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SermonDisobeying God Causes Suffering and Death
An all-creatures Bible Message

Disobeying God Causes Suffering and Death
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
16 November 2014
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Judges 4:1–10
Psalm 76:1-12
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
1 Thessalonians 5:1–11
1 John 4:18

Disobeying God causes suffering and death to millions of humans and billions of animals every year at the hands of our fellow human beings.
 
Unfortunately, most people think that they know better than the Lord; this includes indulging in things that are against the heavenly will of God, which is a form of disobeying God.
 
And, as a result, most of our fellow human beings indulge in activities that bring about the suffering and death we mentioned, for most humans harden their hearts to the horrible suffering of the animals they eat and wear; in the process they are lying to themselves about the fact that they are really disobeying God.
 
This and other forms of disobeying God are nothing new, for in Judges 4:1-10, we are told about the same kinds of hardness of heart; let’s take a look…

1. Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, after Ehud died.

What this verse is telling us is that human hardness of heart never left the people, but was only being controlled by a strong leader; for they returned to their former way of life, just as Joshua warned them would happen, as we discussed last week.

2. And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; and the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim.

In other words, the Lord removed His hedge of protection from them, and let them suffer and die at the hands of another ungodly nation.
 
Both sides are disobeying God, and as a result they suffer at the hands of their fellow human beings.

3. And the sons of Israel cried to the LORD; for he had nine hundred iron chariots, and he oppressed the sons of Israel severely for twenty years.

Because of disobeying God, He allows the people to suffer the consequences, which include our warring madness and the other horrible things we do to continue to corrupt creation (humans, animals, and the environment).
 
The only way we are going to be able to stop this trend is to turn away from the ways of this demonic world and allow ourselves to be transformed into the loving, compassionate children of God who are able to free creation from its present corruption.

4. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.
 
5. And she used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment.

This was all happening while the Israelites were being oppressed for disobeying God.
 
This is really the same problem we are having today, only today the evil takes on many different forms, but the result is always the same: humans and animals suffer and die.

6. Now she sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, "Behold, the LORD, the God of Israel, has commanded, 'Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun.
 
7. 'And I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his many troops to the river Kishon; and I will give him into your hand.' "

This is not intended to be a human against human war; this is supposed to be God taking a stand against the forces of evil in the world, and hopefully the Israelites would again obey God and follow His heavenly will. 

8. Then Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go."

Already Barak doesn’t believe and he puts more faith in Deborah than he does in the Lord.

9. And she said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman." Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

Because Barak is disobeying God, He is taking away part of the blessing that He had intended to bestow upon Barak.

10. And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and ten thousand men went up with him; Deborah also went up with him.
NASB

In the future we will talk more about this and other roller-coaster rides Israel had during the times of the Judges when they were repeatedly disobeying God and then seeking His help to save them.
 
True children of God always follow His heavenly will, even when they stumble.
 
Let’s keep these things in mind as we look at Psalm 76:1-12…

1. God is known in Judah;
His name is great in Israel.

While this was true in the days of old, just as it is today, it does not imply that the people were all living in the heavenly will of God, or even that the majority of the people followed the heavenly will of God.
 
And as we know today, most of the people are still disobeying God because they have not separated themselves from the evil ways of this world.

2. And His tabernacle is in Salem;
His dwelling place also is in Zion.

This is where the tabernacle was when this psalm was written, but as we know today, it is to be in our hearts and souls, just as we are told in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18…

14. Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
 
15. Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
 
16. Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
"I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
 
17. "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord.
"And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
 
18. "And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,"
Says the Lord Almighty.
NASB

With this in mind, let’s return to our psalm message…

3. There He broke the flaming arrows,
The shield, and the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah.

This Bible passage also means that when the temple of God resides in us, the evil actions of the devil and those that follow him cannot separate us from the Lord our God, even if they kill us, for we shall always be with the Lord.
 
Note what happens to the ones that are disobeying God.

4. Thou art resplendent,
More majestic than the mountains of prey.
 
5. The stouthearted were plundered;
They sank into sleep;
And none of the warriors could use his hands.
 
6. At Thy rebuke, O God of Jacob,
Both rider and horse were cast into a dead sleep.

God will take away all the power of the evil ones.

7. Thou, even Thou, art to be feared;
And who may stand in Thy presence when once Thou art angry?

There are no forces of evil that can stand against the power of God.

8. Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven;
The earth feared, and was still,
 
9. When God arose to judgment,
To save all the humble of the earth. Selah.

These Bible verses are telling us that God will save all the believing children of God from the evil of the devil and this earth.

10. For the wrath of man shall praise Thee;
With a remnant of wrath Thou shalt gird Thyself.
 
11. Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them;
Let all who are around Him bring gifts to Him who is to be feared.
 
12. He will cut off the spirit of princes;
He is feared by the kings of the earth.
NASB

According to these verses, all those who are knowingly disobeying God, no matter what they may say to the contrary, will be excluded from the kingdom of heaven; only the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God who live in the heavenly will of God and help free creation from its present corruption will be able to enter God’s heavenly realm.
 
This is what Paul wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11…

1. Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
 
2. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

In other words, we do not know the day or time when the Lord will return.
 
So don’t believe or pay attention to those who claim to know the day and time, for what they say is not of God; they are really serving the devil, and as such they are disobeying God.
 
And then Paul writes about what others with similar intent, who are disobeying God, will find.

3. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But we who are children of God will be free of their destruction.

4. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief;
 
5. for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
 
6. so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.

We are not of the darkness, because we have the perfect love of God within us, which imparts heavenly light to us, and this is what leads us heavenward.
 
Those who lack this heavenly perfect love are those who are disobeying God, for that is their nature, because they live in the darkness.

7. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.
 
8. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

As children of the light and love, we should live this way naturally, for this is the heavenly will of God, and this is what happens to us when we are truly born again as peacemaking children of God, who seek to free all aspects of creation from corruption.

9. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
 
10. who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.
 
11. Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
NASB

We who are children of God are not of this world; we are not disobeying God and causing the suffering and death that the worldly people do, so do not fear them.
 
And remember what we are told in 1 John 4:18…

18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
NASB

Trust in the Lord, and as peacemaking children of God, keep on helping to free creation from its corruption, and we will enter the kingdom of heaven along with all the animals.
 
Amen.

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