David was pleased and replied, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him. Imagine a man that should have been livid at the negligence of one of his leaders actually encouraging him. Joab knew something was up.  

What Did Joab Find? 

It’s hard to imagine how paranoid David had to be. He knew of all people Joab could do simple math. No one is that dumb. And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. How long did this last? No woman would be so shady as to jump right into a marriage before her husband’s bones are even cold in the grave. Some amount of time had to elapse. Even if it were weeks, the clock is ticking and David knows it. He only has roughly nine months before this child is born and he already lost near a month from the time of her cleansing until the discovery of the pregnancy. That means there are eight months before birth at the time of Uriah’s death. 

David had to be sweating bullets. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. (2 Samuel 11:26, 27) David has a problem though, this all looks very suspicious. His own conscience would have smitten him to no end, but he is also living with the daily fear of discovery. What did he say later? “For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.” (Psalms 32:4 KJV) That is a verse to a song! Could you imagine singing a hymn about being under conviction of the Holy Spirit? Maybe we should do it. 

Uncommon Courage

There is no telling how long David would have gone if he had not been confronted. Had this thing drawn out for years and years he would have become a spiritual zombie. Struggling day to day to scratch out an existence on this earth. He would have lost his cutting edge. What if he had no Prophet? This is the trouble with error, the enemy often puts people in position to ride out their sin until at last they either lose their mind or destroy themselves. The king seemed to have nobody willing to confront him. Who would do it? A close friend? A family member? Not usually. Friends and family are often anything but confrontational, because they fear the loss of the relationship too much to confront a situation. The Jews have a saying, that one of the causes of the ruin of their nation was, “No man reproved another.” (Adam Clarke) This is the strategy of the enemy. How many people thought, “It’s not my place to ask” or “I can’t talk to him!” People are smart enough to know that confronting a person that is not in a place to hear it will often hate them afterwards. Proverbs tells us:

These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. (Proverbs 24:23-25)  

Relationships have the power to corrupt right judgment. In fact, relationships have the power to corrupt our theology. The time would fail to speak of the times I have seen ministers change their theology to agree with their loved ones’ lifestyle. Nevertheless, a friend or family member may well slip down into hell because of fear of addressing their state. Why? Just to save the relationship. It is one of the most common exchanges for souls; relationships. Standing for truth and what is right takes uncommon courage when there is a high price-tag on the line. Nathan the prophet is said by some to be one of the bravest men in all the Bible. David could have killed him. Yet fearlessly, Nathan, who was just a man went to the king. He was a Prophet, but he was still a man. Notice that he did not bring out all the evidence. He had not obtained the letter from Joab or drew up in black and white the fact that the baby was born full-term and yet it was only a seven plus month pregnancy. He did not use anything that David could have explained away. He went in the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. 

Dealing With Sin Under the New Covenant 

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. This is hard to do, but it is the way of Christ (Robertson) The Rev. version ‘shew’ is better than tell, which implies merely naming the fault; whereas the injunction is, go and prove to him how he has erred. Tell him his fault (ἔλεγξον). The verb means, first, to test, try, search out; therefore, to cross-examine with a view of convincing or refuting; thence to rebuke or chide. (Vincent) It seems counter intuitive to Christian manners, but the same Greek construction is found in Titus 1:13b where we read; Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. 

This design is that the person would “hear” and “hearken.” This is to agree with what is said. This is the best case scenario; the person acknowledges what they have done and there is reconciliation. We then read, But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. This is God’s way of applying the pressure to the person so that they are brought face to face with the facts in the case. 

Common sense tells us that if a person has to come to this point, they will probably only acknowledge their offense under pressure and the chance of it being genuine is diminished. It is from here a small step to stage three, And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. This is direction also for what would later come to be known as “church discipline.” However, the principals are still in play. If a person transgresses and does not repent — there is a stoppage of the process. There can be no going forward unless this situation is made right. If the person will not “hear” the church (refuses to hear Gk. parakousēi). Many papyri have examples for ignoring, disregarding, hearing without heeding, hearing aside (para-), hearing amiss (Robertson). what should we do?”… let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican (Matthew 18:17).  

Agreeing With God

God’s route of forgiveness has never altered. I see this reality in 1 John 1:9 and have the example of David in the Old Testament. Nathan the prophet confronted David by using a simple story to touch his heart. God met him right where he was. The result? And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. There was a point when David was angry at the outcome of the story, but suddenly hears the voice of God in the mouth of Nathan. His reaction? And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. God’s reaction to David’s acknowledgement,  And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 

David deserved death, but because he acknowledged his sin, God put away his sin. He would have to face the consequences of his actions, but he was back in a right standing with God. No more running. No more hiding. No more cover-ups, lying, or evading. He confessed; the world knew it; and he could go forward. What a glorious thing! In the writing of Psalm 51 his repentance became as notorious as his sin. As he ran he slowly dried up inside; but he cried out to God and found a faithful God that forgives and puts away sin. God restored the joy of his salvation. Confession; that is, agreeing with what God has said about our sin is the first step back to Him for the sinner or the fallen saint. No matter how difficult it is and no matter how many naysayers line up to throw the first stone, we have to keep our eyes on God. Forget what people think and say. What has God said? If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Amen.

