Category Archives: Evidence of obedience

Escaping Sin’s Punishment

Escaping Sin’s Punishment

Why do some seem to not reap God’s judgment for their obvious sin?
In some instances it could be “for the sake of“ a righteous ancestor that Father withholds judgment from a person.

In 1Kings 11:12, God tells King Solomon that God is deferring the judgment that Solomon deserves for his idolatrous sin “for the sake of his father, David.”

Any temptation for smugness at having seemingly “avoided” the consequence of sin must be replaced by thankfulness to that generational “saint” in whose honor Father is holding open a “window for repentance.”

Conversely, I find it a wonderful opportunity and encouragement to walk in holiness and obedience before Father, even without knowing precisely what generational effect such intentional living may have. By faith I am sowing the seed that Father may use to defer judgment in my generational line. Just as I was a branch pulled from the eternal fire in my 43d year of life, so might other branches in future generations be pulled from the fire. Psalm 25:12-13 speaks of blessing flowing to the descendants of one who fears (obeys out of honor and reverence) the God of love.

“Thank you Father for Your forbearance in judging me—for pulling me as a burning branch from the flames. Thank you, my ancestor, for your righteous living, paving the way for my eternal inheritance.”









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Blessings in Disobedience

Blessings in Disobedience

What a shock when I realized, just because I was being blessed financially and with physical possessions, I could at the same time be disobeying God! I had always believed God’s blessing followed obedience to His Instruction (often translated as Law). However, I now realize receiving His blessings is not necessarily evidence of complete obedience.

This seeming conundrum was brought home to me by a teaching from alephbeta.org on the life of Isaac taken from Genesis 25:19 and following. This teaching hinges on the Hebrew word guwr (גור) in Chapter 26 verse 3. I checked 12 different bible translations. Roughly half of them translate the word as either dwell, stay or live. The other half of the translations translate it as sojourn or tarry—in the context of a temporary stay. Strong’s Concordance and Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon agree with the latter translation of this seemingly insignificant word. I won’t try to explain the translation differences, except to note Isaac’s disregard of this word would complicate his life and be the grist for a life lesson making application even in my spiritual life today.

So, let’s talk story. There was a famine in the land. Isaac thought of going to Egypt. The Lord said, “No, “sojourn” in Gerar and I’ll prosper you.” Isaac went to Gerar, but seems to have forgotten to just sojourn.
He gathered great flocks, servants, and had big harvests. The apparent blessings of the Lord were perceived with envy and as a threat to Gerar. Finally, the King of Gerar told him to leave. Isaac left, but only went a little ways. He was still in the Valley of Gerar. The heat gets turned up a little. The Gerar shepherds start denying Isaac’s flocks water. They were claiming the wells which Isaac’s father had dug years earlier were actually theirs.

After repeated conflict over the wells, Isaac finally moved far enough away. Perhaps he finally saw the comforts of Gerar had blinded him to the will of God. As evidence, the new well digging paid off with great, uncontested wells. As a bonus confirmation, the King of Gerar came to make peace with this blessed man of God. As for Isaac, he was back living in tents, as did his father. He undertook again his mandate from God to “occupy” the land that was promised by God to be the inheritance of Isaac and his father, Abraham. Perhaps “sojourn” would be a word to be passed from father to sons

In my experience, I call this “sojourn” aspect of God’s guidance “the Cloud of His presence.” Although all the trappings of blessing may be evident, am I where God wants me to be? I wonder, if in Isaac’s “prosperity” he ever questioned God as to what He meant by sojourn? Surrounded by his stuff did he get the feeling he had stayed too long in Gerar? Did the potential loss of his stuff have to be threatened before he “heard?”

Lord, give me eyes to see, ears to hear, don’t let your blessing dim my perception. May I ever be aware of the moving of the Cloud of Your Presence.