Bible Study For Real For Eternity

There is Always Hope with God

There was no need for any government until people began to disagree. This world started out with only two people. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. (Genesis 1:27 KJV21). There was no need for any type of government with only two people. The world needed something to disagree upon before the concept of a government could be conceived.

The first disagreement was with God. And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat? And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. (Genesis 3:11-12 MKJV). The very first political move in this world was of course the blame game. Adam blamed his wife, the only other person on earth. As time marched on so did the blame game and politics.

When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the LORD. Abel also brought a gift–the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis 4:3-7 NLTse).

Disagreeing with God started with Eve, spread to Adam, and of course worked its way into Cain. Freedom of choice and the blame game blended into one early in history. The Bible recorded a series of events spanning generations to show us how things turned out when people followed God and how things turned out when people made their own decisions. Cain’s decision led to the murder of his brother. Cain was banished. But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.” (Genesis 4:10-12 NLTse).

The earth had two groups of people. Those residing with Adam and Eve, and those who lived with Cain. It didn’t take long for their numbers to grow and their differences to divide the two groups. One day Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to me, you wives of Lamech. I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me. If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times, then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!” (Genesis 4:23-24 NLTse). Those who followed Cain looked at murder as a way of life. The earth faced differences we take for granted today. It always seemed like war and violence have always been the only way to solve disagreements. People banned together for protection.

Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.” In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times. The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. (Genesis 6:1-5 NLTse).

Marriage between the two groups seemed to be the logical solution. Instead it bred warriors. People bent on destruction and control at any cost.

God didn’t have perfect people to led. But God worked with the best He had. Noah followed orders, built an ark following specifications and plans from God. Noah and his family made it through the flood. Later we see Abram. One of the few who listened to God and followed orders. Abram made mistakes. He lied about his wife not once but twice. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sar’ai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful to behold; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account.” (Genesis 12:11-13 RSVA). For some reason Abram left Egypt and Negeb with more than he came in with.

We see one of the most important lessons about following God and following your own ideas between those two stories. Abram’s and Lot’s flocks grew. Lot decided to take the best land. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw that the Jordan valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zo’ar; this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomor’rah. So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan valley, and Lot journeyed east; thus they separated from each other. (Genesis 13:10-11 RSVA).

How did that work out for Lot? Lot walked into Sodom a rich man. A group of kings came in and took everything. When Abraham heard about the attack, he went after the world’s largest army with 318 men. When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. (Genesis 14:14 RSVA).

It had to take a supernatural faith for 318 men to go up against the world’s largest army. Abraham’s government was simple. He led people to God. Abraham returned Lot to his home and returned all his riches. Later Lot lost everything when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot lost all his flocks, all his riches, his home, most his family, and his wife. Lot was left with two daughters and how did that work out. Where did Lot’s decision get him?

The agreement between God and Abraham was simple. When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” (Genesis 17:1-2 RSVA). Even though Abraham worked with God, he wasn’t a perfect man. After seeing God work miracles, Abraham displayed little trust. He lied about his wife a second time.

Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now then restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you, and all that are yours.”

(Genesis 20:5-7 RSVA).

Those two lies are arranged like bookends to show us an important lesson. Abraham was not perfect, but God still worked with him and blessed Abraham beyond imagination while Lot, who trusted in his decisions lost everything. Abraham of course made poor decisions and paid the price, but never gave up on God.

We would be hard pressed to find an example of a perfect government on earth in the Bible or in history. Was Egypt a fair or corrupt government? Egypt was one example, there is always hope with God. After 400 years God took the Israelite slaves out of Egypt. We were given an example showing how a corrupt government does not like to loose and will do everything in its power to hold onto total control with no compromises.

After Moses led Israel out of Egypt, he was a part of a simple government with God in charge. As usual, people objected. Moses’ brother decided to follow suggestions from the radicals. How did that work out?

While Moses was on the mountain receiving instructions for the Tabernacle and specific instructions for Aaron to preform his duties as high priest, Aaron was at the bottom of the mountain building a new god.

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, “Up, make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” And Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made a molten calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”

(Exodus 32:1-4 RSVA).

After making all the furnishings and erecting the Tabernacle, Aaron assumed his duties as high priest. That didn’t seem to be enough for Miriam who rebelled against Moses. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed; and when the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned towards Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. (Numbers 12:9-10 RSVA).

The simplest form of government was rejected by Israel. They wanted to make their own decisions and be just like the nations who threatened their existence.

Moses faced his share of opposition. Eventually leadership was passed onto Joshua. Like Moses, Joshua was reluctant to lead and needed encouragement. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and of good courage; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. (Joshua 1:5-7 RSVA).

All God really wanted was a leader who depended upon Him to lead. When Moses faced a problem, he went to God for the answer. Joshua followed orders and the walls of Jericho fell. Joshua and his generals were instantly over confident and lost the battle at Ai. So about three thousand went up there from the people; and they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six men of them, and chased them before the gate as far as Sheb’arim, and slew them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted, and became as water. (Joshua 7:4-5 RSVA).

The push to be like other kingdoms reached God’s ears. Eventually God had no choice than to let them have their way and learn lessons the hard way. Israel’s first king was reluctant in the beginning. Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my family the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?” (1 Samuel 9:21 RSVA). But that was soon to change. Saul had problems taking orders. All Saul had to do was obey a few simple commands. But that proved too difficult for Saul. So he lost his kingdom. Did Saul lead a good government or a corrupt government?

What about David? As a boy David had great faith in God. As a boy alone in the fields, David had time to reflect, think, pray, and listen to God. David had the faith to slay giants. Then something happened. It took time for David to relearn how to listen to God. David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; and he said to Abi’athar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” (1 Samuel 23:9 RSVA).