An Offer You "Can" Refuse (Controversy with God)

An Offer You “Can” Refuse
Robert Wurtz II

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! (Mark 10:17–23 KJV)

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus he came running. He had a zeal to make Heaven. All indicators were that he wanted to be right with God. However, as Jesus placed His hand upon the controversy that God had with this religious young man, it became evident that he wanted right with God on his own terms. He referred to Jesus as a good teacher (Master) until he heard what Jesus said. We do not call teacher’s “master” today (although it would get interesting throwing the word master in with pastor in a church setting). Nevertheless, Jesus didn’t go in for flattery or vain titles. He did not fraternize either. Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Jesus shot down the blandishments and told the young man the truth. Though he came running to Jesus excited; he walked away from Him sorrowful. This is a sobering case.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. (Mark 10:21)

Many people come to God and make a pretense of repenting of sin — when in reality they have not turned completely to God. They are knowingly holding back a part of themselves. As with the Israelites, so with individuals; “Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.” (Hosea 4:1 KJV) As God had a controversy with Israel and Judah, so too, He has a controversy with sinners. What a person does with that controversy will determine whether or not they go on with God. 

Many, even now, have some sin, as did the rich young ruler, which is standing directly between them and God. The minister may not see it, but Christ does. John Wesley comments on this verse saying, “Doubtless for the dawnings of good which he saw in him: and said to him – Out of tender love, One thing thou lackest – The love of God, without which all religion is a dead carcass. In order to this, throw away what is to thee the grand hindrance of it. Give up thy great idol, riches. Go, sell whatsoever thou hast.” Though he had thought he outwardly kept all the commandments — his “god” was his stuff. We must remember that we are not at liberty to pick and choose what sins we repent of. We must repent of anything and everything that God puts His hand on in our life. Sins that place other ‘things’ on the throne of our heart are paramount to idolatry and a violation of the 1st commandment and the great commandment. Anyone or anything that is standing between us and God is an idol — no matter what or who it is. 

A Great Myth of Repentance

Some people are not as cut and dry as was the Rich Young Ruler. They will try to hang around and come to church without any intention of repenting of the controversy they have with God. It would be as if the Rich Young Ruler ignored Jesus’ words, kept his riches, and began following. Because he was innocent of “the obvious sins” he could say to Jesus “all these have I kept from my youth.” He would have gotten past most gate keepers, but he did not get by Jesus. Someday the Lord will separate the sheep from the goats. Why would He have to? Because many have tried to do what I just stated. They ignored the controversy and came on to church because people don’t see their heart state like Jesus does. God has a way of pointing out the idols in the heart. This is what God showed Ezekiel in the first several chapters of his prophecy.   

Richard Owens Roberts wrote a section in his, “Seven myths of Repentance” stating, “When anyone resorts to selective repentance, the tendency is to repent of the glaring matters, the things of which everyone knows he is guilty. There is no potential for selectivity in genuine repentance. Even if someone in your church is caught in adultery and sheds buckets of tears, and makes no self-defense, and admits openly and candidly to an adulterous relationship, it is not necessarily repentance. You have to be sure that the underlying cause of adultery has been turned from, and that cause in most instances is pride. Take as an example, a woman who forsakes her three children and her husband and runs off with a local university professor. When she is confronted by the church, she at first says, “Well, if you knew that beastly fellow I’m married to, you’d understand.” But the church is very earnest in bringing her to repentance and so finally she says, “Well, I admit that I did the wrong thing.” Do we then rejoice? I’d want to get underneath and discover whether she had turned from the pride that made her think she didn’t need to be bound to this miserable man.” People often repent of the ‘symptoms of sin’ but they never repent of sin itself-, which is rebellion against God, and His authoritative word. 

And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 

When we are determined to keep our sin there is nothing left to do but to walk away. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking God will overlook our sin. He has already declared how He will judge sin and there is no changing that. Why deceive ourselves? If we hold on to some sin we are trading our soul for it. We are trading an opportunity to have an eternal relationship with God for it. For what? Some fleeting pleasure? Some relationship? Some material thing? Jesus, unlike many ministers, will let you walk away. He wants you to know what you have done so that perchance down the road you may truly repent. it is dangerous to hang around churches that allow damnable sins in the name of “love” and “acceptance.” The story of the Rich Young Ruler is clear. God makes us an offer of forgiveness and eternal life, but it is an offer we can refuse by holding on to our sin.  

One Nation Under Sin (Pharmakea and Sexual Immorality)

One Nation Under Sin (Pharmakea and Sexual Immorality)
Robert Wurtz II

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:31-36)

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:16–18 NKJV)

It’s amazing the kind of things that people will say when they are in an argument. The sons of Abraham according to the flesh had passed under the Roman yoke after spending centuries in bondage to Egypt, and Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies, and the Syrian (Seleucid) kings. Yet these “believers” had the nerve to argue, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” This was denial at its finest. 

Those Jews “who believed Jesus” soon revealed why He frequently does not believe “believers.” As the late G.W. North once said, “God doesn’t believe you! He is the great unbeliever. God’s got to be able to believe us!” Their faith was exposed in all its fickleness. Many people believe well so long as they think God agrees with them; but when challenged to agree with God “these poor believers soon came to the end of their faith” (Stier quoted in Vincent). 

