God set a law into effect at the beginning of time. Paul states it as such: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:7-9). Let us remember that we will harvest what we have sown. There are consequences to be paid. There are lessons to be learned from those who have gone before us. Let us notice some of the lessons.
Worship correctly is our first lesson. “Cain brought forth the fruit of the ground an offering to the Lord” (Genesis 4:3). Able also offered of the firstlings of his flock and the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering (Genesis 4:4). The next first states that God did not respect Cain’s offering then Cain was mad. Notice Genesis 4:7; “If thou (God is talking to Cain) doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” There was sin in Cain’s worship to God! Our worship too can be sin if we do not worship God correctly. John 4:23-24 states, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship in spirit and it truth.” Our worship must be done with the correct attitude. Our attitude must be toward God when we worship! Then we must worship God as He wants. God has given us explicit instructions as to what He wants us to do when we worship Him. Since God has given these instructions we have no right to change them. If we do then our worship becomes what we want to do and not what God wants us to do. Which lead us to our next lesson that we need to learn.
Obedience is that lesson. Let us understand that Noah was given instructions as to the building of an ark. He was told which wood to use. He was told as to its length, width, and height. He was told how many doors and windows to place within this ark. He was told to pitch it within and without. Noah was told how many stories to place within in the ark. God was so explicit with His instructions that He told Noah to have a cubit above the window and door. With these instructions placed before how could Noah do anything else but what God said. God even told Noah what to bring on the ark. God also told Noah how many of each item to bring upon the ark. Oh, he could have done anything that he wanted to with the ark. He could have built it any size with any wood, but he would not have said the world. Noah could have brought more or less animals on the ark, but he would be lost like everybody else. Notice how Genesis 6 ends; “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Noah obeyed God and followed what He said; he did not add to it nor did he subtract from it. This then leads us to our next lesson that we need to learn.
Faith is that lesson. God gave Abraham some marching orders along with a promise. Abraham obeyed God. He did what God told him to do. He left his family and went to a strange land. This was hard, but Abraham believed in the promises of God. God had promised that through his (Abraham’s) seed all nations would be blessed, yet Abraham had no children. God even promised that the promise would be through Sarah. This was getting hard to accept for Sarah was getting up in years and Sarah having a child was not likely. Sarah even tried to help God out. He needs no help! Yet she was to have a child and through this child all the nations would be blessed. Then the promised child came. He was growing up and God told Abraham to take this promised child, this child of his old age and Sarah’s old age and offer him as a sacrifice. The journey took three days; Abraham was preparing for this event. Isaac was wondering about all of this, he said, “Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:7). The next verse states, “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). Abraham had faith that God would fulfill His promise made to him long ago, that through him all nations of the earth would be blessed and that was being fulfilled in Isaac. Abraham had enough faith so that this could be done. Hebrews 11:17-19 states, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: According that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure”
Our next lesson we learn from the past is that we are going to mess up and what to do when we do mess up. The first two kings of Israel stand is stark contrast with each other. Saul became a proud man, not wanting to bow the knee to show any kind of weakness. David was a humble king and willing to carry out the commands of God. Saul sinned, David sinned. The difference in the two kings is what happened next. David repented of the sins that he committed and would never commit that sin again. He committed sin with Bathsheba. Nathan had to come to the king and let him know that he had sinned. When he realized that he had sinned, he repented no questions asked. He was not going to lay the blame upon anyone else. He accepted the blame and he went to God with a remorseful heart. Read Psalm 51 now. David was/is a man after God’s own heart. We need to learn this lesson of repentance.
The last lesson is that of perseverance. Elijah would be the example for us today. He had carried out the commands of God. He was zealous for God, but he got discouraged and wanted to quit. God told him to rest, eat, get busy and don’t quit. There are seven thousand that have not bowed the knee to Baal. We need to perseverance to the end Revelation 2:10!