David went from a boy who talked with God to a man who waited for yes and no answers using the two stones on the breast plate. David had to relearn communication with God. When we look at David’s history we see how David had instances where he relied upon his own judgment, the opinions of those around him, and God’s commands. We have a rich history to look back on and study. We can see the results when David made his own decisions, and when He followed God. When David followed God, he was safe. But when David ignored God, or tried to distance himself from God, things didn’t go well. David had Uriah killed so he could marry his wife Bathsheba. That cost them the life of their first born. David decided to number Israel. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. (1 Chronicles 21:1 KJV21). Following Satan was not the best decision David made. So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel, and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. (1 Chronicles 21:14 KJV21).

We can see the lessons accumulate. We can see where the ideas and temptations come from. We see the situation repeat itself throughout Israel’s and Judah’s history. At the end of David’s reign one of his sons attempted a coup. And Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king. And he prepared himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. (1 Kings 1:5 MKJV). So were governments in those days corrupt or good?

Solomon made mistakes. He was convinced the best way to protect his kingdom was to marry women from other countries to establish treaties. Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The LORD had clearly instructed the people of Israel, ‘You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.’ Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the LORD. (1 Kings 11:1-3 NLTse). Solomon began his reign by ordering a number of assassinations. And now, do not hold him guiltless. For you are a wise man, and you know what you ought to do to him. But bring his gray head down to the grave with blood. (1 Kings 2:9 MKJV). Are governments getting better or drifting further away from God?

Was David’s kingdom a good kingdom or was it corrupt? What about Solomon’s kingdom? Solomon built the temple using slave labor. Solomon also built a new palace and homes for his wives. After Solomon we see taxes were an issue. “What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?” The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!'” (1 Kings 12:9-11 NLTse).

God saw that coming and decided to divide Israel.

One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him along the way. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone in a field, and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten of these pieces, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon, and I will give ten of the tribes to you! But I will leave him one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. For Solomon has abandoned me and worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians; Chemosh, the god of Moab; and Molech, the god of the Ammonites. He has not followed my ways and done what is pleasing in my sight. He has not obeyed my decrees and regulations as David his father did. (1 Kings 11:29-33 NLTse).

You would think Jeroboam would have been thankful and followed God’s commands. Instead Jeroboam decided to set up his own religion, his own gods, and his own government. Was that a good or corrupt government? Look back at Egypt. If we follow the story, we see Jeroboam spent some time in Egypt and learned their ways. Nothing changed in Egypt over the years. Egypt still had the same gods and Pharaoh was looked at as a god. Jeroboam decided to follow that pattern when he set up his government. In modern times we saw this same system was used in Japan before and during WWII. It is difficult for Christians to wrap their minds around that concept. But we can look back and see how people were willing to sacrifice their lives for their emperor and god. Something takes hold of those people and their leaders. We see governments have different degrees of control and none are perfect.

Israel’s government, the ten northern kingdoms was focused on false gods. The Christian mind naturally focuses on those false gods and rarely considers the concept behind them. Egypt taught us one aspect of that concept. Governments are famous for using religion to control the masses. On the top the leaders made themselves gods. That is what we need to examine. Today we have corrupt leaders who stand against every form of religion. In a sense they make themselves gods. In general those leaders suffer from a inferiority complex. They live in total fear and hatred. They use that fear to control people. Fear becomes their god and the god of the people they control. That is only one aspect of an inferiority complex.

Hatred is another symptom of an inferiority complex. In sever cases people live, breath, and eat hatred which becomes their overall controlling factor. From a spiritual view we see hatred is used to suppress their conscience. God’s Spirit is always reaching out to people trying to convict them of their sins and repent. The earliest lessons in history show how people decided to oppose God, second guess God, and make their own decisions. We’ve seen how things turned out when people decided to strike out on their own. It is also human nature to blame others when their mistakes come to the surface and the time comes to pay for their mistakes. Instead of learning from their mistakes, they blame those mistakes on anyone and everyone. That inferiority complex now controls their every thought and action. They become their own god. They are self centered, self serving, and care about no one. They make promises, lie, and do anything to increase their power, control, and wealth. They make empty promises and fill their lives with empty hope. They shun God and His promises replacing them with worldly power, control, and riches. In short, they loose their view of Heaven and eternal life. Which is sad, but a reality since the establishment of earth’s earliest governments.

This world has never established a perfect government. We can look at the Bible in the Old Testament and New Testament. Jesus, Peter, Paul, and all the others faced corrupt governments. You can search every history book in the world. The perfect government never existed. So why do people in the US today think a revolution will lead to the perfect government? What are their plans? Who can they really trust? If the devil could reach David, what chance do the rest of us stand? People can do their best, but they will also fail to one extent or another. That is human nature. There is little we can do about it.

When I look at what is happening in the world in 2020 and 2021 I have to admit. If God wanted to make a point, He would allow the corrupt people to take total control. No one wants to listen to God and learn the easy lessons. We can look at the Bible all we want. We are going to see example after example showing us how great things worked out when they did follow God. We can see how God protected them. We can see how God knew exactly what was going to happen. Then we see how people accepted God for a time, then wandered off on their own. That is human nature. We all do it to one degree or another.

God allowed the left to take total control. We have to ask why. If we refuse to listen to God, and most of this world has made that choice, God has no other choice than to let the world learn from the choices they make. So what does that mean?

Millions of people remain uninformed, misinformed, and for lack of a better term, have given up hope, or cling onto false hope like people in the Old Testament clung onto false gods. God knows how to wake those people up. God knows how to push those people away from the influence of those offering false hope and a modern version of false gods. Put the liars in control and let the world witness their skills, dedication, compassion, wisdom, or lack thereof. When people want to place their hope on worthless factions, what choice does God have other than let them have their way and learn lessons on their own.