Anytime you read the phrase “do you not know” in scripture it is generally because the people do not know what is being said. They either once knew and forgot or they never knew at all. Nevertheless, Paul faces the same ignorance that Jesus dealt with. Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? Adam plunged the human race into slavery to Sin when he disobeyed God. Rebellion came in and handcuffed itself to man (if you will). We are slaves to what we yield ourselves to no matter how free we pretend to be.

One Nation Under Sin

In 1831 Samuel Francis Smith penned the words, “My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, […] From ev’ry mountainside Let freedom ring!” In those days America prided itself as the arsenal of freedom. Seven years later twenty-eight year old Abraham Lincoln asked a question in Springfield, Ill. that today reads more like a prophecy, “At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! — All the the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

Nearly two hundred years later multitudes in America are laboring under the tyranny of Sin. The days when she boarded the ship are now a distant memory. It’s seems like yesterday that she stood upon the auction block and sold her soul to the Devil. Behold the pitiful sight of haggard sinners wearing their shakles as a badge of honor! Having been promised liberty by those who were themselves servants of corruption  the nation of once freemen smile as they fall upon their own sword.

My fellow countrymen, do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? You say that all the the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. But do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 

True Freedom

The first step to true freedom is to acknowledge you are in bondage to Sin to begin with. Not as the Jews in John 8 who would rather argue knowing good and well they were wrong rather than acknowledge the truth. And political correctness is not going to save you  nor is the Supreme Court. No matter how many laws this nation passes in order to legitimize sin- sin is still sin. What makes the difference whether it’s legal sin or illegal sin? 

America has legalized most every kind of sin and are working on the rest. A cursory look at the Ten Commandments reveals that only theft is purely illegal. Murder is illegal, but a child can be terminated in the third-trimester and the killer not be charged. False witness is illegal in court or in regards to official business — but it is “legal” to lie to most anyone else. Drugs (sorcery) is becoming more lawful every year as is all kinds of sexual immorality. This helps us make sense of Revelation 9:20-21 “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (NKJV) Sorceries is from pharmakeuoœ, from which we get our English word pharmacy meaning “to prepare drugs” (A. T. Robertson). These are not aspirins, but spell-binding drugs. 

The only hope for people who are under bondage to sin is to repent and turn to Christ in faith. Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”     


Sighs and Cries that Saved their Lives

Sighs and Cries that Saved their Lives

Robert Wurtz II

And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. (Ezekiel 9:4-7)

There are two basic type of people in the world; they who are vexed by righteousness, and they who are vexed by wickedness. One group sighs and murmurs because of the overflow of sin, the other group sighs and murmurs because of holiness. 

As Paul was writing to the Corinthians he was careful to advise the people that events that took place in the Old Testament were written for our example and for our learning. Moses, who had been seeking to lead the people in the Covenant of God and righteousness was faced with a group that would not follow God. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” The people did not want to live holy and righteous before God. They wanted to go back to Egypt (a type of this present evil world). What did they do? They murmured against Moses. 

Then there was the other group of “murmurers” if you will that appear in the time of Ezekiel. Israel had backslidden and was carrying on like the rest of the pagan world. However, not everyone was pleased with the sin and evil. In fact, God told a recording angel to go through the city and mark the forehead of each one that did “sign and cry” for all of the abominations that were going on in Israel. The backsliders had so defiled the Temple of God that He was departing and there was a group that lamented for it. What the backsliders did not know is that the Temple was about to be destroyed and the people killed or led into exile in Babylon. What can we learn from these events?

First: that they are recorded for our learning. There was no reason to record it for the people that suffered these things as they were already dead. So we see then, that it is a clear warning to the living. God will not long live with sin and compromise. This is our example. People are afforded a space to repent, as was Jezebel in the Revelation. If there be no repentance then we are certain that God will act in some way, of which we only have samplings spread throughout the New Testament. For Jezebel, she was cast into a bed of great tribulation along with those that agreed with her. For those in Ezekiel, they beheld the sin and as a result of their agreement or indifference, they were judged all the same.

Second: although it is impossible to know the counsel of God in such matters, we know that the examples of the Old Testament are exemplary. That is to say, they are a revelation of God’s estimate of the behaviors. Whether one dies in the same way as Jerusalem is God’s prerogative; but it is certain that He has demonstrated for all time by this one act of judgment how He feels about this type sin. God being no respecter of persons, each that commit the same sins under the same conditions deserve equal punishment. 

Third: that there was a group that lamented for the sin. They did not walk around indifferent, but as was Lot in Sodom, they were vexed from day to day with the unlawful deeds. This means that God is taking account of how we react to sin and compromise. Do we lament for sin in such a way that had we lived in Ezekiel’s day God would have marked our foreheads? Would we have been spared from the wrath of God? This is an important question to ask in a day and age where the knowledge of God is being resisted at unprecedented levels. Sodom had no Bible. What aggravated the crimes in Jerusalem was that they had been entrusted with the oracles of God. To whom much is given, much is required. 

Fourth: none that did not have the mark of God in there forehead were shown mercy. They were slain from the oldest to the youngest. Again, God is no respecter of persons. The youth that refuse to lament are just as guilty as the elders that refuse to lament. Why? Because they have casually sided with the enemy. They did not agree with God in the matters of sin that was being committed. Had they agreed with God, they would have been offended for His sake. They would have been stirred with zeal for God and His sanctuary. They were not and were left to perish with those that committed the acts. They were passive participants. This tells us that there is no middle ground. One is either a child of God that is vexed by sin and unrighteousness, or a child of the devil and are at home in it. Do you and I hate what God hates? Do we love what God loves? Or do we have those two reversed? 

