1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Godís word first is the way God wanted all of us to live and act upon, instead of the corrupt and violent ways that most people live in this world.
None of the violence and warring madness would exist in this world if we had listened to Godís word first in Eden.
God told us and the animals to eat only plant foods, and because we didnít listen and lost our empathy for the animals, billions of them suffer and die every year at the hands our fellow human beings.
Furthermore, we believe that this loss of empathy led to all the violent acts that we commit upon one another, such as murders, terrorism, and wars.
How much better we all would be if we had listened to Godís word first.
With these things in mind, letís look at what is written in Psalm 62:5-12Ö
5. My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
The psalmist is saying that nothing that people say or do in the ways of the world comes before God, so he will wait in silence for Godís word first.
6. He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
The psalmist knows, as we should all know, that God is in control and that we need to listen to Him, for if we do, we will not be shaken by the corrupt ways of this world.
7. On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
This knowing and understanding of the psalmist in his relationship with the Lord our God made him stand firm in his trust of the Lord, for God is his refuge.
8. Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
In other words, pause and think about all the problems in this world and realize that we need to trust in the Lord and not in the corrupt ways of this world, which we should know never brings heavenly peace.
We need to come to the realization that our only hope for a brighter future is to trust in God and follow His heavenly will, where there is no distinction between people who look or talk differently for we will all be equal as sons and daughters of God.
9. Men of low degree are only vanity, and men of rank are a lie;
In the balances they go up;
They are together lighter than breath.
We like to think about this as when we learn to live together in peace with all other human beings, and the animals, we will all rise together into heaven.
10. Do not trust in oppression,
And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
There is no worldly gain that is better than what God is offering us, and we need to all come to this realization, for we will never find peace until we do.
11. Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God;
We need to listen to Godís word first for when we do we will truly know peace, for if we donít we will lose peace, which is the way the world is around us.
If we wait for the second time we hear Godís word, we have to start all over again and this time we will need to work for peace, instead of living in it, as most people need to do today.
12. And lovingkindness is Thine, O Lord,
For Thou dost recompense a man according to his work.
God is loving and forgiving, but when we fail to listen to Godís word first, weíll find ourselves having to go through tribulations on our way back to God and His heavenly will.
Jonah was a reluctant prophet, because he didnít want to listen to Godís word first, even though he knew that the Lord wanted him to do something important, so he ended up being thrown into the sea and swallowed by a large fish, who vomited him up on dry land; letís look at what happened next in Jonah 3:1-10Ö
1. Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,
Why should any of us have to go through the tribulations that Jonah had to go through, because he didnít listen to Godís word first.
2. "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you."
So, this time Jonah accepted his marching orders that he had to receive a second time before he would listen; how much better things could have been if he had listened to Godís word first.
And think about how much better this world would have been if people willingly listened to Godís word first.
3. So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days' walk.
Think about how he must have looked after having been inside that great fish for 3 days.
4. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk; and he cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown."
This time he was doing what God instructed him to do.
5. Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.
I donít believe that very many people would listen to someone saying this to any city in this country, unless his partially digested appearance was that startling.
6. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat on the ashes.
He certainly was responding to Godís word first instead of the ways of the world around him.
7. And he issued a proclamation and it said, "In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water.
This sure looks like they were truly repenting, but I canít help but think that this wouldnít happen in this country today, even though it needs to.
8. "But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.
This was a very wise king, and itís the kind of elected leaders we need here today.
9. "Who knows, God may turn and relent, and withdraw His burning anger so that we shall not perish?"
We sure have enough to repent of in our own country, and we strongly believe that Godís wrath is not that far in the future.
10. When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.
I would rejoice if something like this happened here, but I am afraid that most people wonít listen to Godís word first.
Letís move on to Mark 1:14-20 and see if any people will listen to Godís word firstÖ
14. And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
This was more than John was preaching.
John was preaching about the need for repentance in advance of the coming of the Lord.
Now the Lord Himself was coming to tell about the kingdom of heaven.
15. and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
Jesus didnít take away any part of what John was preaching; He just added to it.
16. And as He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen.
Jesus saw two more of His then future disciples.
17. And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
In other words, if they listened to Godís word first, they would no longer be fish killers, they would become savers of human beings.
18. And they immediately left the nets and followed Him.
If people today listened to Godís word first we would also save billions of animals, too.
19. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.
There was something about those fishermen that attracted Jesus, what it was, we are not told.
From this, we believe that we should learn not to judge people so much from what they do, but by the intent of their hearts, which only God can see, but we can learn to see if we observe the person over a period of time.
20. And immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.
There is something about listening to Godís word first that is like a magnet drawing us closer to Him.
Letís conclude our discussion about listening to Godís word first in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31Ö
29. But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;
The point that Paul was making here is that we are to be prepared to go with the Lord whenever He calls us, and not be more attached to our spouse than we are to God.
Our spouse is part of the world system, a situation that does not exist in heaven.
30. and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;
These conditions are another example of the same situation.
We are to care more about God than we do about these, and that way we are ready to go to heaven whenever the Lord calls us.
31. and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
Whatever the world had provided us, whether inheritance, salary, or other sources of income and wealth should never be more important to us than being with the Lord.
Are we going to listen to Godís word first?
We hope and pray we do.