The people under Moses murmured against him and against righteousness, but the people in Ezekiel’s day murmured against sin and compromise. The one group was destroyed and the other group was spared. God heard the murmurings of both groups and He acted accordingly. 

Because He Had No Joy

Because He Had No Joy
Robert Wurtz II

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. (Psalm 51:8)

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalm 51:12)

It is impossible for a Christian to find lasting happiness in any kind of sin, for it cannot answer the basic inward need for genuine heaven sent joy. David, the great king, found this out the hard way. He had started backsliding we might say, and in the process committed a terrible crime (sin) against God. He committed adultery with Bathsheeba and then ordered Uriah the Hitite to his death. The effects of his sin were manifest in almost unspeakable horrors. His own son raped his own daughter. His son Absalom heard about it and killed his own brother. Before it was over with Absalom was dead too; strung by the hair of the head between heaven and earth where he exited this life to stand before God. 

All of this was prophesied in advance as the consequence of David’s sin. The details were not given, only a summary; “the sword will not depart from your house.” For years David struggled with lust and everybody knew it. In fact, when he lay dying his body started to get cold so they tried to bring a beautiful young woman into his bedroom to warm him up. He had been reeling from the effects of his sin(s) for decades perhaps, and it has all come down to this. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I say, “how embarrassing?” To have such a reputation for being with women that such a tactic would be tried in the first place. Her name was Abishag, but “he knew her not.” (1 Kings 1:1ff) “He gat no heat” says the KJV, so they sought a damsel. This ought to get his temperature up. Nay verily. After a life like he had lived, he had had his fill of it all. 

You will notice in Psalm 51 that David asked God for joy in two different verses. Some have taken this to mean that David had already lost his joy before he ever committed those terrible sins. Leonard Ravenhill once said that “entertainment is the Devil’s substitute for joy.” I suggest this is true, but I would like to add to it. Sin is the Devil’s substitute for joy. It begins with a simple lie planted in the heart and mind of an adulterer or adultress; Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. (Proverbs 9:17) I once knew a man that liked to quote this verse. Unfortunately he walked out verse 18 too; But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell. (Proverbs 9:18) Indeed he found that a willing subject can be found almost any place. There are no shortage of people in the world that have no scruples. I don’t know where this man is today. I only know he sacrificed his wife, family, ministry and all of his Christian friends for a glass of “stolen waters.”

You can tell when you’re getting cold in the Lord. You get rebellious and unwilling to listen to counsel. Once the process begins of trying to substitute entertainment for joy it will not be long until sin is used as well. Why? Because nothing can substitute for joy. All those things can do is serve as a place marker- holding you over until the next vile thing comes along. It’s all a sham and a lie. David would have understood this because he was a man of God’s word; nevertheless, for some reason he ran roughshod over all that he knew was right. I suggest that reason was joylessness coupled with selfishness. 

Who ever said that a child of God is supposed to be happy all the time? I’ll tell you who- many TV preachers. It is a lie. God wants us to have joy, but that is a very different thing than self-seeking happiness. Joy can be present in the most violent personal storms imaginable. Paul told the Philippians to “rejoice!” He wrote that from a dirty jail cell. Joy is what we need, not entertainment. Joy is what we need, not self-seeking sin. David cried out to God for it, Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. (Psalm 51:8) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalm 51:12) If ever he were to get his life together it would have to begin with a fresh infusion of joy. 

Let me say that many Christians are locked in a vicious cycle where they are resisting the Holy Spirit and as a consequence have little or no joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and there is no substitute for it. If you resist the Holy Spirit –  you resist joy (along with love, peace, etc.). A person in this condition is on a slippery slope to total destruction. They will seek pleasure to compensate for the missing joy until they end up in a similar scenario as David was in. I once heard a famous preacher say, “When the joy of the Lord is gone in my life I start heading down to the miry places.” He was suggesting that joylessness leaves a void in our life that the world and the Devil will tempt us to fill with gross sin. 

Because he had no joy- David found a sin to fill the void. It didn’t happen over night, but eventually it did. Because David sinned, he completely lost the joy of his salvation as well. How can you enjoy anything when your conscience is eating at you day and night and the hand of the Lord is heavy upon you? You risk becoming the most miserable and unreachable person on earth if you continue in this state. David did a terrible thing, but God restored him when he truly repented. But I think of Judas as well. He did a terrible thing too, but the outcome was very different. It was bad enough that he betrayed the Lord, but added to this he took his own life. This is very instructive. The Devil is not just interested in ruining our lives and drowning us in our sins consequences, he wants a person to despair to the point that they take their own life. 

All of this can be traced by to the one phrase, “because he had no joy.” May the Lord sober our minds to the need to have His Holy Spirit working in us, bringing us joy and love and peace. Without joy we become capable of anything in our quest to find a replacement.  

A House of Prayer or Players?

A House of Prayer or Players?
Robert Wurtz II

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:15-17)

As I read the text it is as if we could say, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”? But you have made it ________.” Fill in the blank. What have we made God’s House? It is a simple thing to say, but God’s House belongs to God. It is a place where He ought to be comfortable and His wishes respected. As in ancient times, so today, it is staggering to consider how different the temple was being used compared with God’s design. God had given revelation to His people over the centuries that should have made clear the purpose of God; nevertheless, somehow and at some time, a great disconnect took place. Another generation arose that knew not the Lord, nor the works that He had done in Israel. It had been a very long time since anyone had been smitten dead for mishandling the holy things of God. In fact, God was gone, but the structure and the people remained. Even the Ark of the Covenant was missing. 

A House To Play

In the Middle Ages, church buildings (cathedrals) were designed to draw the attention of the people heavenwards. Today, many youth and seeker sensitive oriented “churches” resemble a dance club. The effect draws the mind to Saturday night shindigs – frolicking with the girls and guys. The deceived believe this is a way to attract the youth and make them feel “comfortable.” Somebody forgot to teach them that God’s House is not designed to make sinners feel welcome-but a place where God feels welcome. One or the other will not be comfortable in the house. Who have we chosen to accommodate? I recently read where churches are turning to beer parties to reach the lost. It’s just the next logical step. They made the building look like a club and now in some cases it has become a club. The only difference is that they throw the name of God around here and there and maybe say a prayer or two if they’re not too embarrassed. What’s next? Let’s see. Well, we know what Aaron did at the base of the mountain. It won’t be long until these characters raise their dance clubs and suds to the people and declare, “these be the gods that led thee out of Egypt.” 

A House to Enter

God and sinners cannot feel welcome at the same place and at the same time- nor should they. It is madness to think otherwise. Actually, it is the consequence of goats and wolves making it into roles of leadership. Their are some in this generation that are so deceived, that their actions would make a reprobate tremble 50 years ago. Nevertheless, beginning with Noah, God set about to bring revelation of his concept of “His house.” He had instructed Noah to build what was effectively a floating house and then bid the rebellious people to repent and “come in.” God then called Noah’s “house” to enter the Ark. (Genesis 7:1) This is two pictures of a “house” combined into one. We will not delve too deeply into this powerful picture, but God was saying in a figure, come out from among them and come into Me. Peter tells us that Noah’s house was saved by the overflow (baptism) of water. This picture of baptism is also relevant because it was a judgment on sin. Rebellion, for a moment of time, was destroyed. Every drop of rain that fell lifted Noah’s house (a figure of God’s house) away from this sinful world and closer to Him. God was separating the house (Ark) from Sin. When it finally settled and they opened the door their lives were completely different. The sin that once dominated had been judged. As one writer has said, it was as if they could declare plainly, “the old things have passed away and all has become new.” Praise the Lord. 

The Gate of Heaven

We have another picture of a house” and God’s intended plan when we look at the life of Jacob. We read, And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. (Genesis 28:12) God had broken through into Jacob’s life. He was suddenly conscious of God. There was a ladder set up to heaven signifying a link between heaven and earth. Angels (messengers) were ascending and descending on that ladder. At once God spoke to Jacob, declaring Himself and His plans. Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:16-17) Here we have added important revelation as to what constitutes a “house” of God. It is the gate of heaven; the place from which man can access God. It is the Oracle, the place from which God speaks. Jacob called this place Beth-El. 

A Mobile Palace

Later on God would give the Israelites the Wilderness Tabernacle as a “house”, that is to say, mobile palace from which He could rule as King in the midst of His people Israel. He was tabernacling among them. The tabernacle and the people both constituted “the house” like a wheel within a wheel. The first covenant worship was dominated by ceremonies and sacrifices that the tabernacle (and later the temple) utilized. This palace was to be the Oracle- the place from which God speaks. Walking horizontally into the tabernacle was akin to ascending vertically up to the throne room of God. It was all figurative, but in a sense God was uniquely present in His Glory. The Ark of the Covenant represented the throne of His presence and the mercy seat was where the blood was offered. Keep this in mind as we build revelation.

The House of God
Returning to our picture of “house of God” (as it related to Jacob) we stated that the word Beth-El means “house of God.” Jacob saw the ladder up to heaven with angels ascending and descending and called the place after this name. He knew he could reach God from there. It was the gate of Heaven. God has always desired to tabernacle among His people as He had done with Adam before the fall, but even more so as we will see in time. As a sidebar it would be useful to point out that when Nathanael was taken by Jesus’ knowledge of him under the fig tree, Jesus answered him; verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1:49-51) This should have cross referenced in their minds of Jacob’s experience of the “house of God.” It would serve as a sign that Jesus Christ was “the gate of heaven”; that is to say, He was Bethel- the House of God while He walked the earth. Herod’s temple was only a figure of the truth.  

Christ in You, The Hope of Glory

Jesus told the disciples that it was expedient for Him to go or the Comforter would not come. No man could be in Christ while Christ walked the earth. Our Lord’s death on the cross enabled the ‘Temples of men’ to be cleansed by the blood and readied to receive the Holy Spirit in such a way as described by Steven in Acts 7 and Isaiah 66:1-2. Men always resisted the Holy Ghost and did not want Him near. This is still man’s problem; they want to receive and resist at the same time. It is impossible. To those that truly ‘receive Him’ He gives the authority to become the sons of God. He transforms them by the Spirit by baptizing them into His Body by the Spirit. Simply put, regenerate man is now the Temple in one sense and living stones in the Temple in another sense. Yet for all this Ephesians tells us it is only the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. It is what the New Covenant provides.

A House of Prayer

And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 
We have come full circle back to our text to demonstrate a crucial aspect of what God means by “a house of God”. It was to be a place from which God could speak and people could be brought to the very gate of heaven. A place where they could hear the call to “come out from among them” and “come in to Me.” It was a place where one experienced judgment upon sin’s effect upon our lives and as the Spirit is poured out we could be separated from this world and brought near unto God. 
This “house” is now comprised of believers that have received the Spirit and are the very temples of God (Beth-El). It is a house of prayer where communication between God and “the house” is open continually. Not on occasion, but continually. This is a place where God is welcome and can be at rest. It is a place that when God is near, sinners will fall on their faces and declare, “of a truth… God is among you.”  



Living with past decisions

Living with past decisions
Robert Wurtz II

Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. (2 Samuel 12:10)

I was speaking with my son who is studying criminal justice about why criminals are criminals. One of the reasons is that they rarely think critically about anything. Their thought patterns are selfish and near sighted. They don’t think rationally about the consequences of their actions. They employ their own skewed perspective and never stop to examine other perspectives. This was generally not the way David behaved, but in the matter of Uriah the Hitite and his wife, he was thinking very short sided and selfishly. It almost always has consequences. As wonderful as forgiveness is, it cannot erase some of the consequences of sin. If there is a message that needs to be shouted from the housetops, this is it. We cannot afford to leave folks with the impression that they can sin their life away and then return to God and He will correct all the damage. That is not reality and it is not Biblical. David suffered terribly for his sin even long after God forgave him.  

Stop while you still can

There is a recklessness in our times in which folks do things that have permanent consequences without giving it any real and lasting thought. Like a bull in a china shop, they are blasting through their life as if they had no restraint. There is a ruin that sin can bring that is impossible to undo, and all we can hope for is the daily grace to endure the vexation and chaos that we have done to our lives. Like the bull pictured above, they will grow old and grey trying to glue back-together their lives. When we “do it our way” we are like a raging, confident instrument of destruction. The bull needed to be corralled and stopped when it was young, but it would not listen to reason. The foolish, short-sided decision making, brought so much destruction in such a short period of time that it is impossible to measure. Paul said to flee youthful lusts that war against the soul. 

Why not listen?

David knew what he was doing was wrong. Often folks don’t even admit of wrong. They blame everyone else for what they are doing. But like the bull in the china shop we are operating in our own lives. The decision we made yesterday and yester-year have brought us where we are now; the decisions we make now will determine our future. Why not stop, right now, and think hard about the direction our life is going and the consequences it will have for the future. If we choose wisely we put ourselves in the best position for a quiet and peaceable life; but the more drama we sow early on the greater the harvest will be. Ten years is not a long time. We can blink our eyes and it be passed. Ask yourself, where is my life headed? How is this going to end up? Don’t think about the fun you think your having now, think about the pain and suffering you will soon experience if you choose foolishly. 

David lives with his sin

David at first went headlong into sin and then tried to cover it up. But he came to his senses and admitted (acknowledged) what he had done. He didn’t pass the blame, he took 100% responsibility. He had to live with what he had done. He had to live with the consequences. The child by Bathsheeba died and his household went into moral chaos. It was tough, but he was able to get on with his life. He endured a lot of heartaches as a result of his sin, but God gave him the grace to survive it. Was it hard? Absolutely. But not nearly as hard as it would have been had he kept on in sin. The way of the transgressor is hard. His problem with lust was dealt with by the time it was all over. Life taught him the wisdom of God’s commandments and precepts. On his death bed he could heartily ‘amen’ the Ten Commandments. He was sick of lust and passionate desires. In fact, they brought a young virgin to his bedside when he was dying hoping to get his body temperature up, but he would not acknowledge her. (1 Kings 1:1-4) What a picture of being sick and tired of the games! That’s what the years of suffering the consequences of his sin had done to him. He had been there and done that and didn’t want any more part of it. Would to God we can learn from his experience and realize that the pleasures of sin are but a short season and then the reaping begins. 

Sinning yourself into a corner

Sinning yourself into a corner
Robert Wurtz II

Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? You see to it. (Matthew 27:3-4) 

There is something about sin that allures folk to toy around with it until it is impossible to undo what is being done. Our passage is a case in point. Judas was a thief that carried the bag. At some point he decided to betray our Lord. By committing himself to the course of action, he was slowly reaching a point of no return. If we could somehow capture this event and watch it unfold in slow motion we would be horrified at how this man withstood all the means made available to him for resisting the temptation, only to blaze right through- headlong into destruction. Like the old “Kibbles and Bits” dog food commercial, where the viewer is able to hear the song of the puppy’s heart;” Kibbles and Bits, ♪ Kibbles and Bits, ♫ Kibbles and Bits and Bits and Bits “; his mind was fixed on the enjoyment of pursuing the reward of iniquity. Soon Satan entered him and he did the dastardly deed. Many walk a similar path thinking they can “un-do” what they are about to do. The Devil just laughs and jeers when you try to come back and undo it all. “what is that to me?” says, he. He got what he wanted, and you got what you thought you wanted. 

Slow motion destruction

One of the hardest things in life, is to watch a person break through the road blocks God has set up in their life to keep them from destruction. Like a thousand voices are shouting “Stop!, turn back! don’t go this way!,” but to no avail. Like old blue eyes himself, some people will hair-lip the devil so they can say “I did it my way.” But when the ear is deaf to the voice of reason destruction is looming, you can bank on that. There is nothing left but to become a statistic. This is right where the Devil wants people. A wise man is careful, and departs from evil: but the fool rages, and is confident. (Proverbs 14:16) Sinning with confidence is surely evidence of great pride and deception. Like the man pictured above, one sin is laid down on top of another until there is no place to go. It is a total fiasco. 

Things you can’t “Un-do”

Some say it’s better to beg forgiveness than beg permission. In the Kingdom of God, when it comes to sin you will never get permission. If you disregard God’s precepts then you and those around you will suffer the consequences. Sin always causes suffering. It is not until you or I are on the receiving end of some sin that we truly appreciate the wisdom of God’s precept. It is sad that it is that way, but we must realize this. “Thou shalt not steal” is all academic until someone steals something that is dear to you. “Thou shalt not kill” is just another law until someone you love is murdered. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is an archaic phrase until someone takes the love that belongs solely to you and gives it to another. 

God is a loving and forgiving God, but some sins simply cannot be undone. The consequences remain. For example, you can’t un-murder somebody. You can’t get “un-pregnant” (even savage abortion does not undo the pregnancy). You can’t “un-burn down” the neighbors house and bring back all of his/her cherished belongings. I’m sorry, but you and I simply can’t undo some things once they are done. Esau found out the hard way that he could no “undo” the sale of his birthright. So the only real cure is prevention. Stop while you still can. If not, you will live with it. The more destruction you and I cause to our life, the more difficult our life will be. God gives us grace and mercy, but grace and mercy are not the solution. Prevention is the solution. Listening to wise counsel is the solution. Obeying the word of God is the solution. Obey now, while your life is still in tact and the damage is limited. 

Faith Cometh By Hearsay?

Faith Cometh By Hearsay?
Robert Wurtz II

And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. (2 Kings 5:3)

It happens that the Syrian captian of the host Naaman had taken captive a young girl of the Israelites who had knowledge of the prophet Elisha. She tells her mistress that then goes and tells Naaman. Naaman then goes and tells the king of Syria. This is fourth hand information at this point and almost qualifies as a rumor. It is an awesome example of “faith to faith”. The young girl believed in such a way that faith came to the mistress. The mistress had faith in such a way that it sparked faith in Naaman. Then Naaman’s faith sparked faith in the king so much that he believed the report and sent Naaman to the king of Israel with a letter. When a person truly exercises faith in God as He is and what He is capable of doing, that testimony of faith cometh to the hearer. What happened? And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. (2 Kings 5:6) 

Stepping out in faith

All Naaman knew was that a prophet in Israel could cure his leprosy. This implies faith in the God of the prophet. To the unbelieving, it would seem like a long-shot at best. But they believed surely enough to send a gift of ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. (2 Kings 5:5) His faith was against the odds. God had not called Naaman to come, Naaman was moving in hearsay evidence. If there were a trial based on what Naaman had heard there would not be enough evidence for a conviction. But the man moved out in faith; the revelation he was responding to was as a grain of mustard seed. Some would call it a whim and a prayer. But there was an assurance that God would do something. Many things will happen, but Naaman comes home clear of his leprosy. It all started when he stepped out on the second or third hand knowledge. 

Pressing past the initial ‘no’!

And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. (Matthew 15:22)

This woman cried at the top of her lungs (Phillips). The Greek word carries the force of a woman that cried to the point of annoyance of those hearing. She was a Canaanite Gentile, born in the Phoenician part of Syria. (Mark 7:26) This means that as was Naaman, she was also a Syrian. She had heard about Jesus and was moving in that revelation. No invitation, just mustard-seed sized revelation. Our Lord’s words? But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. (Matthew 15:23) Naaman may have felt insulted by being told to dip 7 times in a dirty river, but this Syrian is being ignored and is near to being shown the door. Jesus then speaks up for clarification, But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 15:24) He was effectively saying, that it was not time for the Gentiles to receive yet. That was reserved for another dispensation. What did she do? Did she hang her head and say, “Well too bad! Maybe next time. I’ll come back in 15 years…”? No! Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. (Matthew 15:25) No doubt the Lord’s heart was being pulled to no end desiring to help this woman, but He wanted the disciples to see her faith. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. (V. 26) Hearing these words must have stung like a scorpion. The lump in her throat must have burned like fire as she belted out the words of faith that could move a mountain;  And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. (V. 27) She heard said that the Lord could heal and that He was a man of compassion. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. (V. 28) 

Testing faith

Two Syrians and two great miracles. One was cleared of leprosy a type of Sin and the other was cleared of demons. Both were Gentiles and outside the covenants of promise. They were not born-again. They were not filled with the Spirit. But their faith reached out and took hold of something not originally designed for them at their time and place. Their faith allowed them to move in an overly-realised dispensation and covenant. They heard and they responded; not to the revelation of words, but the revelation of a person. They believed that God is; and whether they articulated it or not, that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. It would have been nice to have it, but they did not have a specific Word from God. In fact, all they had to go on were insults, real or perceived. The woman was catching resistance in the worst of ways. Naaman was angered and insulted. But they kept pressing in to God and received that for which they came. If a Canaanite can do it, why could not a Christian? Do you need cleared of sin? Are you vexed of devils? Press in to God in faith and see what He will do. 

Called, but Almost Killed

Called, but Almost Killed
Robert Wurtz II

And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband artthou to me. (Exodus 4:24-25)

Moses’ wife Zipporah was a Midianite and apparently refused to allow her son to be circumcised. The Midianites already had a history with the people of God at this juncture. You will remember that it was the Midianites that sold Joseph into Egypt in the first place. (Genesis 37:36) Time will not change these people. In the centuries to come they will serve as Israel’s enemies. It was the Midianites, along with Moab, that hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel.(Numbers 22:4-7) When Moab gave up, Balaam, a man who loved the wages of unrighteousness (2 Peter 2:15), hung around with the Midianites as an adviser for evil. (Numbers 31:16) This is the same man that tried to go and curse Israel against the counsel of God and met at angel in the doorway to waiting to kill him too. Peter comments on this as well, “but he was rebuked for his own lawlessness: a dumb donkey speaking with the voice of a man restrained the madness of the prophet.” (2 Peter 2:16) The Lord Jesus in Revelation 2:14 tells us that Balaam taught the people to commit idolatry and fornication. Historically we know that this combination idolatry/fornication was of a terrible sort. His point was that there were people doing this very same thing in the church at Pergamos. Peter tells us that these are the type of men that promise freedom, but are themselves servants of corruption. The darkness of hell has been reserved for such. (2 Peter 2:17) This is the Midianite way.
 Called to obedience

“If Moses was to carry out the divine commission with success, he must first of all prove himself to be a faithful servant of Jehovah in his own house.” (K&D) The key words here, “…in his own house.” Moses had two sons and only the older one had been circumcised. Obviously Zipporah did not like the practice and it was an area of strong contention in the home. As if she would say, “We circumcised my firstborn; were not doing that to this son!” The penalty for not circumcising was death, but since this was a child the responsibility fell to the father. Moses, as the head of the household, was responsible before God to follow the commandment. He defied God by obeying the voice of his wife. We have a comment some centuries years later when Paul gave commandment concerning elders in the churches; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (1 Timothy 3:4-5) 
A divided house
Moses obeyed his wife over God and it nearly cost him his life. God had big plans for Moses. Maybe Moses figured, “Well, God was just speaking to me and He didn’t say anything about it. It must be OK. He must not care.” Yet visiting with God should have brought the issue up before his own mind. Why should God have to keep telling a person to do something they already know they should do? What happened? And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Some might say, “You mean God was really going to kill Moses.” That’s right. But what about his calling? What about the plans to lead the people out? I am convinced that had Moses not followed through with circumcising his son God would have killed him. Why? Because God is going to be glorified by our lives one way or the other. He will either be glorified by our obedience or he will be glorified by the demonstration of the consequences of disobedience. God cannot use a person that obeys others in front of Him. Fortunately, Zipporah recognized that God meant business and had the good sense to change her mind; though she did it reluctantly and grudgingly.
The God of Thy Fathers
 When God got ready to speak to Moses He introduced Himself saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. (Acts 7:33) If Moses, as the leader of Israel, did not maintain continuity with the past he would have been starting a new religion. It would have been false. He was expected to walk in the steps of the faith and obedience of his forefathers. God does not change, so Moses was to serve God according to the revelation given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This means that God had given Moses the same commandment concerning circumcision that He had given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It was the sign of the covenant. He was expected to maintain the same level of obedience that they had exhibited. There are no privileged characters in the program of God. Moses was expected to utterly obey God. Here is a man that in the years to come will give a command to step forward and over a million people will take a step. As the leader he had to utterly obey God. He found that the enemy of obedience was in his own household.

The deceitfulness of sin

If Moses had gotten by with disobeying God he would have never reverenced God. Sin is deceitful when God’s judgment is not swift. Solomon said it this way, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11) Men and women sin when they perceive there will be no consequences or if they perceive the consequences will be well into the future. David said it a little differently, “The transgression of the wicked says within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.” (Psalms 36:1b) In other words, when I see people in sin and compromise it is evident that they are devoid of the fear of the Lord. Because judgment is not instant, people carry on like God will never bring them into judgment. But the day is coming. It is just not yet. 
Lifelong struggle
Moses dealt with the Midianites at the beginning of his calling and at the end of his life. They were constantly trying to bring the people of God down. From Zipporah the wife to Balaam the prophet. Moses sent warriors out and utterly routed the Midianites. For a few centuries their was rest from their antics. Then some two hundred and fifty years after this the Midianites had regained their ancient power, and in confederation with the Amalekites and the “children of the east” they made war against the the Israelites, whom for seven years they oppressed and held in subjection. They were at length assailed by Gideon in that ever-memorable battle in the great plain of Esdraelon, and utterly destroyed (Judges 6:1-7). Frequent allusions are afterwards made to this great victory (Psalm 83:10, Psalm 83:12; Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 10:6). They now wholly pass away from the page of history both sacred and profane. (Easton) God finally dealt Midian it’s death blow and He did it through total obedience to Him.